ICC World Twenty20 2007 - Group B
England 188-9 Innings Complete (K P Pietersen 79, E Chigumbura 4-31) v Zimbabwe 138-7
England beat Zimbabwe by 50 runs
England put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the World Twenty20 Super Eights with a 50-run victory over Zimbabwe in Cape Town.
A superb innings from Kevin Pietersen and some disciplined slow bowling saw England past a confident Zimbabwe side, who had opened their campaign with a shock victory over Australia on Wednesday.
Pietersen made 79 off just 37 balls and shared in a fourth-wicket partnership with captain Paul Collingwood worth 100 from 54 balls, underpinning England's total of 188-9 from their 20 overs.
Zimbabwe made a strong start to their reply, with Brendan Taylor in particular enjoying early success against the pace of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, but the introduction of Dimitri Mascarenhas and Chris Schofield changed the course of the match.
From a solid platform of 74-0, five wickets fell for the addition of just 15 runs, with Mascarenhas picking up three and Schofield two on his return to the international arena.
The spin of Schofield, who finished his four overs with figures of 2-15, took the sting out of the Zimbabwean onslaught which had threatened to get out of control when Broad's second over went for 14, taking the score to 47-0 from five overs.
Mascarenhas, too, had an unsettling effect on the African openers, as he bowled a variety of pace and length to great effect.
It was the Hampshire man who made the first breakthrough, tempting Vusi Sibanda (29) to hoist a mistimed hook shot high into the air for Darren Maddy to pocket a simple catch.
Tatenda Taibu (2) lasted only a handful of deliveries before he was bowled by Mascarenhas, who then repeated the trick to take the key wicket of Taylor (47) to leave Zimbabwe on 84-3.
He could have added another wicket in the same over, but Pietersen put down the easiest of chances from Justice Chibabha.
Pietersen's dismay at his mistake was clear, but Schofield saw to it that his concern was shortlived with another two-wicket over.
The Surrey leg-spinner had Stuart Matsikenyeri (2) caught on the boundary by Andrew Flintoff before removing Chibabha (5) when the batsman planted an inviting catch straight into his hands.
Elton Chigumbura (8) briefly prospered, smashing one huge six before holing out to Luke Wright off Collingwood as he attempted to land another massive blow.
His departure left Zimbabwe's victory target out of reach and they sauntered through the final overs without suffering any further losses before Wright took another catch in the deep to remove Hamilton Masakadza (27) with two balls remaining.
Pietersen had come to the crease after England had lost both openers relatively cheaply and set about rescuing the innings with seven fours and four sixes, including 22 runs from one Keith Dabengwa over.
Chigumbura was England's chief tormentor, claiming four wickets including those of Maddy (14) and Luke Wright (0) in successive balls to leave England in trouble on 20-2.
Matt Prior departed for 20, reducing England to 51-3 and bringing Pietersen and Collingwood together at the crease.
Pietersen was the senior partner, but Collingwood's 37 off 28 balls was also crucial to the cause.
Collingwood was run out by an accurate throw from Sibanda and Andrew Flintoff's brief cameo including one lusty six before he was bowled by Chibhabha for a run-a-ball 13.
Owais Shah (11), likewise, struck one huge six before he was removed by Chigumbura, who then took the wicket of Mascarenhas with his next delivery to finish with impressive figures of 4-31.
Schofield (9no) helped the score along in the final overs, taking England to a total that Zimbabwe ultimately would never threaten.