KEVIN PIETERSEN is ready to help fire England into the World Twenty20 final this afternoon after completing his dash back across the Atlantic.
The key batsman arrived back in St Lucia yesterday afternoon after returning to London mid-tournament to be present at the birth of his baby son.
Pietersen therefore missed England’s final net session – giving him no practice time and less than 24 hours to prepare for today’s semi-final clash with Sri Lanka.
Despite his lack of preparation, Pietersen, who top-scored for England with impressive knocks in their Super Eights matches against Pakistan and South Africa, is expected to slot back into the side at No3 in place of Ravi Bopara, who replaced him for the one game he missed, against New Zealand.
Victory this afternoon will see England reach a first major one-day final since the 2004 Champions Trophy and see Paul Collingwood’s men just one game away from making history as the first-ever England side to lift a global limited-overs trophy.
One of England’s main successes has been all-rounder Tim Bresnan, whose performance with both bat and ball earned him the man-of-the-match award against the Kiwis on Monday.
And Bresnan believes this England side has the confidence and all-round game to topple the Sri Lankans and earn a place in Sunday’s final against either Australia or Pakistan.
“If we keep playing the brand of cricket we can play, it doesn’t really matter who we play against,” he said.
“We’ll do our homework before, put our plans in place. We’ll have respect for the opposition but we won’t be scared of anyone.”
England v Sri Lanka
(today, 4.30pm start)
Australia v Pakistan
(tomorrow, 4.30pm start)