Pietersen shrugs off injury to fire England to last eight

ENGLAND captain Paul Collingwood praised his side&rsquo;s perfect response to a barrage of criticism after securing a place in the last eight of the World Twenty20 with a 48-run win over Pakistan at The Oval.<br /><br />Batsman Kevin Pietersen, who was only passed fit after a late test on his Achilles, shrugged off injury worries to top-score with 58 as the tournament hosts made 185-5.<br /><br />And Stuart Broad, who was dealt much of the blame for Friday&rsquo;s humiliating defeat to minnows Holland in the competition opener, answered his critics by taking 3-17 as England restricted Pakistan to 137-7.<br /><br />Victory guarantees England&rsquo;s place in the Super Eights stage, regardless of tomorrow&rsquo;s result between Pakistan and Holland, where they are likely to meet South Africa, India and Australia.<br /><br />Collingwood said: &ldquo;It was special, everything I wanted. When we lost the other night a lot of pride had been hit hard and we had 24 hours to hit back.<br /><br />&ldquo;I thought the way we batted was exceptional, there was a lot of freedom. We had to do one thing: go out and win the match. Everybody put their hand up today and that is what we needed from the players.&rdquo;<br /><br />Pietersen, who missed Friday&rsquo;s shock loss to Holland, admitted he was still short of full fitness. &ldquo;I reckon I&rsquo;m about 70 per cent fit. Hopefully that is the last of it now because I just love playing.&rdquo;<br /><br />He added: &ldquo;It was a huge match. If we didn&rsquo;t win we were out and that is not nice. The Holland game was a one off; we should never, ever have lost that game. It&rsquo;s not right to lose to the Netherlands.&rdquo; England came into last night&rsquo;s contest, played in front of a capacity 23,000 crowd in south London, knowing victory was needed to avoid exiting the tournament at the first hurdle.<br /><br />Aided by some haphazard Pakistani fielding, man of the match Luke Wright (34) and Owais Shah (33) batted with purpose, while Pietersen&rsquo;s 58 came off just 38 balls.<br /><br />Wright, whose speedy tally came off 16 deliveries, was equally useful in Pakistan&rsquo;s innings, claiming the vital wicket of Shoaib Malik in the 13th over and taking two catches.