'Perfect' send-off for Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen is heading home for the birth of his first child on the back of what he claimed was a "perfect" England performance.
Pietersen confirmed after England's 39-run Super Eight trouncing of South Africa at Kensington Oval in Barbados that he will be flying to London today.
The South Africa-born batsman had more than played his part too, as his second successive fifty put England on course for a semi-final in St Lucia on Thursday or Friday.
Pietersen hit 53 from 33 balls as England posted 168 for seven - a total South Africa never remotely threatened.
England completed their victory after Pietersen had shared a destructive second-wicket stand of 94 in under 12 overs with Craig Kieswetter, then spinners Michael Yardy and Graeme Swann shared five top-order wickets.
"Today was as close to perfect, apart from a couple of wide balls," Pietersen added.
"The boys were brilliant. Colly (captain Paul Collingwood) and I have just been talking about the perfect game, and to beat South Africa so convincingly really was amazing.
"It's just so great to be part of a dressing room that plays such great cricket.
"It can be frustrating for everyone when we don't perform like we should. But wow, the boys have turned up today."
Collingwood agreed: "There are a lot of England fans in here, and I wanted to put on a good performance - and we've done that.
"South Africa are a very good side, and we knew we would have to perform at our best. I think we have almost done that.
"In the line-up we have got there is a lot of potential. The boys are making good decisions and they are backing themselves."
Pietersen, who made an unbeaten 73 in Thursday's victory over Pakistan at the same venue, is once again looking like a world-class batsman, having endured a winter of struggle following several months out with an Achilles injury last year.
"It's just nice to be in the nick again, nice to be back in the side," he said. “It's great to be part of a team that is successful.
"I've had a really rough last 12 to 14 months, so it's nice to be back again."
South Africa captain Graeme Smith conceded his team were outplayed, and did not help themselves when Kieswetter was caught at third-man on seven - only to be reprieved by a Morne Morkel no-ball.
"The first six overs, especially, were really disappointing," he said. “Basic mistakes - the no-ball and missed chances up front - really proved costly.
"We easily could have had England three or four down. But those basic mistakes allowed them to get that partnership going, and that proved to be the difference between the two teams."