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World Twenty20: England v Sri Lanka live

LIVE: England v Sri Lanka – follow World Twenty20 action from Pallekele as it unfolds

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UPDATED:

15:13 GMT, 1 October 2012

Stay up to date with all the action from England's third and decisive match in the Super Eights stage of the World Twenty20 as they take on hosts Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

Victory for England will almost certainly put them in the semi-finals because of their superior net run rate over the West Indies and New Zealand. Even a narrow defeat may be enough, should New Zealand beat the West Indies in the day's earlier match.

We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds, with build-up starting at 2.30pm. Send me your thoughts on the action to [email protected]

England v Sri Lanka: Essentials

England: AD Hales, LJ Wright, JM Bairstow (wkt), EJG Morgan, JC Buttler, RS Bopara, SR Patel, SCJ Broad (captain), GP Swann, ST Finn, JW Dernbach

Sri Lanka: M Jayawardene, T Dilshan, K Sangakkara (captain, wkt), A Mathews, J Mendis, L Thirimanne, T Perera, N Kulasekera, A Dananjaya, L Malinga, A Mendis

Umpires: S Taufel (Aus) and S Davis (Aus)

Third umpire: A Rauf (Pak)

Match referee: J Srinath (Ind)

Click here to read the full scorecard

Sri Lanka (11 overs) 82-3 Mathews 0, Mendis 8

WICKETS! England get their men. Two wickets in two balls and this game has swung right round!

Jayawardene had started like an express train, hitting 42 off 38 balls, but Swann fools him into a loose shot which is caught by Eoin Morgan.

Next ball, unreadable spin and Sangakkara is in a muddle. A faint edge and Bairstow is alert to take the catch.

Mendis the second new man to come in and sweeps Swann for four to dampen the enthusiasm a little. Follows that up with snick to backward square leg for four.

What a crazy over: W,W,0,4,4,0 but England well and truly alive in the game now.

Sri Lanka (10 overs) 74-1 Jayawardene 42, Sangakkara 13

Samit Patel adds another spin option and is promptly struck for a couple of crafty fours to keep up the Sri Lankan momentum.

The boundaries always seem to be in the same areas – on the off side toward backward point and over short fine leg.

Sri Lanka (9 overs) 64-1 Jayawardene 33, Sangakkara 12

Much tighter from Swann, and a suspicion of an edge on the third ball though Bairstow can't grasp the ball.

But the good work is undone as Sangakkara reverse sweeps for four on the penultimate ball. Broad blocks it out with two fielders on that leaky off side.

Sri Lanka (8 overs) 57-1 Jayawardene 28, Sangakkara 10

Bopara is given the ball – he's been busy in the field so far and now properly enters the fray.

Sangakkara places a lovely shot for a couple of runs, prompting Bairstow to don his helmet and come up to the stumps.

Bopara with an assured start, just three from the over and a ball that beats the edge of Jayawardene's bat to finish the over.

Sri Lanka (7 overs) 53-1 Jayawardene 27, Sangakkara 7

Swann comes on to try and find that elusive patch of rough, but it's an expensive start with a brace and then a four sweep by Jayawardene.

Recovers strongly with a dot, then three singles to slow the pace a little.

Sri Lanka (6 overs) 44-1 Jayawardene 19, Sangakkara 6

Broad into the attack and Jayawardene wants to get a move on. The ball swinging and evading the bat twice, before the England captain plants a shorter ball into his midriff.

Jayawardene crumples and next ball knocks one just over the diving Bopara at short extra cover.

Good start by Broad, just three off the over.

Jade Dernbach of England

Steven Finn of England

Agony and ecstasy: Jade Dernbach (left) sees an appeal turned down, but there's joy for Steven Finn as he traps Dilshan leg before wicket

Sri Lanka (5 overs) 41-1 Jayawardene 16, Sangakkara 6

Finn returns for a third over and Bopara saves a certain four as Jayawardene smashes the second ball.

WICKET! Dilshan has another swing – he can't resist – and this time Finn's ball hits his back leg on the thigh. Easy decision for Simon Taufel as it's hitting middle and leg, and England have their breakthrough at 35-1. 16 off 12 for Dilshan.

Kumar Sangakkara comes in and is immediately off the mark before nudging a four past Bairstow, who lets the ball squirm through his legs.

Sri Lanka (4 overs) 34-0 Jayawardene 15, Dilshan 16

Dernbach, tattoo sleeves on display as he thunders in, is flicked for a 74-metre six by Jayawardene second ball.

And Dilshan comes to the party too, hitting a six in the opposite direction which evades Luke Wright's despairing dive at third man.

Taufel calls a wide as Dernbach tries to con Dilshan into a scoop with the fourth delivery.

16 from the over, Sri Lanka revving up now.

Not hanging around: Dilshan attempts a shot in the early stages of the Sri Lankan innings

Not hanging around: Dilshan attempts a shot in the early stages of the Sri Lankan innings

Sri Lanka (3 overs) 18-0 Jayawardene 7, Dilshan 9

Finn tries a shorter delivery and Jayawardene reads it. Over the shoulder for four runs.

But Finn recovers with a couple of balls which fizz through past Jayawardene, who wafts the bat.

Six from the over but a penny for Swann's thoughts right now after that chance.

Sri Lanka 12-0 (2 overs) Jayawardene 2, Dilshan 8

Dernbach forces Dilshan into a top edge with the second ball of the over, the ball falling well short of square leg however.

DROPPED! Massive chance on the fourth ball of the over. Dilshan's top edge and a dolly for Swann, who somehow drops it over his head. Big opportunity missed there.

Strong lbw appeal on the final ball – full length, but sliding down the leg stump and Taufel is unmoved.

Sri Lanka 8-0 (1 over)

Disciplined start by Finn – who has not been struck for six in 102 balls in this tournament – until the final ball when Dilshan plays a sweetly timed four under the dive of Ravi Bopara.

3.22pm Stuart Broad, the captain, setting out the last of the instructions in the huddle and we're about to get underway in front of a full house in Pallekele.

First out to bat for Sri Lanka will be Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Steve Finn will hope to make the early inroads for England.

3.21pm Lots of the England lads belting out God Save the Queen with pride. Sri Lanka has a lovely, melodic anthem which has been going now for the best part of three minutes…

3.18pm Here we go then! The two sides are on the field and in line for the national anthems.

3.14pm England find themselves in this do-or-die situation after a win and a draw in the Super Eight stage.

On Thursday, they were hit all over the place by the West Indies, who recorded 179-5 from their 20 overs. After losing Kieswetter and Wright in consecutive balls in the first over, England rallied thanks to Hales's 68 but ultimately fell 15 runs short.

They rediscovered their form on Saturday, restricting New Zealand to 148, before knocking off the runs for the loss of four wickets. Wright was choice batsmen, hitting 76 off 59 balls, including a series of towering sixes.

3.09pm The atmosphere is building under the floodlights in Pallekele. Lots of England flags dotted around the ground but they will, of course, be vastly outnumbered by the colourful and very noisy home fans. Less than ten minutes hopefully now until the teams emerge.

3.01pm For Sri Lanka, Jayawardene is taking the evening off captaincy duties, with Sangakkara deputising. The usual skipper is still playing though.

2.55pm In this afternoon's team news, England have brought in Samit Patel, Ravi Bopara and Jade Dernbach.

Craig Kieswetter, Danny Briggs and Tim Bresnan will sit this one out.

ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND WILL BOWL FIRST

2.51pm Another match to wrap up from today is the Women's Twenty20 group match between England and Australia in Galle.

And it's good news for England, who set up a semi-final date with New Zealand after a seven-wicket victory.

Sarah Taylor struck 65 not out from 53 balls, sharing an unbroken 63-run stand with Danielle Wyatt (33no from 17) as England posted 146 for three in response to Australia's 144 for five.

2.47pm The England match was due to start at 3pm UK time but we'll now see a delay of 15-20 minutes as the games are being played back-to-back at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium and we have the presentations to do first.

2.44pm Now that's entertainment. Things are black and white now – England need to win to advance, otherwise the West Indies will join Sri Lanka in the semi-finals.

WEST INDIES BEAT NEW ZEALAND IN THE SUPER OVER

The Windies stay alive in the competition and their fate now rests on the outcome of England against Sri Lanka. New Zealand are eliminated.

2.39pm Half-way through the Super Over and the Windies have 11 runs. They need seven to win from three deliveries.

2.36pm Thwack! Perfect start for the West Indies – Southee bowls a no ball, Gayle smacks him for six.

2.34pm From an English perspective, this Super Over is beneficial because the net run-rates of New Zealand and the West Indies will not change. It gives England a little more margin for error.

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In the meantime, you can read Paul Newman's preview of England's final Super Eight fixture.

2.32pm The late finish to this first match will mean a slight delay to the start of England's game – but you can't fault this entertainment!

Talking of which, Chris Gayle has just strode to the crease to reply for the West Indies…

2.30pm Good afternoon and welcome to our live over-by-over coverage of England's decisive World Twenty20 Super Eight match with Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

You join us at a crucial point in the day's other match between the West Indies and New Zealand, which has gone to a Super Over.

New Zealand have just posted 17, so the Windies require 18 to win from their six balls.

Jos Buttler called up as cover for injured Jonathan Trott

Trott not badly injured but Buttler called up as cover with batsman a doubt for decider

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UPDATED:

20:39 GMT, 3 September 2012

Jonathan Trott has escaped serious damage after being struck on the right hand by the world’s fastest bowler Dale Steyn at Lord’s.

A major fracture was ruled out after Trott, who batted on in discomfort to play a major part in England’s victory in Sunday’s fourth one-day international, had an x-ray in London.

There will be a further examination on Tuesday and it remains doubtful that he will play in Wednesday's NatWest series decider at Trent Bridge.

Crunch: Jonathan Trott is hit by the ball

Crunch: Jonathan Trott is hit by the ball

England called up Jos Buttler as cover, and he has played just one previous one-day international, against Pakistan in Dubai earlier this year.

However, he has featured in eight Twenty20s for his country and is in England's 15-man squad for the defence of their ICC world crown in the shortest format in Sri Lanka this month.

Trott's absence opens the door for Jonny Bairstow, such a success in the final Test against South Africa, to make his overdue return to the one-day side, with Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan almost certainly moving up the order to accommodate the exciting young Yorkshireman at five.

Morgan and Bopara became the first England players to offer an olive branch to Kevin Pietersen publicly when they said they would welcome him back to the side. The errant star was left out of the final Test for disciplinary reasons after he had sent ‘provocative’ texts to South African players.

Call up: Jos Buttler (right) has been told to report as cover

Call up: Jos Buttler (right) has been told to report as cover

Pietersen took the first steps towards a possible England return when he met Andy Flower on Saturday but it remains far from certain that any agreement will be reached before England’s Test tour to India, which starts next month.

There remains strong opposition to Pietersen’s return from within the England dressing room so it is perhaps significant that the first signs of support should come from players who could benefit more than most from Pietersen’s continued exile. Neither Morgan or Bopara are currently in the Test team.

‘I think everybody would like to see him back,’ Morgan told Sky Sports News. ‘I think the general public love seeing him bat, and the cricketing world do too.’

Bopara, who had problems of his own this season when he was forced to pull out of the second Test because of domestic issues, has long been closer to Pietersen, often a singular figure, than most of the other England players.

Chance: Jonny Bairstow can make his return

Chance: Jonny Bairstow can make his return

‘It’d be nice to see him back in England colours,’ said Bopara. ‘he’s a great player, we know he’s a class act. I hope for him that things turn out well.’

It could be argued that the pair are merely being diplomatic but it would have been easy for them to avoid offering an opinion, giving Pietersen hope that he is not a totally isolated figure within the England dressing room.

He still has considerable work to do before he can regain the trust that England value so highly and his next step is likely to be a meeting with new captain Alastair Cook.

Andrew Strauss’s successor has the dilemma of knowing that the inclusion of Pietersen would considerably enhance England’s chances of winning their four-Test series in India but has to balance that with the possible detrimental effect his return could have on the dressing room.

Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan lead calls for return of Kevin Pietersen

We'd all like to see him back: Bopara and Morgan lead calls for Pietersen return

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UPDATED:

14:15 GMT, 3 September 2012

Kevin Pietersen's former, and perhaps future, England team-mates Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara are both hoping he can resume his international career.

Pietersen remains on the outside looking in at the England camp, following a breakdown in relations with coach Andy Flower and former Test captain Andrew Strauss.

Flower reportedly spoke to Pietersen face to face in a meeting on Saturday in an attempt to find some common ground as a first step towards his possible rehabilitation as an England player.

Bring him back: Ravi Bopara (pictured) would like to see Kevin Pietersen return to the England setup

Bring him back: Ravi Bopara (pictured) would like to see Kevin Pietersen return to the England setup

Me too! Eoin Morgan (left) has echoed Bopara's views on Pietersen

Me too! Eoin Morgan (left) has echoed Bopara's views on Pietersen

The England and Wales Cricket Board have, however, refused to confirm that meeting did take place – or specify any timetable for Pietersen's return.

The 32-year-old batsman has fallen out with his employers after his protracted contract wrangles this summer were followed by revelations he texted opposition players, reportedly making 'derogatory' references to Strauss, during the Test series against his native country.

Pietersen was therefore dropped for the final Test at Lord's, is playing no part in the ongoing NatWest Series against South Africa and will be absent too from England's defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown in Sri Lanka this month.

It has been suggested in many quarters that there may be player resistance to Pietersen's return.

Axed: Kevin Pietersen was alleged to have sent some 'derogatory' text messages about former England captain Andrew Strauss

Axed: Kevin Pietersen was alleged to have sent some 'derogatory' text messages about former England captain Andrew Strauss

Man to impress Andy Flower (right) met with Pietersen on Saturday for clear-the-air talks

Man to impress Andy Flower (right) met with Pietersen on Saturday for clear-the-air talks

But his fellow batsmen Morgan and Bopara both made it clear on Monday they would like to see him in the England side again.

'I think everybody would like to see him back,” Morgan told Sky Sports News.

'I think the general public love watching him play, and the cricketing world do as well.'

Bopara added: 'It'd be nice to see him back in England colours.

'He's a great player; we know he's a class player. I hope for him things turn out well.'

Morgan also paid tribute to Strauss, who surprisingly called time on his England captaincy – and professional cricket career in its entirety – last week.

The Irishman owes much to Strauss, as his county and international captain.

'He's a fantastic ambassador for the game, a guy you always looked up to and admired for a very, very long time – both at Middlesex and England,' said Morgan.

'I've had the pleasure of playing under him, and I'd like to say thank you to him for (helping me) learn a hell of a lot.'

Game over Alastair Cook (right) took over from Strauss as the new England Test captain

Game over Alastair Cook (right) took over from Strauss as the new England Test captain

England beat South Africa by four wickets in third ODI at the Oval

England v South Africa: Dernbach and Morgan put smile back on Flower's face

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UPDATED:

20:12 GMT, 31 August 2012

England celebrated their first victory over South Africa this summer
after half-centuries from Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Trott saw them to a
four-wicket win in the third match of the NatWest Series.

Having lost the Test series 2-0 and fallen 1-0 behind after two matches
of the one-day leg, England turned the tide at the Kia Oval courtesy of
Morgan's fluent 73 and a stoic 71 from Trott.

High times: England's Jade Dernbach, right, celebrates with Craig Kieswetter after claiming the wicket of South Africa's Dean Elgar

High times: England's Jade Dernbach, right, celebrates with Craig Kieswetter after claiming the wicket of South Africa's Dean Elgar

The bowlers earlier played their part by dismissing the tourists for 211, Ravi Bopara miserly with one wicket for 31 runs in 10 overs and James Anderson polishing off the tail to close with four for 44.

England briefly looked in bother on 64 for three but Trott played the anchor role in a dogged 125-ball innings, while Morgan added the flair with seven fours and two sixes.

Ian Bell wasted no time getting England's chase going but, after crashing three boundaries in Lonwabo Tsotsobe's first over, he was pinned leg before wicket by Dale Steyn.

Big hit: Eoin Morgan scored a quickfire 73

Big hit: Eoin Morgan scored a quickfire 73

Steady: Jonathan Trott shared a century stand with Morgan

Steady: Jonathan Trott shared a century stand with Morgan

His opening partner Alastair Cook took 18 balls to get off the mark but did so by turning Tsotsobe off his hips for four.
Eleven more came off Steyn's fourth over as Trott arrived at the crease and the hosts reached 45 for one after 10 overs.

Tight lines from Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell saw just 12 runs added in the next five overs.

Cook was particularly sedate and went for a laboured 20 with a tame shot to Robin Peterson.

Bopara then fell for a disputed duck, given caught behind off Morkel.

He immediately reviewed the verdict but the technology was inconclusive and he was forced to depart, albeit reluctantly.

At 69 for three from 20 overs, England had plenty of work to do.

Ouch: Morne Morkel falls on the ball after failing to take a catch...

Ouch: Morne Morkel falls on the ball after failing to take a catch…

... and Graeme Smith, right, sees the funny side

… and Graeme Smith, right, sees the funny side

Morgan's arrival added much-needed impetus – not to mention boundaries – as he raced past 30 at better than a run-a-ball.

A wide from Dean Elgar took England's target below 100 and Morgan
thrashed the spinner for the first six of the day in the 32nd over.

All the while, Trott was compiling slowly but surely and reached 50 from 86 deliveries.

Morgan's own half-century came off a breezier 54 balls and he overtook his partner with a flowing four over extra-cover.

A second six followed to the same area off Tsotsobe and his seventh four, off Morkel, brought up the century stand.
Morgan's game-changing knock ended with a looping caught-and-bowled to Peterson and 40 still needed.

Craig Kieswetter cleared the ropes once before being run out for 14,
leaving Trott to shepherd England within five runs of victory.

The impressive Parnell accounted for the number three, via the outside
edge, but Samit Patel was on hand to hit the winning boundary.

Controversy: England's Ravi Bopara, left, questions dismissal with umpire Kumar Dharmasena

Controversy: England's Ravi Bopara, left, questions dismissal with umpire Kumar Dharmasena

Questionable: Morgan departs despite Peterson dropping the ball as he went to celebrate catch

Questionable: Morgan departs despite Peterson dropping the ball as he went to celebrate catch

South Africa, having won the toss and batted, got off to a promising
start but after reaching 119 for two at the halfway stage they lost
wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out with 3.2 overs remaining.

Hashim Amla, having made a 311 not out on this ground in the Test
series, was quickly into his stride and plundered 11 off James
Anderson's third over.

His partner, Graeme Smith, had 18 of the first 50 runs before he was bowled by Anderson to an ugly stroke.

Cook turned to Bopara and his nagging medium pace soon after and he successfully strangled the scoring.

It was Jade Dernbach who made the key breakthrough, though, swinging a
full delivery past Amla's bat and removing leg stump for 43.

The bowling powerplay boosted England, costing just 21 runs and yielding that prize scalp.

Elgar and AB de Villiers were in danger of getting stuck until they took
13 off a single James Tredwell over, although the off-spinner exacted
his revenge at his next visit.

De Villiers was the man out, chipping to Bell at long-off for 28.

Bopara got a deserved wicket when he bowled Faf du Plessis for one and
Elgar went for a less-than-fluent 42 when he missed a trademark Dernbach
slower ball.

Number seven Parnell had a frenetic eight-ball stay, hitting one
authentic four through midwicket and two edged boundaries before
Dernbach had him caught behind.

That left JP Duminy to repair the innings and he made a diligent 33
before holing out off the bowling of Tredwell looking to up the rate.

Anderson made light work of the lower order, removing Steyn, Morkel and Tsotsobe in the space of eight deliveries.

Eoin Morgan: I"d give up IPL for England Test return

I’d give up IPL for Test return, insists Morgan as England prepare for ODI series

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UPDATED:

22:48 GMT, 27 August 2012

The riches of the Indian Premier League were said by Andy Flower last week to be the 'catalyst' for the breakdown in Kevin Pietersen's relationship with England.

Eoin Morgan promises it won't distract him. Morgan is one of the few England players other than Pietersen who has proved attractive to IPL owners, even though he failed to play during his two-month stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this year.

That did not stop him earning around 220,000 for his eight weeks sitting on the Kolkata bench and spurning the chance to try to regain his lost Test place by working on his first-class game with Middlesex.

On the up: Morgan is keen for a return to the Test side

On the up: Morgan is keen for a return to the Test side

2nd one-day international

ENGLAND (probable): Cook (capt), Bell,Trott, Bopara, Morgan, Kieswetter (wkt), Woakes, Bresnan, Swann, Finn, Anderson.

SOUTH AFRICA (probable): Smith, Amla, Elgar, De Villiers (capt and wkt), Duminy, Du Plessis, McLaren, Parnell, Peterson, M Morkel, Tsotsobe.

Umpires: Rob Bailey (England) and Simon Taufel (Australia).

TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka).

Match referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe).

Venue: Ageas Bowl, Southampton, 1pm.

Yet, Morgan, the most important batting talent in an England one-day side who finally start their NatWest Series against South Africa on Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl, insists he will resist the lure of the East next year if there is any chance of returning to the Test middle order.

'I came across from Ireland as a 15-year-old to try to play Test cricket and it remains my priority,' said Morgan, who was dropped after scoring just 82 runs in six innings against Pakistan at the start of this year.

'I've had a little sniff of it and absolutely loved it. I was in the England team when we became No 1 in the world and nothing comes close to the experience of being in a winning Test side.

Outcast: Pietersen's chances of ending his exile remain remote

Outcast: Pietersen's chances of ending his exile remain remote

'If it came about that I was back in the Test team around the next IPL, I would be the happiest man in the world. And if I'm in the frame but not quite in the team, then I might have to look differently at whether I play the full IPL. I looked into that this year but I was a long way away after being dropped so I didn't investigate playing more county cricket too closely.'

If Pietersen is unable to bring his exile to an end before the Test trip to India in November – and chances of that remain remote – then Morgan will be hoping to claim the final batting place in the squad by spearheading England's attempt over four matches to at least remain on top of the one-day rankings.

Asset: Morgan is the most important batting talent in an England one-day side

Asset: Morgan is the most important batting talent in an England one-day side

Morgan has averaged only 30 in his 16 Tests – 10 fewer than his one-day mean – and struggled in the long game even before his ordeal at the hands of Pakistan.

But England still rate him very highly and have not discarded him from their Test thoughts, even though he has now fallen behind Jonny Bairstow, James Taylor and possibly Ravi Bopara in the pecking order.

'The route to the Test team came through one-day performances for me and the bigger picture for me remains Test cricket,' said Morgan, who has made two of his four one-day centuries at the Hampshire venue.

'I'm a better player now than I was at the start of the year. I think I've proved that in bursts. Hopefully, I can prove that again during this series.'

Pietersen played for Surrey at Taunton yesterday while England captain Andrew Strauss has extended his week’s holiday, so there has been little chance for the pair to thrash out the former’s problems.

Yet, Sportsmail understands England hope to be nearer to knowing whether they will be able to welcome Pietersen back by the end of this week.

They must move quickly because time is running out before they name their Test squad for India and their centrally contracted players before leaving for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka on September 13.

England have not yet begun the process of renewing their contracts, which usually begin with informal one-on-one talks between Flower and each player.

Until Pietersen has had the chance of a full and frank exchange with his captain, he remains unlikely to get as far as contract discussions.

Kevin Pietersen not in England one-day squads

Pietersen exile continues as fallen star is left out of one-day and World T20 squads

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UPDATED:

08:54 GMT, 21 August 2012

Kevin Pietersen has, as expected, been left out of England's squads for the upcoming one-day international series against South Africa and next month's World Twenty20 competition in Sri Lanka.

Pietersen performed a U-turn earlier this month in declaring himself available for all three formats of the game after he had retired from 50-over and 20-over cricket at the start of the summer.

But the ongoing friction between Pietersen, the ECB and his England team-mates following the 'textgate' saga has ultimately lost him his place in the side.

Axed: Pietersen is not included in either of England's squad

Axed: Pietersen is not included in either of England's squads

More to follow…

NatWest ODI Series squad:

Alastair Cook (Essex) (captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

NatWest T20 Squad:

Stuart Broad (Notts) (captain)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Jos Buttler (Somerset)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)
Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara suffer agony again

England duo Cook and Bopara suffer agony again as Somerset beat Essex

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 24 July 2012

England batsmen Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara endured more misery on Tuesday as their Essex side crashed out of the Friends Life t20 in a quarter-final at Somerset.

A day after England fell to an innings defeat by South Africa at The Oval, the pair tried to help their county reach next month's finals day at Edgbaston, but Bopara was dismissed for a second-ball duck and opener Cook for 28 as they were all out 28 runs short of their target chasing Somerset's 175 for six despite Ryan ten Doeschate's late 47-run salvo.

James Hildreth top-scored with 58 off 36 balls for the hosts

Agony: Cook managed 28 as Essex fell short of their target

Agony: Cook managed 28 as Essex fell short of their target

England thrashed by South Africa in first Test at the Oval

No 1 The crown is slipping and devastating defeat gives Strauss serious problems

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 23 July 2012

It does not get much worse than this. Never have England lost a Test while taking only two wickets and rarely, at least under Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss, have they looked so utterly outplayed and devoid of ideas and imagination.

Best team in the world Not on this evidence. That hard-earned status is hanging by a thread.

England must beat South Africa at Headingley or Lord’s and avoid defeat in the other Test to remain No 1 and, while that is not beyond them, it will take a mighty improvement on this sorry showing. Whisper it, but England could even slip below Australia if they lose this series 3-0.

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

England lose to South Africa

They will shudder at that. Shudder at how they could crash to the most emphatic and demoralising defeat under the reign of the two men who have done so much to transform England into the well-drilled outfit of the last three years. It is a desperately difficult defeat to explain.

Put simply, England were marmalised. They had their chance when they won an important toss and battled to a position of some authority on day one against a South Africa team who looked under-cooked and almost lethargic amid claims the best bowler in the world, Dale Steyn, was carrying an injury. How misplaced those suggestions seem now, after the tourists won their first Test at The Oval — at the 14th attempt — in style.

Not only did South Africa and Steyn come roaring back to the point where, after treating England with all the disdain they would reserve for Bangladesh, they steamrollered their way to victory by an innings and 12 runs. They also inflicted enough psychological blows to carry a significant advantage into the rest of the series. The need for England to make the most of the week they have before the build-up for the second Investec Test begins is paramount.

This was their fifth defeat in nine Tests since thrashing India to go top of the world last year and life will not get easier when they make the return journey to the subcontinent this winter.

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

If they lose this series heavily — and they have now lost their last two Tests against South Africa by an innings — they could easily slip down the ICC ladder as quickly as they climbed to the top of it.

England will let the dust settle before they decide what needs to be done to overturn a defeat in which they could take just those two wickets in 189 overs and capitulated twice with the bat in the home conditions that normally bring out the best in them. There will be no knee-jerk reaction and English cricket is all the better for that.

But if, as they could well do, they throw the same 11 players into battle at Leeds they must have many more plans to dismiss the outstanding South Africa batsmen and insist on much more application from their own. Too many threw their wickets away with the carelessness that Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis simply do not possess.

The damage had been done ahead of the final day but England were still their own worst enemies on Monday. They handed victory to South Africa on a plate when they should have been capable of making the visitors sweat before completing their demolition job.

England’s hopes, with four top batsmen gone, rested with the overnight pair of Ravi Bopara and Ian Bell and next man in Matt Prior, but all three departed to shots they will want to forget, as Kevin Pietersen and Strauss had done on Sunday.

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

South Africa’s attack is good enough as it is without England offering gifts. Bopara, looking to be positive, threw his bat too hard at a wide one from Steyn and crashed the ball into his stumps for his second soft dismissal of the match barely half an hour into the final day. He will survive for Headingley, and rightly, because the days of chopping and changing after one game of a series are gone, but the evidence to suggest Bopara will never be temperamentally suited to the ultimate form of the game is sadly growing.

England were then offered hope. Bell and Prior batted sensibly in adding 86 for the sixth wicket and it was possible to discern a hint of concern among the South Africans. If the pair had got through to tea, England might have dared to dream of another great escape to add to those in Cardiff, Centurion and Cape Town in recent times. As it turned out the whole team could not make it to tea.

England’s last realistic hope departed with Prior. He had looked comfortable before, two overs ahead of the second new ball, aiming the first sweep of the day at an Imran Tahir ball from round the wicket that spat out of the rough. Prior could barely believe it as he top-edged to slip and had to drag himself off with the game all but up.

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

When Bell offered one of the safest slippers in the world Kallis further catching practice by holding his bat out to Steyn, Graeme Smith might as well have headed to the airport to fly home for the birth of his first child.

As it was the captain hung around to apply the final rites, with Steyn roaring ‘five’ when he dismissed Graeme Swann for his 18th five-wicket haul in Test cricket. If Steyn is unfit then woe betide England when he has recovered.

It will take a lot for England to recover from this. Initially they must decide whether the pain that Swann still feels in his elbow was in any way responsible for his 52 wicketless overs here and whether Stuart Broad was simply off-colour or suffering an injury of his own.

Then they can decide whether Steven Finn and, possibly, Graham Onions come into the equation but they will not lose faith with the men who took them to the top. They will just demand significant improvement. It is imperative for England that it comes quickly.

England beaten by South Africa in first Test at the Oval

Steyn rips apart limp England rearguard as South Africa wrap up first Test victory

|

UPDATED:

15:22 GMT, 23 July 2012

Ian Bell's admirable resistance foundered against Dale Steyn as England descended to an innings defeat in the first Investec Test.

Bell (55) strove with great resolution and skill to try to make up for England's earlier deficiencies against South Africa at the Kia Oval.

But Steyn (five for 56) administered the telling blows with the second new ball shortly before tea on the final day as the tourists surged to a richly-deserved victory by an innings and 12 runs to go 1-0 up with two to play.

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

England v South Africa

Click here for a full scorecard

Much damage was done to home
aspirations at the start of this table-topping series by their
first-innings batting, specifically the failure to consolidate after
Alastair Cook's hundred, and then an inability to contain South Africa's
reply on a flat pitch.

On the back of Hashim Amla's historic
triple-century, and hundreds too from captain Graeme Smith and Jacques
Kallis, the tourists piled up an astonishing 637 for two declared.

World number ones England found
themselves a vulnerable 102 for four, still 150 behind, as they resumed
on a glorious but vexed morning.

In those circumstances, an unlikely
escape would have been an uncanny outcome to a match dominated so
completely by the tourists for three successive days.

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

Bell tried to show some British backbone nonetheless.

He dug in, and England retained hope
of pulling off another famous rearguard – against opponents they twice
denied victory in the drawn 2009/10 series when number 11 Graham Onions
blocked out the final overs to secure 'stalemates'.

This time, England were pinning initial hopes on remaining frontline batsmen Bell and Ravi Bopara.

But the fifth-wicket pair, who first
joined forces last night, had just completed a 50 stand when Bopara got
out in frustrating circumstances for the second time in the match to
Steyn.

The number six had contrived to edge a
looping bouncer behind as he failed to bail out of a pull shot in the
first innings; today, he went after another short ball but edged down on
to his stumps as he aimed past point.

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

Bell would have followed him back on 20, had AB de Villiers held a thin edge behind off a leg-break in Imran Tahir's first over.

He appeared to be in for the long
haul, though, dealing stoically with South Africa's powerful and
multi-dimensional attack on a surface showing fifth-day wear and tear
but by no means unplayable.

While Bell and Matt Prior's sixth-wicket stand of 86 was intact, there was a feasibility about England's survival.

It lasted well into the afternoon, and
took the hosts to within 50 runs of making South Africa bat again – as
well as containing the moment when Bell completed his four-hour 50 off
189 balls.

Yet just as English supporters were
daring to dream, Prior picked the wrong option – stretching for a sweep
at Tahir (three for 63) and toe-ending an edge to slip, via wicketkeeper
De Villiers.

More than ever, therefore, depended on Bell.

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

He was reviving memories of his near
five hours of resistance in Cape Town when England last defied South
Africa two and a half years ago.

But he could not get past the second
new ball and Steyn, undone by movement away off the pitch, and the extra
pace, with a delivery which appeared to slide off the face of the bat
to second slip, where Kallis took his second important catch in the
space of half-an-hour.

Steyn doubled up with the wicket of
Stuart Broad, caught-behind down the leg-side after a DRS procedure
overturned Asad Rauf's initial not-out verdict.

From 210 for eight, with no specialist
batsmen left, it therefore appeared only the margin of England's defeat
remained to be determined.

So it proved too, appropriate
ultimately that the world's premier fast bowler should take three
wickets for four runs to help close out South Africa's success and
England lost their last five for only 37 on the way to 240 all out – a
fair representation of the gulf between these two teams here.

LIVE: England v South Africa: Day five, first Test, the Oval

LIVE: England v South Africa – the action on day five of the first Test at the Oval

|

UPDATED:

10:32 GMT, 23 July 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day five of the first Test between England and South Africa with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at the Oval while our brilliant team of writers will update
with their insights from the ground. Email your thoughts to [email protected]

England v South Africa: Essentials

England: Andrew Strauss (c), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB De Villiers (wkt), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

Umpires: Asad Rauf and Steve Davis. TV: Kumar Dharmasena

England won the toss and elected to bat

First innings: England 385, South Africa 637-2 declared.

Click here for a full scorecard

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WICKET! Bopara b Steyn 22

Unlucky… Bopara drags on to a wide one from Steyn and South Africa have their first wicket of the day.

45th over: England 117-4 (Bell 15, Bopara 22)

Steyn continues…

44th over: England 117-4 (Bell 15, Bopara 22)

Bell tucks his first run of the day down to fine leg. The ball didn't miss Bopara's off stump by eight millimetres in the last over, it was in fact 0.8 millimetres! Bopara fends a single to square leg as Morkel goes too straight again. That brings up the 50 partnership.

43rd over: England 115-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 21)

Steyn continues… Close! Bopara leaves one that nips back and misses the off stump by eight millimetres, according to HawkEye. Maiden.

42nd over: England 115-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 21)

Bopara was out to the short ball in the first innings and South Africa seem to be targeting with him it. He comfortably pulls a single to square leg again though, this time off Morkel. No-ball. Two from the over.

41st over: England 113-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 20)

Steyn into his second over of the day. Shot! Steyn goes short and too straight and Bopara finds the gap at square leg with the pull. He then tucks a single to the same area. Five from the over.

40th over: England 108-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 15)

Morne Morkel will bowl the second over of the day. Signs of swing for the big man as a leg bye is added down to fine leg. Four! Morkel strays down the leg side and De Villiers can't stop it going all the way. Wide: not a good start this from Morkel. Six from the over.

39th over: England 102-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 15)

Dale Steyn will bowl the first over of the day, Bell is on strike… Hardly any bounce out of this pitch for Steyn. Bell is solid in defence. Maiden.

10.58am: The players are on their way out on another glorious day. England fans will be praying for a repeat of Cape Town 2010, or Centurion 2009, or Old Trafford 1998, or Johannesburg 1995…

10.48am: Here's Sportsmail's reaction to the events yesterday if you fancy a pre-match read to get you in the mood for today…

Paul Newman's report on a day where a 'toothless' England were dominated by Hashim Amla is here.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain lauds South Africa's nullifying of Graeme Swann here.

Lawrence Booth spoke to Amla after his record-breaking innings here.

David Lloyd's reacts to Amla's innings, amongst other things, in Bumble at the Test here.

And Lawrence Booth's Match Zone is here.

Historic day: Fans celebrate Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France triumph on day four at the Oval

Historic day: Fans celebrate Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France triumph on day four at the Oval

10.43am: Interesting quotes have emerged from Andy Caddick this morning, with the former England quick calling for Kevin Pietersen to be dropped.

'I personally think it's time we moved on from the Pietersens and looked for a fresher player,' he told talkSPORT.

'I think Kevin Pietersen is a wonderful cricketer but I just don’t think his mindset is right for English cricket, especially with all else that is going on in world cricket which he is involved in.

'It's one of those things, it has to be said, and I think it's going to happen.'

If you have any thoughts on that, or on anything cricket-related throughout the day, feel free to drop me an email by clicking on the link above.

Star man: Amla takes the plaudits at the end of day four

Star man: Amla takes the plaudits at the end of day four

10.38am: The men at the crease for England are Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara. They have already put on 35 for the fifth wicket, but they'll need to put on a whole lot more if England are to save this one. England do bat deep, but they'll want these two and Matt Prior at No 7 to bat for the bulk of the day.

10.35am: South Africa effectively need six wickets to win this match. England are 150 runs behind the tourists at 102-4 and have no chance of winning this match. For them the task is simple, yet much easier said than done: bat out the day.

10.30am: This is it then. A day of reckoning for England. Can they hold out for what would be an unlikely draw. If they can do so, it would match, if not better, those earned in South Africa and against Australia in Cardiff back in 2009.

Bowled him: Pietersen's middle stump is uprooted

Bowled him: Pietersen's middle stump is uprooted