First there was the win, then there was the other win and then there was the cold, dead-eyed, relentless slaughter. England have murdered a top order before, but they rarely follow it by sweeping up the tail and leaving everywhere really nice and tidy.
South Africa 85 all out and a ten wicket win. Just what has Kevin Pietersen done to effect such a comprehensive turnabout in English fortunes?
Well, clearly he’s sold his soul to the devil, to which we say, ‘excellent bartering, KP – who needs a soul anyway?’
In a good light, this one-day team looks tip-top: batting down to nine, plentiful bowlers and four seamers who top 90mph. Regarding the four fast bowlers, there should be some sort of stamp of legitimacy for these speed guns, like the lion mark for toys; something that means ‘not artificially bumped up by 3mph’. Maybe Steve Harmison did bowl a 94mph yorker in his first over. Maybe he didn’t.
Anyway, that’s England in a good light. In a bad light, you’ve got batting collapses, opening bowlers who get carted and Steve Harmison’s back-up radar that he saves for special occasions.
But there is no bad light any more, because of soulless Kevin. Now there WOULD be an achievement: no bad light.