DURBAN, South Africa, Sep 17 (Reuters) England batsman Kevin Pietersen believes the collision with Shaun Pollock that led to his dismissal in yesterday's Twenty20 World Cup defeat by South Africa was an accident.
Pietersen pulled a delivery from pace bowler Pollock to fine leg and was run out when he crashed into the bowler, who was covering the stumps to field Makhaya Ntini's throw in the Super Eights match.
''I've seen it on the replay several times and it looks like 'Polly' (Pollock) got in my way,'' Pietersen told a news conference in Durban today.
''People can say it looks deliberate but I know Shaun, and he's not that kind of cricketer.
''Not for one second did I think he obstructed me or that he did it deliberately.'' Pietersen might have avoided the accident had he not run down the middle of the pitch, and he conceded that he was partly to blame.
''It happened in a split second and if I had been facing the right way I probably would have run around him,'' Pietersen said.
South Africa won the match by 19 runs, a result Pietersen thought might have been different had he not been dismissed.
''It's not a great feeling because I was batting really well and I certainly wanted to hang around there for another 45 minutes to an hour to seal victory for England,'' he said. ''I definitely think last night I could have done that.'' Despite the circumstances of his dismissal, Pietersen felt the umpires had made the correct decision.
''I'm not for one second complaining,'' he said. ''It was a comfortable single. If 'Polly' hadn't got in my way I would have been comfortably in.
''I was clearly out, and I got the marching orders.'' England will be hard-pressed to qualify for the semi-finals if they lose their Super Eights match against New Zealand in Durban tomorrow.
REUTERS AM BD2147