The NewsFuror

Thursday, October 11, 2007

ABN Amro head plans to step down

The head of Dutch bank ABN Amro is to step down after a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland successfully bid to takeover the company.

Rijkman Groenink will step down as chairman of the board once an extraordinary shareholder meeting takes place at a date yet to be set.

ABN Amro is expected to be broken up following the deal.

The 71bn-euro ($98.5bn; £49bn) acquisition marks the largest banking takeover in Europe.

The battle to buy the firm took many months, following a legal row over the future of ABN's US subsidiary.

Initially ABN had backed an offer by Barclays, but it later withdrew its support to leave Barclays and the RBS-led group on an even playing field.

Barclays withdrew its offer last week, leaving the way clear for the RBS group.

Chrysler strike lasts six hours

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has agreed a tentative four-year contract with Chrysler, six hours after thousands of workers went on strike.

Details of the agreement have not yet been given but the UAW said the strike would end immediately.

UAW members at 19 of the 24 US Chrysler factories walked out on Wednesday after the deadline for an agreement passed.

Among the issues involved was funding for a union-run trust that would handle healthcare bills for retired staff.

'Rewarding success'

The UAW said the outline agreement - yet to be ratified by its members - protected their wages, pensions and health care benefits.

UAW workers made it clear to Chrysler that we needed an agreement that rewards the contributions they have made to the success of this company
Ron Gettelfinger, UAW president

Unions had been concerned that Cerberus, Chrysler's new private equity owner, wanted to roll back existing pay deals and other benefits for 49,000 workers.

"This agreement was made possible because UAW workers made it clear to Chrysler that we needed an agreement that rewards the contributions they have made to the success of this company," said UAW president Ron Gettelfinger.

Chrysler vice chairman Tom LaSorda said the accord "balanced the needs of our employees and company by providing a framework to improve our long-term manufacturing competitiveness".

It was the first time since 1985 that Chrysler workers had called a strike during contract negotiations.

The dispute follows a similar strike at GM in September, which was resolved when staff secured guarantees over working conditions.

The UAW has still to reach a settlement with Ford.


Loss-making Chrysler was formerly part of DaimlerChrysler - now renamed Daimler.

The German group sold a majority 80.1% stake in Chrysler to Cerberus for 7.4bn euros ($10.1bn; £5bn).

The separation comes almost a decade after the two firms merged in a $36bn deal.

Chrysler - like other US firms - has faced increasing competition from more efficient Japanese car firms.

In a bid to mitigate against losses, the group announced huge reorganisation plans in February that involved cutting 13,000 jobs.

Dreamliner hit by six-month delay

Deliveries of US planemaker Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner aircraft will fall six months behind schedule, the company has announced.

The delay - to late November or December 2008 - was caused by manufacturing problems, Boeing said.

Half the materials used to build the Dreamliner are carbon fibre composites, making the process more complex.

The A380 superjumbo, the flagship of Boeing's arch-rival Airbus, has itself been hit by repeated delays.

The news had an impact on Boeing's share price, which fell 2.7% on Wall Street.

We are disappointed over the schedule changes that we are announcing
Jim McNerney, Boeing chief executive

This was despite Boeing saying that the setback would not have a substantially negative impact on its balance sheet.

The firm added it "deeply regretted" the delay - a result of problems with spare parts, software and systems integration - and would work with its customers to minimize disruption to them.

"We are disappointed over the schedule changes that we are announcing," said Jim McNerney, the firm's president and chief executive.

"Notwithstanding the challenges that we are experiencing in bringing forward this game-changing product, we remain confident in the design of the 787 and in the fundamental innovation and technologies that underpin it."

The Dreamliner's maiden flight is now expected to be some time next Spring.

Carbon-fibre composites: 50%
Aluminium: 20%
Titanium: 15%
Steel: 10%
Other: 5%
Source: Boeing

Boeing's customers reacted cautiously to the news with Japan's All Nippon Airways, which will take delivery of the first plane, saying it would not have a "huge impact" on its business.

Qantas said it had been assured that the first of 15 aircraft due for delivery from August 2008 would arrive within six months of the original date.

The Dreamliner, Boeing's first all-new jet since 1995, was unveiled in July this year.

It is the only big commercial aircraft made mostly of carbon fibre rather than aluminium and is billed as the most environmentally-friendly commercial jet ever built.

Boeing says the 787 is much more fuel efficient than its competitors and produces 20% less carbon dioxide.

Ironically, Airbus is due to deliver its first completed A380 to Singapore Airlines in the next few days, having incurred billions of dollars through a series of delays.

Technical setback for Cruise film

A major scene from Tom Cruise's World War II thriller Valkyrie will have to be re-shot after footage was damaged at a film processing plant in Germany.

The footage involved scenes shot at a memorial in Berlin the production had initially been prevented from using.

A spokesman said the damage was not extensive and would not have any effect on the film's schedule or budget.

It is the latest mishap to befall the film, which tells of a 1944 plot by Nazi officers to assassinate Hitler.

Eleven of its extras were injured last month after falling off a truck, while the film was initially prevented from shooting at a Berlin building known as the Bendler Block, now a memorial for Third Reich resistance fighters.

'No sabotage'

Production company United Artists (UA) has already been given permission to return there to reshoot the ruined scenes.

UA said it did not suspect sabotage was to blame for the chemical mishap at the Arri Munich processing plant.

Cruise plays Claus von Stauffenberg in the film, the German colonel who was executed after plotting to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a suitcase bomb.

Valkyrie, out next summer, is directed by Bryan Singer and co-stars British actors Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson.

Next Terminator film set for 2009

Production on the fourth instalment in the Terminator film series will begin next year ahead of a 2009 release.

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins will be the first in a proposed trilogy of films reinventing the cyborg saga.

Derek Anderson, of production company Halycon, has told industry newspaper Variety the film will be "set in the future" during "a full-scale war".

The Terminator brand is currently being revived on US television with the Sarah Connor Chronicles series.

Lena Headey stars in the title role, previously played by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator films directed by James Cameron.

'Fresh new world'

Former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, now governor of California, last played the series' robotic protagonist in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

According to Variety, however, it is unclear whether he will appear in the new film.

"We've left it open for him to maybe do a cameo," said producer Moritz Borman. "The final decision will be based on his desire and availability."

Warner Brothers have acquired North American distribution rights to the fourth Terminator film, which it plans to release in summer 2009.

"The intention is to present a fresh new world and have this be the first of a trilogy," said Borman.

Posthumous honour for Tony Wilson

Manchester Music mogul Anthony Wilson is to be honoured in a move usually reserved for freemen of the city.

Mr Wilson, who died in August aged 57, will have his name etched on the roll of honour at Manchester Town Hall.

Freedom of the city has been awarded to 75 people and six military regiments and it is the first time a posthumous honour has been issued.

Councillors unanimously agreed to the gesture in recognition of the Salford-born entrepreneur.

The motion was proposed by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Glyn Evans, in recognition of Mr Wilson's "outstanding contribution to the life, music and culture of the city over many years".

Under council rules, individuals have to be alive to be given freedom of the city so it was not possible to make Mr Wilson an honorary freeman, a spokeswoman said.

Tony Wilson promoted Manchester, its arts, and its culture across the world
Glyn Evans
Lord Mayor

"But had Tony lived, he would almost certainly have been given freeman status so councillors agreed they would make an exception and his name will be placed alongside those who have been given the status," she said.

The last person to be given freedom of the city was Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, in 1999.

As well as being passionate about music, Mr Wilson was a life-long United supporter and his name will be inscribed alongside Sir Alex's.

Mr Wilson, the former broadcaster, record label boss and owner of the Hacienda nightclub, died on 10 August. He had been suffering from kidney cancer.

Musical 'inspiration'

His vision and determination played a key role in helping to put Manchester on the map for its music and vibrant nightlife.

He launched the iconic Manchester bands Joy Division, New Order and the Happy Mondays.

Mr Evans said: "Tony Wilson promoted Manchester, its arts, and its culture across the world.

"He was a big supporter of numerous arts and charitable organisations across Greater Manchester and was, of course, the inspiration to a generation of young musicians who put Manchester centre stage in the world of music.

"Equally important was the contribution he made to the political life of the city, in particular through the involvement of the creative sector in the process of renewal."

Judge orders Britney fingerprints

Singer Britney Spears must have her fingerprints and photographs taken before her hit-and-run court case, a California judge has ordered.

The 25-year-old must submit to the procedures at a Los Angeles police station between now and her scheduled appearance on 25 October.

Ms Spears was charged last month for allegedly crashing into a parked car while driving without a valid licence.

She could face up to six months in jail for the 6 August incident.

A conviction will also carry a fine of $1,000 (£490).

Chart success

The pop star was not required to attend the hearing because the charges - which she was informed of by letter last month - are classed as misdemeanours, which carry relatively minor penalties under US law.

The owner of the other vehicle, which was parked in a car park, reported the damage on 9 August.

Ms Spears' career and personal life has recently been beset by a series of incidents.

Last week, a judge refused to restore custody rights to her two sons after ex-husband Kevin Federline was granted sole custody by the courts.

The singer was instead awarded visitation rights to the children.

According to court documents connected to the case, she has been ordered to undergo twice-weekly random drug and alcohol testing.

She was dropped by her management company last month after her comeback performance at the MTV Video Music Awards was largely panned by critics.

But she has enjoyed US chart success with her new single Gimme More, which to date has reached number three in the Billboard Hot 100.

24 star jailed for drink-driving

Actor Kiefer Sutherland will serve 48 days in jail after pleading no contest to charges of drink-driving.

Under a deal with prosecutors, the star will serve the sentence during breaks in filming for his hit TV drama, 24.

Sutherland, 40, was arrested in Los Angeles last month while on probation for a 2004 drink-driving offence.

In a statement, the actor apologised for his "poor judgement" and the "distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers".

Sutherland was not in court as his lawyer, Blair Berk, entered the plea agreement.

A second charge of driving under the influence was dropped. His arrangement means that filming on the seventh series of 24 will not be interrupted, drawing praise from his bosses at TV network Fox.

'Man of his word'

"Kiefer made clear to us at the time of his arrest that his first concern was the welfare of those he worked with and that he intended to do whatever was necessary to prevent shutting down the show," it said in a statement.

"He told us that even if he had to sacrifice more time in custody in order to protect the show and the jobs of those who work with him, he would do so.

"From what occurred today, it is evident he is a man of his word."

The jail sentence consists of 30 days for driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, and 18 days for violating his probation, according to court records.

Under the terms of his agreement, he must serve the time in full.

Sutherland also received a six-month driving ban, and was ordered to attend alcohol education classes for 18 months and weekly alcohol therapy sessions for six months.

The Canadian actor first came to fame as part of the 1980s "brat pack", starring in films such as The Lost Boys, Young Guns and Flatliners.

He took on the role of 24's counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer in 2001, and won an Emmy for the role last year.

Last week, financial magazine Forbes placed him tenth on its list of the highest-paid celebrities.

It stated that he earned $22m (£10.79m); the list was topped by Oprah Winfrey with $260m (£128m).

Radiohead album set free on web

In Rainbows, the seventh studio album by alternative rock group Radiohead, has become available for download from their official website.

The band have let fans decide what to pay for the 10 MP3 files - from nothing to £100.

But they have refused to reveal how many people have ordered the album, or what they paid.

Sunday's top 40 will not provide an answer, either. The band's website does not report sales to chart compilers.

However, the Oxford-based band have scored number one positions for their last three studio albums - Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail To The Thief.

I thought Radiohead were supposed to be the masters of invention and innovation

Bryce Edge, one of the band's managers, said he had evidence that fans would be willing to pay for the album.

He told BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat: "We're prepared to take a risk and we might come out looking very foolish. But we believe if your music is great, then people will pay for it."

Chris Hufford, another Radiohead manager, added: "There are actually people who are going on websites and saying:, 'I don't actually like Radiohead, but I'm going to give them some money because I think it's a brilliant idea.'"

No artwork

Radiohead are the latest act to circumvent the traditional routes of supplying music to their fans.

Earlier this year, Prince gave away copies of his latest album, Planet Earth, with the Mail on Sunday newspaper in the UK.

Genius gimmick to get them into the headlines with their new album.

Indie band the Charlatans are also giving away their next album as a free download to fans who visit the website of radio station XFM.

The download version of Radiohead's album contains no artwork or lyrics.

The files are provided without copy protection - meaning fans can copy them to any other computer or music-playing device.

A retail version is expected next year, while fans can also pre-order a £40 "discbox" from the band's website, which has extra tracks, a vinyl version of the album, and a lyric booklet as well as the download.

Harrison's solo albums go online

Nine solo albums by the late George Harrison have been made available to download for the first time.

The announcement means solo music by all four members of The Beatles can now be purchased digitally.

Harrison's widow Olivia said the move - which sees George follow John, Paul and Ringo online - was "exciting".

The deal may pave the way for the Beatles' catalogue to appear online - something Olivia Harrison has said she hoped would happen by 2008.

George, she said, "had begun the digital mastering of his albums but had no idea how the digital world would change the way we access and listen to music".

Sixteen solo John Lennon albums were made available to download on Apple's iTunes earlier this year, as were works by Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

The conclusion of a lengthy legal battle between the band's label Apple Corps and Apple Inc, which owns iTunes, paved the way for the developments.

The Harrison records available through retailers such as iTunes include All Things Must Pass, a triple album released in 1970 after the break-up of the Beatles.

Wars in Africa wipe out aid gains

A report on armed conflict in Africa has shown that the cost to the continent's development over a 15-year period was nearly $300bn.

The research was undertaken by a number of non-governmental organisations, including Oxfam.

It says the cost of conflict was equal to the amount of money received in aid during the same period.

This is the first time analysts have calculated the overall effects of armed violence on development.

Between 1990 and 2005, 23 African nations were involved in conflict, and on average this cost African economies $18bn a year.

The researchers say that although the number of armed conflicts is falling in Africa there is no room for complacency, with little hope of a swift settlement in either Sudan or Somalia.

And some costs of war, such as increased military spending and a struggling economy continue long after the fighting has stopped.

Writing in the introduction, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says: "This is money that Africa can ill afford to lose... Thousands of hospitals, schools and roads could have been built".

The report concludes that African governments have taken encouraging steps at a regional level to control arms transfers, but that what is needed is a global, legally-binding arms trade treaty.

Hamas ready for talks with rival

The Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, has said it has agreed to hold reconciliation talks with the rival Fatah group of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya suggested it might be willing to relinquish control of Gaza, which it seized from Fatah in June, in a statement on its website.

Mr Haniya said his group's control of the coastal territory was "temporary".

Mr Abbas has ruled out reconciliation with Hamas until it gives up the Gaza Strip and submits to his authority.

Later, a senior Fatah official, Ahmed Abdul Rahman, denied that talks had been planned and accused Hamas of trying to mislead the public.

"We have not heard about such a dialogue," he told the Reuters news agency.

After Hamas ejected Fatah from Gaza, Mr Abbas declared Mr Haniya's coalition government void and appointed a new prime minister.


"There is a serious movement in the realm of Palestinian dialogue and we have agreed to hold a dialogue with Fatah in one of the Arab capitals," Mr Haniya said in the statement.

"Our administration in Gaza is temporary," he added.

We have said all the time that we are ready to discuss all the issues on the negotiating table
Ahmed Yousef
Adviser to Ismail Haniya

Mr Haniya said the talks would be held after Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

One of Mr Haniya's advisers, Ahmed Yousef, told that Hamas had always been ready to renew dialogue with Fatah.

"We have said all the time that we are ready to discuss all the issues on the negotiating table, and we are willing that one of these countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia mediate or facilitate such a kind of meeting," he told the World Today programme.

Mr Yousef insisted that Hamas had not, and had never intended to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.

"Any future Palestinian state should include all occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza," he added. "This is going to be the future Palestinian state, so there is no intention for anybody to have a state in Gaza."

Turkey condemns US Armenia vote

Turkey has denounced a vote by a US congressional committee recognising as genocide the 1915-17 mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

President Abdullah Gul said the decision was unacceptable and had no validity for Turkey, which has always denied any genocide took place.

The White House said it was very disappointed by the non-binding vote.

It fears Turkey could now limit co-operation in the war on terror and provision of military bases near Iraq.

The genocide bill passed in the House Foreign Affairs Committee by 27 votes to 21 - the first step towards holding a vote in the House of Representatives.

Divisions within the committee crossed party lines with eight Democrats voting against the measure and eight Republicans voting for it.

President Bush had argued against a vote in favour of the bill, saying "its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in Nato and in the global war on terror".

Turkey is a regional operational hub for the US military, and some suggest access to Incirlik airbase, or other supply lines crucial to US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, could be cut in response.


President Gul was quick to attack the vote late on Wednesday evening, saying that some US politicians had "closed their ears to calls to be reasonable and once again sought to sacrifice big problems for small domestic political games".

"This unacceptable decision of the committee, like similar ones in the past, is not regarded by the Turkish people as valid or of any value," Mr Gul said, according to the Anatolian news agency.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford in Istanbul says it is very unusual to hear such high-level political reaction so late at night - a sign of how seriously it takes this.

Meanwhile in Washington the US Undersecretary of State, Nicholas Burns, told that the Bush administration was "deeply disappointed".

"The United States recognises the immense suffering of the Armenian people due to mass killings and forced deportations at the end of the Ottoman Empire," he said.

"We support a full and fair accounting of the atrocities that befell as many as 1.5m Armenians during World War I, which House Resolution 106 does not do."


Correspondents say the committee's vote means that only a change of heart by the opposition Democrats, who control Congress, can now stop a full vote on the bill.

Tom Lantos, the committee's chairman, had opened the debate by admitting the resolution posed a "sobering" choice.

"We have to weigh the desire to express our solidarity with the Armenian people... against the risk that it could cause young men and women in the uniform of the United States armed services to pay an even heavier price than they are currently paying," he said.

Mr Lantos, a survivor of the Jewish Holocaust, said he would introduce a resolution praising US-Turkish friendship next week, according to AFP news agency.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to take up their version of the resolution in the future.

Border concerns

The controversy comes at a delicate time for relations between Turkey and the United States, our correspondent says.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has confirmed that the Turkish parliament could discuss a motion as soon as Thursday that would authorise cross border military incursions into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish PKK separatists.

The move comes after an escalation in attacks by the PKK killed almost 30 soldiers and civilians in just over a week.

Mr Erdogan said such authorisation, which would be valid for one year, would ensure all options were available to Turkey in its fight against the PKK.

That includes sending troops into northern Iraq, where the prime minister said more than 3,000 PKK fighters are based. The government is under immense pressure though to act, but Washington has warned Ankara against any unilateral moves that would destabilise Iraq even further.

After the Armenian vote in Congress, our correspondent says, Turkey will be far less inclined to heed instructions from the US on anything.

Betsen takes place in France team

Serge Betsen
Betsen was in the stands for most of France's win over the All Blacks
Serge Betsen has been named in France's team for the World Cup semi-final against England despite suffering a head injury in the quarter-final.

The flanker lasted just five minutes against New Zealand before sustaining a heavy blow to the back of his head.

Coach Bernard Laporte has named the same starting XV and replacements who featured against the All Blacks for Saturday's game with England.

Prop Olivier Milloud, who hurt his neck against New Zealand, is fit to play.

One of the biggest issues was who should start at fly-half - Lionel Beauxis, who has started the last two games, Frederic Michalak, who turned the game against New Zealand after coming on as a replacement, or David Skrela.

But Laporte admitted it would have been hard to make any changes to the team that beat the tournament favourites in such thrilling fashion in the quarter-final.

"All the players gave us satisfaction against New Zealand and that made it very difficult for us to take somebody out," he said.

Laporte insisted Betsen was completely fit to play, despite having looked extremely groggy as he was helped from the pitch in Cardiff.

"He's passed all the medical tests. If we'd had the slightest doubt, we wouldn't have picked Serge," he said.

Saturday's game at the Stade de France will be the fourth time the teams have played one another this year.

England won the Six Nations encounter at Twickenham 26-18, but France won both pre-tournament warm-up encounters, 21-15 at Twickenham and 22-9 in France.


England 212-5 bt Sri Lanka 211-9 by five wickets

England produced a fantastic display with both bat and ball to ease to a five-wicket win in Colombo and seal a first one-day series win in Sri Lanka.

James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom were the heroes with the ball, taking three wickets apiece as Sri Lanka made 211-9.

Even a 126-run stand between Chamara Silva and Kumar Sangakkara (69) could not disguise a superb bowling effort.

And Kevin Pietersen (63no) and Alastair Cook (80) then dug deep with the bat to help England home with 19 balls left.

It put the tourists 3-1 up with one to play in the five-match series, sealing a second successive one-day international series win following their home defeat of India in September.

The result rarely looked in doubt after England shook off the disappointment of losing the toss to take crucial early wickets.

Anderson and Sidebottom have found good rhythm in the opening overs throughout the series, and the pair did not disappoint skipper Paul Collingwood again in Colombo.

Sidebottom (3-27) led the way and he had conceded just one run off the bat when he had Upul Tharanga caught at slip by Owais Shah in just his second over.

But, despite being flicked for four off his very first delivery, it was Anderson (3-33) that snared the key wickets of Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene.

Jayasuriya fell looping a slower ball straight to Kevin Pietersen at mid-off, before Jayawardene lashed an attempted cut high to third man, where Stuart Broad took a good catch on the run.

They were Anderson's first wickets of the series and when he and Sidebottom had completed 13 overs between them, Sri Lanka were limping along at 25-3.

The replacement bowlers fared almost as well in the early stages, Broad, Collingwood and Graeme Swann restricting Sri Lanka's scoring with persistent line, length and some turn.

Kumar Sangakkara
Sangakkara dug in to make his first real contribution of the series

But, despite being another slow wicket, pre-match suspicions that the pitch would yield runs to the better batsmen rang true as Sangakkara and Silva settled.

The pair dug in impressively, nudging and nurdling for ones and twos and only occasionally opening their shoulders for a boundary shot, as the hosts slowly edged towards 200.

The stand was not without scares, with Sangakkara lofting a leading edge safe off Swann.

And Ravi Bopara, in his first bowl of the series, was frustrated three times in his efforts to remove Silva - once when Phil Mustard shelled a thin edge standing up to the stumps and then when two confident lbw appeals were turned down by Rudi Koertzen.

However, just as the duo began to cut loose, Silva top-edged a wide bouncing delivery from Broad down to third man to leave the hosts 146-4 with 10 overs remaining.

The new Nottinghamshire man struck again 12 balls later when Sangakkara pulled straight to Bopara to end his 102-ball stand and Collingwood brought himself back on to remove Kaushal Lokuarachchi plumb lbw for nine.

Dilshan and Mubarak racked up a stand of 23 off three overs, before the former was bowled by Anderson, and Sidebottom wrapped up the tail to keep England's noses in front.

Chasing under lights has proved troublesome throughout this series, but a typical top-order burst from Phil Mustard suggested the pitch was better than the Sri Lankan batsmen had made it look.

The Durham keeper once again failed to capitalise on a good start, driving four boundaries before dollying a return catch to Lasith Malinga, but Cook and Ian Bell rotated the strike nicely to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Alastair Cook
Cook top-scored with 80 to see England to an historic series victory

Bell was left cursing his choice of shot in the 20th over when he lobbed Lokuarachchi to mid-on, but after that England cruised.

Pietersen, averaging just nine on this tour before his innings, looked determined to make a score and he and Cook refused to take chances on a slow pitch.

It made for turgid viewing at times, and a short rain delay slowed the outfield even more to ensure it barely got better in the latter stages.

However, there was no denying England's application and Cook and Pietersen did what had to be done in taking the tourists to within 50 runs of victory with 11 overs remaining.

Cook had already brought up his half century by that stage - off 76 balls - and Pietersen greeted the 40th over with a welcome display of aggression, smashing the first six of the match down the ground to bring up his own 50.

He eventually registered four more boundaries with typically wristy shots in a stand of 110 with Cook, and ended unbeaten on 63 for a welcome return to form.

Even after the Essex man played on off Dilhara Fernando and was followed immediately back in the hutch by Collingwood lbw first ball, the tourists looked untroubled.

There was still time for Owais Shah to be bowled by Malinga, but Pietersen and Ravi Bopara saw England to 212-5 to secure the historic victory and send the visiting dressing room into raptures.