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England vs Pakistan: England Show Fighting Spirit

By on June 8, 2009

icc world twenty20 Kevin Pietersen1

England 185 for 5 (Pietersen 58, Wright 34, Ajmal 2-23) beat Pakistan 137 for 7 (Younis 46*, Broad 3-17) by 48 runs…

Victory was a necessity, after losing their opening game to the Netherlands, and the hosts duly obliged with an outstanding performance with both bat and ball.

Kevin Pietersen, who passed a late fitness test on an Achilles injury, showed how crucial his presence was as he top-scored with 58 off 38 balls in England’s total of 185-5.

All of the bowlers then played their part as England boosted their run-rate sufficiently to ensure their place in the Super Eights.

Shehzad Ahmed (4) went early in the run-chase when he sliced high into the off-side and Paul Collingwood took a fine tumbling catch as he backed off from his position in the covers.

Kamran Akmal scratched around for 6 before he pulled Stuart Broad down the throat of Luke Wright at midwicket.

Salman Butt (28 off 23 balls) dominated the early scoring but he followed next ball when he top-edged an attempted pull to Ravi Bopara at gully.

Captain Younus Khan brought up the 50, with a sweep to the boundary in Graeme Swann’s first over, but it had taken until the eighth over to reach the landmark.

Pakistan went into the last 10 overs needing 123.

Younus gave those in the crowd of a Pakistani persuasion something to cheer about with two fours in the next over by Adil Rashid, but all the while the required rate was escalating.

Shoaib Malik (20) edged an attempted slash-drive to James Foster behind the stumps to leave Pakistan facing a heavy defeat.

Power hitter Shahid Afridi was their last hope but his recent poor form with the bat did not suggest a match-winner in the making on this occasion.

With 84 needed off the last 5 overs it was now or never for the batting side and Afridi’s dismissal – caught by sub fielder Eoin Morgan at long-on off Graeme Swann – at the start of the 16th over signalled the death knell for his team’s hopes.

Misbah-ul-Haq – having been dropped by Bopara one run earlier at gully – holed out to Morgan off Anderson on 10.

Yasir Arafat (4) was caught at wide long-off by Wright to end Broad’s final over and give the fast bowler figures of 3-0-17-3 – an excellent comeback after a harrowing last over against the Dutch on Friday.

Younus ended on 46 not out but he received little support as his side finished well beaten on 137-7.

England’s 185, after being put into bat, was an above-par score on a pitch assisting the spinners.

Bopara – who was almost run out by Afridi in the covers during the first over – fell in the second when he slashed Mohammad Aamer to gully and Malik took a fine diving catch.

Wright upped the tempo when he hit Aamer high over mid-on for a boundary before a pull for six to midwicket and an edge wide of the keeper for another four brought the tally to 15 off the over.

Wright made it five successive boundaries in the next over from Yasir Arafat, the last of which was an embarrassing misfield from Umar Gul at third man. Pietersen then got his account off and running with an on-drive for four followed by a straight six as 21 came from the over.

Gul, on at the Vauxhall End, struck in his first over when Wright (34 off 16 balls) backed to leg and was bowled by a yorker.

Spin had played a major role in the earlier game that day between South Africa and Scotland and it appeared this innings would follow the same theme once Malik – whose sloppy first over went for 13 – was replaced by Saeed Ajmal at the Pavilion End.

But Ajmal put down a caught and bowled chance in his first over off Pietersen – when the right-hander was on 30 – and even Afridi became expensive after an initially tight spell at the Vauxhall End.

The leg-spinner’s first two overs cost just eight but his next went for 13 – including a delightful flick by Pietersen over long-leg for six- and his last 15.

Owais Shah became increasingly fluent after a nervous start, illustrated no more so than by the six he savaged to the long-on boundary off Aamer. Pietersen then smacked the youngster over extra cover for another six as 15 were taken off the over.

Gul replaced Afridi as the spin threat waned and the pace man struck with his second ball back – plucking out Shah’s leg-stump with the batsman attempting to work to leg (the Middlesex man going for 33 off 32 balls).
Pietersen reached his 50 (off 31 balls) at the end of the over when he flicked Gul to fine-leg.

England skipper Collingwood (15 off 11 balls) had a brief stay before he holed out to Afridi on the long-off boundary off Ajmal, who returned to finish off with an outstanding spell of 2-8 from his last two overs. Pietersen’s innings ended in the same over when he got an outside edge to short third-man.

Foster (14 off 8 balls) was dropped at short fine-leg on 0, off Gul, before he helped Dimitri Mascarenhas (16 off 12 balls) put on 27 for the sixth-wicket (including 15 off the penultimate over from Afridi).

Foster was dropped again (this time on 13) by Butt at deep backward point in the final over from Gul. The bowler also had a couple of costly aberrations as he allowed the batsmen to twice run through for over-throws.

Pakistan now go into their last group match in the knowledge that victory over the Netherlands must be achieved by a sufficiently large margin to pip the Dutch for qualification into the next phase of the tournament.

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