Paceman Umar Gul took 3-18 to inspire Pakistan to a thrilling eight-run win in the first of three Twenty20 internationals against England at Dubai Stadium on Thursday.
England, the reigning Twenty20 world champions, were cruising at 120-4 after 17 overs, chasing 145 to win, but Gul took two wickets in the 18th over, for just three runs, to change the complexion of the game, eventually restricting England to 136-6.
Graeme Swann had in the earlier innings, rocked Pakistan’s middle-order with a burst of three wickets off eight balls, restricting them to 144-6 with Shoaib Malik making 39.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said the win was pleasing after being routed in the one-dayers.
“I had to face a lot of criticism after the one-day defeats, so it’s pleasing. Every win brings joy,” said Misbah.
The second match will be played here on Saturday.
A slideshow of pictures of the match can be viewed here.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.
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