England wrapped up a 2-0 Twenty20 series victory over Pakistan after the tourists suffered the embarrassment of being dismissed for 89 and exposed their vulnerable batting in this format as well. World Twenty20 champions England finished on 90 for four to complete a six-wicket win with 36 balls to spare, having won by five wickets in the first match as well.
Pakistan’s total was their worst in 40 matches at this level while England’s seventh straight Twenty20 international win saw them equal a record held jointly by South Africa and Pakistan.
“It was irresponsible the way we played,” said Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi. “England are the World Champions. We have to take more responsibility and show more pride.”
By contrast, elated England skipper Paul Collingwood said, “It’s a special achievement and we obviously did it during the best time which was during the World Cup. We’re just doing a lot of things really good and we still have a lot of intent with the bat as well. Hopefully that continues into the future.”
Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan, the man-of-the-match, took three wickets for 10 runs in 3.4 overs as Pakistan fell well short of their previous worst Twenty20 international score of 125 for nine in 20 overs against Australia at Melbourne in February.
But England did even better in this match as Pakistan were bowled out with eight balls to spare. Add to this, four of the five lowest Pakistan totals have come this year against England and Australia in different series. Such was the miserable batting performance that Umar Akmal’s 17 was the top score for the former Twenty20 champions Pakistan.
He cheered up Pakistan fans in a meagre crowd of just 5,821 with a straight six off Swann and repeated the dose in Swann’s next over.
However, Akmal was bowled the following ball trying to smash a slower delivery.
“We were very bad, inexperienced and immature from my side and from all the batsmen,” said Afridi, who was caught slashing after facing just four deliveries for two runs. “It will be a big challenge to compete in the one-dayers, but we have some time.”
England briefly wobbled in reply, losing two wickets on 26, and then two more in quick succession to stand at 63 for four. But Morgan, unbeaten at 18 and Yardy on six, saw England home.
England, who won the Test series 3-1, will look for another victory against Pakistan when the teams meet in the first of five One-Day Internationals at Chester-le-Street on Friday.
“We are still making mistakes, but on this stage I just want one victory because one victory will lift the morale of my team high.”
The all-rounder also conceded that the team felt the absence of the suspended trio: Salman Butt and fast-bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif.
“I made some plans as a captain, I knew Salman was my opener and key player, and Asif and Amir. Everything has changed as a captain for me, but God willing I will bring my team up.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2010.
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