England draw first blood
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Dubai Sports City Stadium, Dubai
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:EJG Morgan, KP Pietersen
Event:Pakistan in United Arab Emirates 2009/10

DateLine: 19th February 2010


England inspired by a Morgan special condemned Pakistan to a surprise defeat as they took the lead in the short T20 series. Morgan was well-supported by Pietersen who showed good signs of returning to his best form. Pakistan batting first scored a below-par 129 for the loss of 8 wickets in their 20 overs while England replied with 130 for 3 in 18.3 overs.


Malik had no hesitation in electing to bat first on a pitch that would get slow as the match progressed. But Collingwood was not very much perturbed and his bowlers did not disappoint the English skipper. Sidebottom got some swing early on while, Bresnan was accurate while Broad peppered the batsmen with short stuff. The Pakistani openers failed to blaze off and Nazar (2, 15 balls) fell as he tried to pull Broad beyond the boundary ropes and found Denly in the deep. Imran Farhat (14, 13 balls, 3x4) flicked Bresnan twice for boundaries to inject some momentum into the innings before an under-arm throw from Pietersen found the southpaw just short of his crease. Wickets continued to tumble as Khalid Latif (4, 6 balls) tried to drive an outswinger from Wright without moving his feet and was caught behind.


Umar Akmal (13, 12 balls, 1x4) did not last long as he was brilliantly caught by Broad at backward point and it seemed that the Pakistani was losing its way. Shoaib Malik (33, 26 balls, 3x4) and Fawad Alam (23, 23 balls, 1x6) then propped up the score with some urgent batting and then Razzaq (22, 15 balls, 1x6, 1x4) used the long handle to push the score to 129 for the loss of 8 wickets in their 20 overs.


England in reply got off to a rocky start as they lost Denly (1, 3 balls) in the second over of the innings and then sunk further as Trott (4, 10 balls) was cleaned up by Razzaq. Things got worse for the Englishmen as Collingwood departed without contributing and the responsibility to take England home fell on the shoulders of Pietersen and Eoin Morgan. The power-hitting pair restrained their instincts as they looked to built a base before launching into an all-out attack.


The pair ticked over as they collected the singles and doubles before Morgan pulled a long-hop from Gul over the fine-leg for a maximum and that opened up the sluice-gates for the Englishmen. Pietersen flicked a Malik delivery through midwicket before Morgan opened up to tilt the match in England's favour. Razzaq was flicked twice and then crashed through midwicket as the over cost 14 runs for Pakistan. Gul was brought back into to attack to get a breakthrough but it had no effect on the pair as Morgan thumped a short delivery from Gul through midwicket and then effortlessly lifted a fuller length to long-on fence to put England firmly in control. Morgan got to a well-deserved fifty and then finished off the match in a flurry boundaries to help England draw the first blood.


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