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Akhtar leads Pakistan advance against England
by AFP


Ground:Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, PD Collingwood, R Clarke, CMW Read, J Lewis
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 2nd September 2006

 

Fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif set up Pakistan's seven-wicket win over England in the second one-day international at Lord's here Saturday as the tourists went 1-0 up in the five-match series.

 

Shoaib, who struck sixth ball, finished with four for 28 from his permitted eight overs while the miserly Asif took two for 10 in his eight.

 

England, in a match reduced by rain to 40 overs per side, were bowled out for 166. Pakistan, in gathering gloom, finished on 169 for three as they won with 20 balls to spare.

 

Mohammad Yousuf made a patient 49 not out while Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who played some sublime shots despite the worsening light, was unbeaten on 42 off 26 balls with five fours. The duo's unbroken stand was worth 61.

 

Victory was no more than Pakistan deserved after they'd had the better of Wednesday's washed-out opener in Cardiff.

 

Defeat was England's eighth in as many completed one-day matches this season after they lost Twenty20s at home to Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as going down 5-0 in a one-day series against the Lankans. This series continues with Tuesday's day/night clash at the Rose Bowl.

 

Younis Khan's 55 kept Pakistan on course before he holed out off paceman Rikki Clarke to Kevin Pietersen at deep mid-wicket after a stand of 78 with Yousuf had taken the tourists to 108 for three in the 28th over.

 

But with Pakistan 32 for two, Younis on 15 edged Jon Lewis to wicket-keeper Chris Read only for Billy Doctrove, one of the umpires who controversially declared Pakistan had forfeited the fourth Test at The Oval last month, to call no-ball.

 

Replays suggested it was a tight decision at best. Pakistan had a shaky start to their reply when recalled seamer Lewis took two wickets for nine runs in 19 balls to leave the tourists 30 for two inside eight overs.

 

But from then on, Younis's 'escape' apart, they were rarely troubled.

 

Earlier England were indebted to a career-best 39 from all-rounder Clarke.

 

Together with wicket-keeper Chris Read (30) he put on 53 in 57 balls for the seventh wicket after England had slumped to 113 for six.

 

Pakistan saw openers Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik both caught behind by Read off Lewis - in for the dropped Sajid Mahmood - who took two wickets for 11 runs in eight overs, all bowled in one spell.

 

A previously becalmed Yousuf then drove veteran England quick Darren Gough for two stylish offside fours in successive deliveries. Gough had a match to forget, his eight wicketless overs costing 44 runs.

 

Younis's two off 20-year-old quick Stuart Broad saw him to a 78-ball fifty with nine boundaries.

 

With the World Cup just six months away, Pakistan would have been heartened by the sight of Akhtar - who missed the whole of England's recent 3-0 Test series win over Inzamam's men with an ankle injury - bowling at 90mph and returning a fine first spell of 6-0-13-2.

 

He later cleaned up Clarke before bowling Gough with a thunderbolt yorker. England, after Inzamam won the toss and fielded, started badly.

 

Andrew Strauss lasted just one ball, the England captain edging Akhtar to wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

 

After an hour's rain break, England lost their other opener, Marcus Trescothick, for six, when he edged Asif to second slip Younis.

 

And three balls later 18 for two became 18 for three when Ian Bell, who scored a career-best 88 on Wednesday, went for nine when he edged Akhtar to first slip Inzamam and, from there on, England were always chasing the game.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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