Wed, Aug 30, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Pakistan restore some pride with Twenty20 victory

AFP , BRISTOL, ENGLAND

England's Kevin Pieterson is bowled for one during the Twenty20 cricket game at the County Ground in Bristol in southwest England on Monday.

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan responded to the controversies of the last eight days with a five-wicket victory over England in their Twenty20 clash on Monday.

The tourists, playing their first Twenty20 international, reached 148-5 with 13 balls remaining for a morale-boosting victory at Bristol.

Pakistan have a psychological edge going into today's five-match one-day series at Cardiff, while England have now lost their last eight limited-overs matches.

Typically explosive batting from all-rounder Shahid Afridi, with 28 from 10 balls, and a steady 46 from opener Mohammed Hafeez, saw Pakistan squeeze home.

Along with Hafeez, Afridi took 22 from Sajid Mahmood's first over and then 19 from Stuart Broad in the next over.

It proved a decisive passage of play as England never looked like recovering following Afridi's innings, which included five fours and a six.

Afridi eventually departed to an amazing catch by debutant Michael Yardy, who misjudged a slog over midwicket before diving backwards to take the catch.

Debutant Broad took two wickets in as many balls, after trapping Shoaib Malik lbw and having Younis Khan caught behind down the leg side off his first ball.

Facing the hat-trick ball, Afridi tried to hit Broad for six but his miscued slog instead went for two runs back over the bowler's head.

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq (17 not out) clinched the match with two straight boundaries off Darren Gough. Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was 11 not out.

England, after winning the toss, began their innings solidly through Marcus Trescothick (53) and Ian Bell (14) but slumped from 39-0 to 50-4.

After fit-again Shoaib Akhtar had Bell caught, Mohammed Asif claimed two wickets in three balls and recorded the first maiden ever bowled in a Twenty20 international match.

Pakistan controversially forfeited the fourth Test match at the Oval after being penalized five runs by umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove for alleged ball tampering.

Inzamam, who ignored sporadic shouts of "cheat" from some spectators, faces charges of illegally altering the condition of the ball and bringing the game into disrepute.

England fast bowler Stephen Harmison has been ruled out of the upcoming five-match one-day series with a back injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday.

Harmison, not in the side for the Twenty20 defeat against Pakistan at Nevil Road, felt discomfort during the team's forfeit fourth Test win against the tourists at The Oval earlier this month.

"Steve Harmison has been ruled out of the NatWest Series as a precautionary measure after not responding to treatment following soreness in his lower back," said an ECB statement.

"A decision on a replacement for Steve Harmison has not been made at this stage," the statement added.

Harmison's absence from the one-day series, which starts with a day/night international at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens today, could possibly open the way for 20-year-old pace prospect Stuart Broad -- who took two for 25 on his England senior debut in the Twenty20 defeat -- to have a run in the side.

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