England make light work of troubled Pakistan

Simon Presland | cricket20

After 10 days of intense scrutiny by the worlds media Pakistan finally wilted under the pressure collapsing in spectacular fashion as England steamrollered their way to a seventh straight Twenty20 international victory.

With the media spotlight firmly on them Pakistan looked mentally spent as their tour of England reached a shockingly new low losing by 6 wickets after their innings collapsed into an absolute shambles.

As was the case on Sunday Pakistanís middle order looked completely out of their depths as Michael Yardy and Graeme Swann tied the visitors up in knots as the innings almost ground to a halt after Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad had reduced Pakistan to just 22-4.

Kamran Akmal (17) offered some resistantís though smashing Swann for two huge sixes but the youngster was out done by a peach of a delivery from Englandís inform spinner as the World Champions took control of the game.

Faced with such a low target England started off slowly against Shoaib Akhtar before Craig Kieswetter burst into life in the second over smashing Umar Gul for a six and two boundaries to get the home sides run chase off to a good start.

Akhtar struck back picking up the wicket of Steve Davies (9) before Kieswetter (16) was run out from the next delivery thanks to an excellent piece of fielding from Umar Gul to leave England 26-2.

With over 17 overs still to go England only needed 64 more runs and despite losing skipper, Paul Collingwood (21) and Ravi Bopara (12) towards the end of their run chase England romped home with 36 balls to spare.

With Collingwood and Bopara back in the dug out Eoin Morgan (18) and Michael Yardy (6) steered England home with another winning partnership; repeating their heroics from Sunday to help England seal a 2-0 series victory.

The victory; Englandís 7th straight win in the shortest format of the game equals the record held by Pakistan and South Africa. The current Twenty20 World Champions will get a chance to smash the record against Australia in Adelaide at the start of 2011.

Having won the toss Shahid Afridi decided to bat first but the decision proved to be costly after the visitors were reduced to 22-4 after just 5 overs.

After winning with ease on Sunday; Englandís bowlers continued with their aggressive bowling leaving the Pakistan top order all at sea unable to defend the short balls delivered by Bresnan and Broad.

Kamran Akmal started with purpose smashing 11 runs off the first over which was bowled by Ryan Sidebottom, but the opener fell quickly afterwards in a similar fashion to Sunday when he skied a delivery from Bresnan into the hands of Graeme Swann at mid-on.

36 year old Mohammad Yousuf (4), playing in just his third Twenty20 international quickly followed to give Bresnan his second wicket of the innings two overs later.

With England on top Broad came into the attack to inflict further damage to the Pakistan top order removing Shahzaib Hasan (3) and Shahid Afridi (2) in the space of 5 balls to leave the visitors 22-4.

With the power play overs complete Michael Yardy (0-10) and Graeme Swann (2-27) came into the attack and the spinners slowed Pakistan down even further despite a huge six from Akmal off the bowling of Swann.

The 20 year old repeated the shot at the start of the 11th over but Swann struck back with a slow delivery which Akmal tried to hack out of the game but the youngster was left stranded as the ball spun back crashing into the stumps to leave Pakistan 44-5.

It got worse for the visitors; who by now looked mentally spent as Mohammad Hafeez (14) and Fawad Alam quickly followed to leave the current Twenty20 World Champions on top.

Broad and Sidebottom returned to the attack and although Umar Gul and Abdul Razzaq shared an 8th wicket partnership of 29 Sidebottom struck back removing Razzaq (11) and Gul (16) from consecutive deliveries to leave the visitors 85-9.

Shoaib Akhtar gave the Pakistan fans something to cheer about with a wonderful cover drive at the start of the penultimate over before Bresnan hit back to remove the bowlers middle stump two deliveries later to end the innings with 8 balls to spare.

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