England collapse hands victory to Pakistan

Deepankar Kaur | cricket20

A middle order collapse by England handed a thrilling eighth run victory to Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium thanks to impressive bowling performances from Umar Gul and Mohammad Hafeez.

Faced with a victory target of 145, the t20 World Cup champions had looked on course for victory thanks to Kevin Pietersen (33) and Ravi Bopara (39) but a middle order collapse left England needing 18 runs from the final over.

Gul (3-18) and Hafeez (2-18) lead the Pakistan fight back with Gul picking up the wickets of Jos Butler (3) and Samit Patel (0) in the 18th over to leave England 121-6.

The relatively inexperienced Jonny Bairstow added 22 vital runs but with Swann taking eleven deliveries to score just two runs England slumped to defeat to go 1-0 in their best of three series.

A 6th wicket stand of 71 between Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik helped Pakistan post a competitive total of 144-6 after they had slumped to just 73-5 after being put into bat by England.

The pair came together at the start of 12th over after Umar Akmal (0) had picked out Jade Dernbach in the covers to give the impressive Greame Swann (3-13) his third wicket of the innings.

Shoaib Malik (39) lead the way, smashing four boundaries and one sixe to help Pakistan after Swann made quick work of the home sides middle order with three wickets falling in the space of three overs.

Misbah-ul-Haq (26) offered Shoaib support as the pair lead a fine recovery to leave England needing to chase down a total of 145 to take the lead in their three game t20 International series.

It proved to be a day of mixed performances for England with Swann leading the way while Steven Finn was uncharastically expensive with 39 runs coming from his four overs.

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