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Owais Shah strikes to level series

Owais Shah was Englands hero with an unbeaten 55 at the Brit Oval as England won at the second attempt to draw the Natwest Twenty20 Internaioanl series.


Owais Shah steered England home with 55
When Dimitri Mascarenhas joined the Middlesex batsmen in the middle at the Brit Oval, the home side were in trouble at 104-5, chasing 170 to win, and looking highly unlikely to square this two-match Twenty20 series.

But the pair constructed an unbeaten stand of 69 runs from 36 balls to give England a five-wicket win with three balls to spare and Shah a chance to resurrect an international career that appeared to have stalled.

West Indies had earlier posted 169-7 from their 20 overs. Never scaling the free-hitting heights they had done the previous day, they were led by a fiery 61 from 37 bowls from Chris Gayle, their captain.

Marlon Samuels, the tourists' hero with the bat yesterday, was in the runs again with a blistering 42 from 20 deliveries. Both, though, fell to the innocuous medium pace of Paul Collingwood, who finished with 2-21 from two overs. Left-armer Ryan Sidebottom, with 2-25 from his four-over allocation, was the pick of the England bowlers.

England made a sluggish start in response. Alastair Cook was comprehensively bowled by the fiery Daren Powell for nine, adding ammunition to the argument that he should not be playing this form of cricket.

Matt Prior was hit on the hand by Powell and looked in pain, some punishing blows followed but he went for one expansive shot too many and was bowled by Ravi Rampaul, who also collected the wicket, cheaply, of Jonathan Trott.

Kevin Pietersen played a timid shot to Sammy and was caught and bowled for 19 and with Collingwood unable to replicate Thursday's fearsome hitting, the run-rate began to rise.

Collingwood did smash a mighty six off Samuels, but was smartly stumped by Denesh Ramdin next ball trying to repeat the stroke. The target looked beyond England, but Shah upped the pace supremely well in the closing overs without taking too many undue risks.


Captain Colly tastes victory for the first time
England captain Paul Collingwood was left delighted at his side's development in Twenty20 cricket as they bounced back to beat the West Indies by five wickets.

Having slumped to a 15-run defeat at the Oval on Thursday, England produced a mature display to tie the series. Owais Shah's classy unbeaten 55 - part of a unbroken 69-run stand for the sixth wicket with Dimitri Mascarenhas - helped see the hosts to victory after the Windies threatened to close out the match.

However, England's bowlers showed they had adapted to the rigors of the shortest form of the game by limiting the tourists to 169-7.

And Collingwood was thrilled with the way his side had developed in the space of 24 hours. He told Sky Sports: "That was a good performance. It is nice to get the win under the belt, we learned a lot from last night's game.

"We kept them down to a 'gettable' total and Owais and Dimi came out and knocked it off. We have only been together a week and a bit and we have done a lot of talking - but you learn the most out in the middle. It was much better today. To knock off a total like that shows how we bat in depth. Credit to them, the light wasn't good. It was a great effort."

Match-winner Shah hit seven fours in a beautifully crafted knock, and the Middlesex man was delighted with his performance having failed with the bat in the first match.

He said: "I've been waiting for a long while for that. I was cross with myself yesterday - Collingwood showed what could have been done. I played myself in and he [Mascarenhas] kept his cool and kept me going. We kept talking and made sure we saw each other through to the win."

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