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Razzaq leads Pakistan to tense 4 wicket victory

Abdul Razzaq was Pakistanís hero scoring a match winning 46 to help Pakistan claim a stunning 4 wicket victory over England at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Razzaqís 46 came from just 18 balls helping Pakistan recover from 78/5 as the Twenty20 World Champs bounced back from last night defeat against England altering a two game losing streak.

Having been put into bat by Pakistan Kevin Pietersen sparkled with the bat once again for England hitting a tremendous 62after coming into bat at the end of the third over with England 12-1 after Joe Denly was bowled by Yasir Arafat.

Supported by Jonathon Trott, Pietersen played another controlled innings as the pair enjoyed a second wicket partnership of 98 which helped England set Pakistan a target of 149 for victory.

There were fireworks at the start of Pakistanís run chase with Englandís Ajmal Shahzad enjoying a wild first over in Twenty20 international cricket picking up 2 wickets as Pakistanís top order imploded with some careless batting.

Imran Nazir started off well by putting the pressure on Shahzad as he smashed the debutants first ball in international cricket back over the bowlers head for a four. Shahzad responded with a perfect second delivery before Nazir threw away his wicket as he tried to smash Shahzad over middle wicket only to find Tim Bresnan at third man.

The fireworks continued two balls later when Imran Farhat misjudged the speed of Shahzadís 5th delivery of the over ballooning a catch to Stuart Broad at mid on leaving Pakistan 4-2.

After such a bad start Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik needed to remain calm after Nazir and Farhat had thrown away their wickets in an over of mindless batting.

Shahzad second over proved to be less notable for the Yorkshire seamer as he saw his first two balls dispatched for four by Akmal as Pakistan responded positively thanks to the veteran pair of Akmal and Malik.

Their partnership lasted 37 balls and it had contributed 34 runs to Pakistanís total before Malik was brilliantly stumped by Matthew Prior from the first delivery of Graeme Swanns 4 overs.

Swann bowled a wide down the leg side which Malik misjudged and Prior whipped off the bails just as Malikís foot lifted out of the crease, after a number of replays from different angles third umpire Kumar Dharmasena rightly gave Malik out.

The dismissal of Malik brought crowd favorite Shahid Afridi to the crease with Pakistan 40-3. After serving a two game ban for ball tampering Afridi showed why Pakistan had suffered defeats in their least two games without him.

His brief innings of 8 included a four through backward point which received a standing ovation from the Pakistan fans but Afridi perished when he tried to smash Swann out of the ground but failing miserably allowing Eoin Morgan to take a simple catch at wide long on stunning the crowd.

With Afridi gone the Twenty20 World Champions were now in serous danger of losing their third straight Twenty20 international and their second against an England team showing real signs of finally understanding how to play international Twenty20 cricket.

Umar Akmal was now Pakistanís main hope for victory but he failed to build on his great start when he had a rush of blood to the head as he tried to smash the impressive Swann into the second tier of the ground but managing to find Morgan at midwicket instead.

With Pakistan 78/5 Fawad Alam and Abdul Razzaq started to build an important partnership for the sixth wicket thanks to some big hitting from Razzaq who smashed 3 sixes to allow Pakistan to get back into the game putting the pressure back onto England.

Their partnership of 48 was broken by Stuart Broad who bowled brilliantly using a slower short ball to remove Alam who was caught by Morgan out at deep square leg for 28.

It was the break though England needed as Alamís partnership with Razzaq had put Pakistan in control with Yasir Arafat coming to the crease with the home side needing another 23 runs from 17 balls.

Despite the pressure Arafat remained calm at the crease making sure Razzaq faced as many balls as possible allowing him to win the game for Pakistan. With the game looking to go to the wire Razzaq smash two huge sixes off Shahzadís last over to hand a tense 4 wicket victory to Pakistan with 6 balls top spare.

Having been put into bat by Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik England started off brightly with Trott and Denly looking to establish a good opening partnership after last nights poor start.

Unfortunately for England Denlyís poor form continued when he failed to read an in swinger by Arafat which knock his middle stump over. Having only scored 6 runs in this two game series pressure will be on Denly ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup with Craig Kieswetter impressing for the England Lions.

Pietersen showed once again why he is one of the best Twenty20 players in the world with another faultless display which included 3 big sixes including a Saeed Ajmal delivery which was smashed into the upper tier of the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

While Pietersen peppered the spectators with sixes Trott played the perfect supporting role until he was run out by Imran Nazir for 39 to end Englandís record Twenty20 second wicket partnership leaving the visitors 120/2.

With Trott departing England suffered a late wobble losing Pietersen and Eion Morgan in the next two overs. Pietersenís excellent innings of 62 was ended by Ajmal at the start of the 17th over after he was trapped LBW.

Morgan soon followed managing only 9 runs before he was caught by Malik at long off after he misjudged a slow ball by Umar Gul leaving England 125/4.

It was left to Luke Wright and skipper Paul Collingwood to end Englandís innings off well in order to take advantage of Pietersenís fine knock but Pakistan battled back denying the visitors their target of 150 set by Collingwood before the game.

Wright enjoyed a cameo knock of 13 before he was caught by Shahid Afridi at the start of the last over and when Tim Bresnan departed of the next ball England looked to have squandered Pietersen contribution.

Collingwood survived Yasir Arafatís hat trick ball scoring an important three runs from it and with a single of the last ball England would have been happy with their total batting first.

source - cricket20.com
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