Misbah leads Pakistan to victory against England


Sydney: Captain Misbah-ul-Haq played an impressive 91-run knock to help Pakistan recover from a top batting order collapse to eventually record a four-wicket win against England in World Cup warm-up here Wednesday at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Chasing a competitive target of 251 runs, Pakistan was reduced to 10-2 after England removed openers Nasir Jamshed (1 run) and Ahmed Shahzad (2 runs) cheaply. Stuart Broad picked Nasir’s wicket while James Anderson removed Ahmed.

Younus Khan (19 runs) once again failed to make much impact. Chris Jordan took his wicket as Pakistan trailed at 43-3 in 14th over.

Haris Sohail (33 runs) lost his wicket to James Tredwell as the match seemed to be going in England’s favor with Pakistan’s scorecard showed 78-4 in 22.1 overs.

But then onwards, Misbah-ul-Haq found an able partner in Umar Akmal (65 off 66 balls) and the duo took the score to 211 runs in 44.3 overs before Umar lost his wicket to Stuart Broad.

Sohaib Maqsood, who played pivotal role in triumph against Bangladesh, lost his wicket scoring 20 runs but victory was just around the corner with team’s score of 243-6 in 48th over.

Misbah played an impressive unbeaten 91 off 99 which also included five boundaries and two sixes. Shahid Afridi (8 not out) smashed the winning shot for a boundary as Pakistan reached the victory total 252-6 in 48.5 overs.

Earlier, Pakistan bowled brilliantly and restricted England to 250-8 with spinner Yasir Shah capturing three wickets.

England won the toss and decided to bat first. Ehsan Adil removed English opener Moeen Ali (4 runs) early in the second over of the match. Alex Hales and Gary Ballance added 64 runs to England score before Shahid Afridi picked Hales (31 runs) wicket.

Ballance (57 runs) built another important 66-run partnership with Joe Root to take the team’s score to 135 in 29th over. Yasir Shah trapped Ballance with a brilliant delivery.

Yasir in the same over also picked dangerous wicket of skipper Eoin Morgan for a duck. Root added 22 runs with new comer Ravi Bopara before Yasir also took the scalp of Bopara (11 runs) with England scorecard showing a score of 157-5 in 35 overs.

In 41st over Root lost Jos Buttler when Sohail Khan bowled Buttler (13 runs) on a perfect yorker.

Root (85 runs) lost his wickets to Sohail Khan as Ehsan Adil neatly took the catch in 49th over with scoreboard showing 244-7. Root’s 85 came off 89 balls and included four boundaries and a six.

Wahab Riaz picked his first wicket when Misbah-ul-Haq took the catch of Stuart Broad, who like skipper Morgan failed to score a single run. Chris Jordan (31 not out) and James Tredwell (1 not out) were on crease when Wahab completed the last over of the inning.

The beleaguered bowling line of Pakistan has performed well restricting England to 250-8 even when its front-line pacer Mohammad Irfan has been rested.

Spinner Yasir Shah was Pakistan’s top pick on the day with bowling figures of 3-45, also bowling a maiden over in his ten overs.

Sohail Khan returned with 2-47 in nine overs. Pacer Ehsan Adil bowled seven overs and picked a wicket and conceded 27 runs. Experienced pacer Wahab Riaz picked a wicket giving away 46 runs in ten overs.

All-rounder Shahid Afridi conceded most runs and returned with match figures of 1-59 in ten overs. Youngster Haris Sohail also bowled four overs and conceded 21 runs without any success.