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Pak come back with 20/20 win over Eng

Set 145 for victory, Pakistan finished on 148 for five as they won with 13 balls to spare.

india Updated: Aug 29, 2006 13:11 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Pakistan put their off-field worries to one side by winning their inaugural Twenty20 international with a five wicket success against England at Nevil Road on Monday.

Set 145 for victory, Pakistan finished on 148 for five as they won with 13 balls to spare after opener Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 46.

This match was Pakistan's first international since they forfeited the fourth Test at The Oval a week last Sunday after refusing to take the field having being penalised five runs for alleged ball-tampering.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, still facing ball-tampering charges from the Oval clash, was 11 not out and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who finished the match with two successive boundaries, 17 not out.

England's total never looked enough after pace bowler Mohammad Asif led the Pakistan attack with two for 21, including two wickets in two balls.

This defeat meant they'd lost all seven of the shorter-form games they'd played against Test match opposition this season after a Twenty20 reverse and 5-0 one-day series defeat against Sri Lanka.

Pakistan made the decisive move with a burst of three wickets for one run in five balls that reduced England to 40 for three.

Pakistan were boosted by the return to international cricket of lead fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar (ankle) and Rana Naved (groin) which forced the duo to miss the whole of their 3-0 Test series defeat against England.

"It is nice to win here. I am happy, the boys are playing really well," Inzamam said afterwards.

"It is our main strike bowlers coming back - but I think England are a pretty good team," he added.

England debutant Stuart Broad took two wickets in two balls to reduce Pakistan to 23 for two but the innings was then revived by man-of-the-match Shahid Afridi's quickfire 28.

Broad, the 20-year-old pace bowling son of former England opening batsman Chris, had Shoaib Malik lbw for 16 and next ball Younis Khan (nought) was caught hooking down the legside by wicket-keeper Chris Read.

Afridi then survived the hat-trick in flamboyant fashion by driving Broad high and straight over the bowler's head.

England captain Andrew Strauss, who fell for nought, said his side hadn't scored enough runs.

"I think the key was losing the middle order and we had to consolidate. We needed 30 more than we got," he said.

And when England took the field, Sajid Mahmood's first over cost 22 runs with Afridi pulling him for four and then driving him inside out to the extra cover boundary next ball.

Broad too didn't escape punishment, hoisted for a huge six by Afridi over midwicket as 19 runs came off the next over, the sixth of the innings.

But Afridi was brilliantly caught by England debutant Michael Yardy running round from long-on, who held on to a chance above his head as he hit the turf after the batsman had launched off-spinner James Dalrymple down the ground.

Afridi faced just 10 balls with one six and five fours, leaving Pakistan well-placed at 67 for three in the seventh over.

Veteran fast bowler Darren Gough, recalled for his first England international in over a year, returned to the attack with Pakistan needing 25 off the last five overs.

Inzamam then drove his first ball back over long-on for six before Hafeez was run out by Paul Collingwood after lazily failing to make his ground.

Earlier, Pakistan held England to 144 for seven after the hosts won the toss.

Medium-pacer Razzaq, who removed top scorer Marcus Trescothick for 53, finished with three for 30.

Apart from Trescothick, only Dalrymple (27) and Yardy (24 not out) scored more than 23 for England.

Bell, promoted to open in place of Strauss, was caught, at the second attempt, by Younis off Akhtar for 14.

Then Kevin Pietersen was bowled for a first ball nought by an Asif delivery that cut back and knocked out middle-stump.

Two balls after that Strauss was caught by wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

England and Pakistan now head into a five-match one-day series, starting with a day/night fixture at Cardiff on Wednesday.

First Published: Aug 29, 2006 02:49 IST