Briggs and Dernbach star with the ball as England beat Pakistan in final World Twenty20 warm-up
08:55 GMT, 19 September 2012
England dug in with the ball to pull off an unlikely 15-run victory despite mustering only 111 all out against Pakistan in their second and final ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match.
Once again, after their well-chronicled struggles in a 3-0 Test series defeat in the United Arab Emirates last winter, England's batsmen had no answer to the wiles of Saeed Ajmal (four for 14) at the P Sara Oval.
But Danny Briggs (three for 15) and Jade Dernbach (three for 14) ensured England kept chipping out wickets – even without the rested Graeme Swann and Tim Bresnan – and eventually restricted Pakistan to 96 for nine.
Two good: England won their second warm-up match
Awkward bounce, spin and swing were
available, and after beating Australia by nine runs on Monday, England
sneaked home again to head into the defence of their world title with a
perfect two-from-two warm-up record.
Luke Wright top-scored with just 38 as they struggled after choosing to
bat first on a tricky surface. The No 3 managed to operate at just over a
run-a-ball, a feat which proved beyond the rest of the top five.
England were unable to gather momentum, wickets falling from the outset
against Pakistan's spinners and then in a heap – in the space of eight
balls – to go from 106 for five to be all out in the final over.
The difficulties began when Alex Hales mis-swept Hasan Raza to short
fine-leg in the third over, and the slow left-armer soon had Craig
Kieswetter caught at deep midwicket.
Below par: England struggled with the bat as Luke Wright (above) top scored with 38
Eoin Morgan mustered double-figures but did not convince before falling
to only the third delivery from Ajmal, edging an attempted cut behind.
Wright and Jonny Bairstow had to eke out what they could in what turned
out to be an important fourth-wicket stand of 34 as England went nine
overs at one stage without a boundary.
It was not, in fact, until Bairstow had been yorked by a Yasir Arafat
inswinger that new batsman Jos Buttler squeezed a four fine of third-man
off the same bowler from only the second ball he faced.
Wright was gone soon afterwards, though, holing out to long-off when Mohammad Sami went full.
Old foe: Saeed Ajmal was on top form for Pakistan
It therefore fell to Buttler and Samit Patel to push England at least
into three-figures, which they managed comfortably before Ajmal returned
to take three wickets in four balls in the penultimate over as Stuart
Broad and Steven Finn made ducks.
In Pakistan's reply, Kieswetter missed an obvious stumping chance off
only the second ball of the innings from Briggs. But it cost nothing,
Mohammad Hafeez swinging the slow left-armer to deep square-leg, where
Bairstow took a neat catch.
Briggs had a second wicket in his third over, drawing Imran Nazir out of
his ground and turning the ball past the outside-edge for an easy
Patel replaced Briggs and struck with his first delivery, spinning one back through left-hander Nasir Jamshed's defences.
Having a ball: Broad (above), Briggs (below) and Dernbach all impressed with the ball for England
It still seemed to be Pakistan's great advantage that they knew they had only a meagre total to chase.
But Broad outwitted Asad Shafiq with a slower ball, clumped to mid-off,
and the England captain then had Shahid Afridi caught-behind with some
England had successfully narrowed the equation back in their favour,
thanks largely to Broad's remarkable economy – he, like Briggs, even
bowled a maiden – when the charge should have been on.
The outcome nonetheless remained too close to call until Dernbach had 20
runs to play with in the final over, and managed to concede only four
for two more wickets.