|Late celebrations for England bowlers as Pakistan set a target of 295 to win the Leeds one-day match [GALLO/GETTY].|
The Pakistan team displayed a convincing batting performance, their best of the tour so far to reach 294 for 8 at Headingley.
Kamran Akmal with his knock of 74 runs off just 72 balls was the top scorer for the Pakistan side, which has been hit by controversy. This was followed by debutante Asad Shafiq’s first on-day 50 while the veteran batsman, Mohammad Yusuf, scored 46 runs.
Stuart Broad was the most successful of the England bowling attack, taking four wickets off 81 runs in his 10-over spell.
Kamran Akmal’s name has featured in the spot-fixing allegations however he seems to have put the controversial scandal behind him, leading the early scoring.
England’ bowling performance lacked spark and Andrew Strauss had to switch to spin in the 14th over with Michael Yardy. But together with Graeme Swann, the England spinner, failed to contain Kamran and Hafeez.
It was only when Collingwood was introduced to the bowling attack that England squad got the much needed breakthrough, but it was a close decision which could have gone either way. Following the fall of wickets, Pakistan’s middle order savoured having a platform to build on rather than fending off the new ball.
England’s fielding errors also did not help the situation as, uncharacteristically, Anderson let at least four balls threw his legs inside the fielding circle to take some gloss off a fine individual bowling display.
The first over of the batting Powerplay was an action-packed affair as Shafiq fell to the first ball when Ravi Bopara did well to keep hold of the catch as Strauss collided with him at backward point. Umar Akmal then hit three consecutive boundaries off Broad before the bowler struck back when Umar edged to Steve Davies.
The end of innings was quite uneventful though with one flat six from Afridi as the England fast bowlers claimed valuable late wickets, but the run chase will be a test for the hosts.