England 111 (Ajmal 4-14) beat
Pakistan 96-9 (Dernbach 3-15) by 15 runs
World T20 Warm-Up Match, Colombo
England won their final warm-up match ahead of their opening game in the tournament proper, which is on Friday against Afghanistan. They beat Pakistan by 15 runs in an exceedingly low-scoring match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.
The pitches in Sri Lanka continued their unpredictable trend, with this one offering both prodigious turn for the spinners and enough movement off the seam to keep the quicker bowlers interested.
England won what would turn out to be an important toss and elected to bat, but immediately found the going difficult against the flat slow left-arm spin of Raza Hasan, who opened the bowling. He accounted for both of England's openers inside the powerplay and it was left to Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright to attempt a rebuild of the innings. Morgan didn't last long and succumbed to his nemesis from last winter, Saeed Ajmal, for 10, but Wright, showing his new-found maturity that has developed since being part of England's 2010 World T20 campaign, just about held England's innings together. He watched his colleagues struggle around him before finally departing to Mohammad Sami.
England reached 106 for five and would have had hopes of reaching 130, but Ajmal tore through the tail and they were all out for 111 as he ended with figures of four for 14 from his four overs.
If England's batting had shown its customary weakness against spin that it had displayed so effectively in the UAE last winter, then their bowling also showed its fighting qualities that were evident on that tour. Even in the absence of Graeme Swann, Jade Dernbach, Danny Briggs and Stuart Broad all bowled superbly and restricted Pakistan to 96 for nine from their 20 overs. Broad looked back to his best after a disappointing summer series against South Africa and took two for 12, while Briggs and Dernbach each picked up three wickets. Only five Pakistan batsmen reached double figures, with Asad Shafiq's run-a-ball 20 the highest of them.
© Cricket World 2012
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