Sunday 7 June 2009 

ICC WT20: England Back On The Wright Track

	 ICC WT20: England Back On The Wright Track
ICC WT20: England Back On The Wright Track
© Action Images / Andrew Boyers Livepic
 

England 185-5 (Pietersen 58, Wright 34) beat
Pakistan 137-7 (Younus Khan 46no, Broad 3-17) by 48 runs

ICC World Twenty20 Group B, The Oval

Luke Wright delivered an accomplished all-round performance as England kept their ICC World Twenty20 hopes alive with a 48-run win over Pakistan at The Oval.

Wright blasted 34 in 16 balls and Kevin Pietersen showed how much he was missed on Friday by hitting 58 in 38 deliveries to help England post 185 for five.

Owais Shah weighed in with 33 as Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal picked up two wickets and Pakistan didn't help themselves with four catches going down and some sloppy ground fielding.

Initially, however, England made an uncertain start with Ravi Bopara tasting a genuine failure for the first time of the summer when he was superbly caught by Shoaib Malik at gully for five to hand 17-year-old left-arm pacer Mohammad Aamir his maiden Twenty20 International wicket.

It was left to Wright to kickstart England's innings and he did, smashing England's first six of the tournament over midwicket and he put on 53 with Pietersen for the second wicket, Pietersen hitting three big sixes himself and he hardly looked troubled by the Achilles injury that he would later say left him at about 70 percent full fitness.

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He didn't quite match the hitting distance of his good friend Chris Gayle but he was no less effective, sending Pakistan fielders scarpering and putting bowlers off their game.

Wright and Shah were both bowled by Gul, who was poor in the field but useful with the ball in hand, Wright the victim of a searing yorker before Pietersen was caught by Gul, bowled by Ajmal.

Paul Collingwood made 15 before making way for Dimitri Mascarenhas, who made 16 in 12 balls and a nicely played six off the back foot over cover from James Foster (14 not out in eight balls) helped England close the innings carrying momentum into the second half of the game.

They then bowled and fielded superbly to hold the powerful Pakistan batting line-up to 137 for seven, captain Younus Khan stranded on 46 not out as Stuart Broad picked up three for 17.

Young opener Ahmed Shehzad never settled before spooning a high catch to Collingwood as Mascarenhas' opening spell did its job while Kamran Akmal also failed to settle before being bounced out by Broad, Wright taking his first catch of the day.

Salman Butt (28) steered a catch to gully one ball later with Bopara holding on. Broad would have to wait a long while for the hat-trick ball and Yasir Arafat kept it out late in the game, but after he was at the centre of Friday's horror show, he will have been delighted to show what he is capable of on the biggest stage.

Wright took another catch and the wicket of Misbah-ul-Haq for ten while Shoaib Malik (21) was the only other batsmen to get going.

Shahid Afridi (5) and Misbah were both caught trying to hit out, only to find Eoin Morgan, on the field as a substitute for Owais Shah, who had a better game than he did on Friday.

Dimitri Mascarenhas, James Anderson and Graeme Swann also picked up a wicket as England confirmed their place in the second group stage of the competition without having to worry about the result between Pakistan and the Netherlands on Tuesday.

© Cricket World 2009