Monday, September 6, 2010

England seek seventh win in a row

Second Twenty20 international: England v Pakistan
Date: 7 September Start time: 1800 BST Venue: SWALEC stadium, Cardiff Coverage: Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and BBC Sport website; live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; Also live on Sky Sports

Stuart Broad
Broad is enjoying his late summer cricket for England

England can claim their seventh success in Twenty20 internationals and a 2-0 series win over Pakistan with victory in the second match in Cardiff.

Following Sunday's low-scoring win, the two teams return to the same venue on Tuesday for a floodlit encounter.

England seamers James Anderson and Ajmal Shahzad are again expected to miss out on gaining selection in a highly competitive bowling unit.

Pakistan may bring in off-spinning all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.

The most interesting information to emerge from the visitors' camp was the possibility of Younus Khan reclaiming the Test captaincy from Salman Butt, who is one of three players facing ICC charges and an ongoing police investigation over alleged spot-fixing at the Lord's Test.

Batsman Younus, 32, was the recipient of a draconian life ban in March following the fall-out from the disastrous tour of Pakistan.

Although it was later rescinded, he has been omitted from the one-day squad since January, and has not played a Test since July 2009 despite an average in excess of 50. He has retired from Twenty20 internationals.

But Afridi, who resigned the Test captaincy after the Lord's Test against Australia in July, said: "Younus Khan had some disciplinary problems with the Pakistan Cricket Board, so let's see if the PCB and Younus can sit together and sort things out.

"We definitely need some experience in the team."

While neither team batted particularly well on Sunday, England's bowling and boundary fielding was of the highest order as they overhauled Pakistan's score of 126 with 17 balls remaining.

Stuart Broad, a week on from hitting a maiden Test century in his remarkable stand of 332 with Jonathan Trott, and finishing the four-match series with 14 wickets - has adjusted quickly to the very different demands of Twenty20.

Antonio Cassano

He took 0-32 in four overs, and saw Shahid Afridi dropped twice in an over, responding well to the demands of bowling at the beginning and end of the innings.

"You don't have the time sometimes really to prepare for it," Broad told BCC Sport.

"At the Twenty20 World Cup we had weeks to prepare, this time we had two days before Sunday's game to make the mental change of adapting into bowling yorkers, slower balls, heavy length balls.

"In Test cricket, you try to hit the same spot every time. If you do that in Twenty20 cricket you tend to go [get hit for boundaries]. The tempo is a lot different to Test cricket. It's been quite strenuous to the body and a few lads are tired after hurtling about on the outfield on Sunday."

With the Twitter indiscretions of Kevin Pietersen and Dimitri Mascarenhas in the background, plus the ongoing corruption saga, Broad said training hard allowed the players to be "very focused".

As well as the brilliant bowling of Graeme Swann, who spun the ball far more than opposite number Saeed Ajmal in taking 2-14, the outstanding feature of England's play in the first match was the boundary fielding.

Broad was one of many players who performed expert sliding stops to prevent boundaries, whereas Pakistan's fielders were frequently less adept.

He added: "We adapted to conditions really well. The pitch was spinning, the spinners bowled fantastically well and kept us in the game. What we're really pleased with was the standard of our fielding. On the ground we were fantastic."

England (from): PD Collingwood (captain), C Kieswetter, SM Davies (wkt), RS Bopara, EJG Morgan, LJ Wright, TT Bresnan, SCJ Broad, GP Swann, MH Yardy, RJ Sidebottom, JM Anderson, A Shahzad.

Pakistan (from): S Afridi (captain), S Hasan, F Alam, M Yousuf, U Akmal, K Akmal (wkt), A Razzaq, U Gul, S Ajmal, S Akhtar, W Riaz, M Hafeez, A Ali.

Umpires: I Gould and R Illingworth.
Third umpire: R Kettleborough
Match referee: J Crowe

Potenshöjande medel -

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