Friday, February 18, 2011

ICC World Cup Warm-up Matches, England v Pakistan at Fatullah, Feb 18, 2011

ICC World Cup Warm-up Matches, England v Pakistan at Fatullah, Feb 18, 2011

Pakistan v England, World Cup 2011, warm-up match

Pietersen and Collingwood find form for England

Paul Collingwood found some vital form with his highest score of the winter against international opposition, while Kevin Pietersen showed himself to be at home as an opener with a 78-ball 66, as England compiled a decent total of 273 against Pakistan on another slow deck at Fatullah.
After the embarrassment of their near-defeat against Canada on Wednesday, England's efforts with the bat were much more confident second-time around, as they resumed their rivalry with the Pakistan side whom they edged out 3-2 in an emotional home series last September, which came in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal at Lord's.
They once again endured a stuttering start, however. After being asked to bat first, Andrew Strauss was bowled for 5 by Shoaib Akhtar, before Jonathan Trott - England's anchor in the Canada match - went the same way to Junaid Khan, having used up 18 deliveries for his 9.
Pietersen, however, found confidence and some fluency in partnership with Ian Bell, who made 39 from 58 balls in an 80-run stand for the second wicket. His running between the wickets was typically haphazard, with at least two close shaves off quick singles, but he brought up his half-century with a six over long-on off Saeed Ajmal, before Abdur Rehman lured him out of crease to be stumped.
That brought Collingwood to the crease, under pressure for runs after a fallow winter in which his only scores of note came in two pre-Ashes warm-up games at Adelaide and Hobart. He survived an inside-edge off Shoaib that streaked away for four, but on the slow Fatullah surface his confidence returned, and having batted well in partnership with both Ravi Bopara and Matt Prior, he was dismissed with 13 balls of the innings remaining, when Wahab Riaz pinned him lbw.
The innings unravelled rather quickly thereafter, however. Prior was extracted by a full toss four balls later, with Tim Bresnan - back in the side after his calf injury - becoming Junaid's third victim in the same over. Wahab then cleaned up the tail to leave England two balls short of batting out their 50 overs, but at least two key performers had found form at the right time.

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