England Blind V Pakistan Blind, Pakistan in England Series, Match Four, 31st May 2006 at Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road


Report by Steve Field

With the series lost 3-0 England rotated the squad bringing Dave Powers in for his first cap.

England won the toss and put Pakistan in. A score of 333-9 in 40 overs seemed to put the game out of England’s reach as Pakistan went off at 10 an over despite losing an early wicket. However England reached 334-6 with 8 balls to spare as England put into practice a number of changes that had been earnestly discussed overnight.

The plan was to score quicker at the beginning of the innings by converting singles into 2s and take more wickets by aggressive, bouncy bowling.

England held firm in the face of another Pakistani onslaught but Yaseen was soon superbly caught just inside the boundary by Sam Murray. After that B1 of the series Amir Ishfaq plundered another 66 runs in partnership with Muzafar Ali. The pick of the batsmen was Fayaz whose 66 was a wonderful display of uninhibited hitting but a valuable unbeaten 33 from Razzaq secured another big total.

The steady fall of wickets from a more potent bowling attack left the lower order batsmen struggling at the end so that the last 2 overs only yielded 8 runs.

Striving for early acceleration Andy Powers was promoted to opener hitting his first ball for 4. However he was caught in the second over hence reuniting regular openers Rory Field and Nathan Foy at 13-1. England were dismayed by the run out of Rory Field in the 5th over. Heindrich Swanepoel promoted himself to Number 4 and these two all-time leading England scorers added 228 in 112 minutes to put victory within sight. Foy who had suffered a poor run in this series cracked 162 with shots all round the wicket including 3 valuable boundaries. That both were run out showed the high risk strategy that England employed to put the Pakistanis under real pressure for the first time in the series and win this match at all costs. Townley’s double runs were the obvious choice to keep the momentum going but when he was caught first ball, Sugg and Mark Pickup quickly settled into their stride to leave Keryn Seal to finish things off with crucial knock of 10 in 5 balls.

Men of the Series:

B1: Amir Ishfaq
B2: Rory Field
B3: Syed Ahmed


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