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Pakistan wrap up series with 6-wkt win

Published: Saturday, August 5, 2000, 16:30 [IST]
 
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Rawalpindi: Pakistan on Monday, as expected, won the match in a canter; winning by a margin of six wickets and 39 balls to spare, after skittling the England team for a partly 158 earlier in the day. Although the margin of victory suggests a comfortable win, Pakistan were made to earn every run for most part of the chase. England got the ideal start when Caddick dismissed Imran Nazir before Pakistan could open their account and Caddick followed it with the wicket of in-form Afridi in his very next over to reduce Pakistan to two for nine.

The fall of two early wickets saw Pakistan take no more chances, which resulted in runs being accumulated at a snail's pace. However since there was no pressure what so ever, courtesy a very small target, Pakistan could afford to go at a laid back pace and when it mattered Pakistan pressed the accelerator to cross the flag with plenty to spare.Inzamam -ul-Haq helped himself to some vital batting practice before the start of the Test series with a well-struck 61, so did Youhana who helped himself to 31. Abdur Razzaq made a quick fire 17 of nine deliveries to hurry things towards the end.

Earlier, Pakistan set themselves up for the kill by restricting England to 158 in 42.5 overs. The Pakistan spin web had the English batsmen in a tail-spin with the medium pacers providing the initial break throughs.The Pakistan spinners had the English batsman in a bind. After a steady start of 36 runs from 9.3 overs, England slipped considerably and lost more than half the side within 25 overs. While Abdur Razzaq and Wasim Akram claimed a wicket each, Saqlain Mushtaq and Shahid Afridi effectively applied the breaks on England batting.

England lost former skipper and wicket-keeper Alec Stewart at the score of 36 and thereafter it was a regular procession. Only Marcus Trescothick showed some fight as he played a short and sweet innings of 36 runs from 48 balls with five hits to the fence.Pakistan captain Moin Khan won the toss and decided to bowl first. The home side had to make a change as Saeed Anwar was indisposed with sore throat and fever. Imran Nazir replaced Anwar in the squad. The England team remained unchanged.England were resurrected in the middle by a 48-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Graham Thorpe and Mark Ealham.

But, once again lost wickets in a heap to be all out for 158 from 134 for seven. Graham Thorpe (39 runs, 71 balls, one four) was the top scorer for England. Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq returned with best figures of five for 20 from eight overs as Pakistan took a firm grip on the match.

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