1st Match: England v Pakistan at Birmingham, 7 Jun 2001|
The last four wickets added 57 more to the score, with the highest partnership being that for the 7th wicket between Cork and Knight.
These two took the score to 135, a partnership of 27 studded with a few boundaries as well, when Afridi came into the attack for the 34th over, and he found wicket on the very first ball.
That delivery from the leg-spinner skidded off the wicket and found Cork’s stumps, as the batsmen went for nothing more than a defensive prod. The Derbyshire all-rounder got 18 from 21 balls and hit 2 fours.
Not long after that and Knight, keeping his composure amidst this procession of wickets, reached his fifty, the 13th in ODIs, off 92 balls, which contained 4 hits to the fence.
However, joy for England fans was short-lived. Trying to play Saqlain across line, Mark Ealham completely missed the line of the ball and found his leg stump shaken. Ealham made 4 off 13 balls, with the wicket falling at 144.
Darren Gough’s stay at the crease was but brief. He was adjudged lbw off a quicker ball from Afridi after scoring just 1 from 6 balls.
The last man, Allan Mullally, spent comparatively more time at the crease, helping Knight to take the score past the 150-run mark by the 39th over.
England had reached 159 in the 44th over, when the crowd, mostly Pakistanis, thought they had enough of it and invaded the pitch in great numbers. This resulted in a hold up for about 35 minutes, as the players were led off the field by security personnel.
About 4 overs after the distasteful break and Pakistan got the last wicket – Mullally caught by Rashid Latif off Afridi at the total of 165. Mullally got 3 from 39 balls, whereas Knight remained unbeaten on 59 (114 balls, 4 fours).
The leg spinner finished as the most successful of the lot getting 3 for 15 in 7.2 overs. Saqlain got 2 for 20 in his tidy spell of ten over. Azhar and Waqar also got two each, whereas Razzaq got one.
The arrival of medium pacers from either end didn’t help much the England cause, as both Azhar and Razzaq found the track just to their liking. Keeping the ball at a tight off stump line, they allowed little liberty for scoring runs.
The required run-rate climbing rapidly, England captain went for probably the first ambitious shot and immediately paid the price. He was taken brilliantly by the substitute Shoaib Malik at short extra cover off Azhar Mahmood.
The England skipper hit one boundary to score 10 off 23 balls, with the wicket falling at 69 on the last ball of the 18th over.
Pakistan didn’t have to wait too long for their next success. Michael Vaughan had scored 5 (7 balls) when he drove Azhar uppishly to covers only to find Saeed Anwar picking up a stunning one handed catch to leave the hosts at 86 for 4.
There was more trouble to follow, as the debutante Collingwood, finding it hard to come to terms with the swinging balls, was trapped plumb in front by Razzaq. He scored 2 off five balls, with the wicket falling at 92.
The first ball from Razzaq’s next over saw Knight at last finding a boundary – a full-blooded drive past mid off. A leg bye followed by a two from Ben Hollioake brought up the hundred of the innings for England.
Saqlain came on for the 27th over and found success in the very first over. Hollioake mistimed a straight drive and was taken low by Saqlain, so low it was that the batsmen stood his ground until the third umpire had to confirm the legitimacy of the catch after making use of TV replays.
The start for the home side was a cautious one, with the first over yielding just a single to third man. Trescothick, however, soon got into the act, dispatching Waqar in the second over to covers for the first boundary.
Thereafter, some quick running between the wickets took the home side to 27 at the end of 5 overs.
Pakistan got the first breakthrough in the 6th over, when Alistair Brown was caught behind off the bowling of Waqar. He made 8 off 13 balls.
As usually happens after the fall of a wicket, the run rate fell markedly, with both W’s finding enough bounce and pace in a hitherto docile wicket to trouble the batsmen.
But this stage proved only momentary. After getting some time to get off the mark – that too only due to overthrows – Nick Knight soon showed his class by hammering Wasim through covers for his first boundary. This shot was followed by an even better one – a sweetly timed straight drive past Waqar in his follow through.
Waqar, however, retaliated by getting rid of the in-form Trescothick for 28 (30 balls, 4 fours). The left-hander was caught at gully by Younis Khan after top edging a well pitched up ball – the England scorecard showing 48 for 2 after 10 overs.
The next over by Wasim being a maiden, England reached the fifty of the innings when Alec Stewart handsomely drove Waqar for a boundary to extra cover. That, incidentally, were the first runs for the English skipper, and that was all he’d get in that particular over, as Waqar really tightened things up for the rest of the over.
With only 13 runs coming from the last five overs, England have just managed to move on to 61 by the end of 15 overs, with Knight batting on 12 (33 balls, 2 fours) and Stewart on 8 (15 balls, 1 four).
However, with both Wasim (20 off 6 overs) and Waqar (2 for 31 off 6 overs) gone and the medium pacers – Azhar Mahmood and Abdur Razzaq – on, the experience duo of Knight and Stewart would certainly looking to boost the scoring up and put pressure on the opposition.
Getting together at 56 for 2 in the 15th over, these two veterans took up the task of scoring surely and quickly, taking Pakistan past 200-run mark by the 40th over, thus setting a perfect foundation for the lower order to add swift runs at the end of the innings.
Earlier, the 32rd over of the innings, bowled by Collingwood, brought up the 150, after Inzamam relentlessly dispatched the debutant to mid-wicket for two consecutive boundaries.
Gough was brought on for the next over, obviously an attempt on the skipper’s part to stem the free flow of runs. However, undeterred by the paceman’s stature, Inzamam worked his first two deliveries away to long leg for doubles, posting the 100 partnership off only 106 balls.
A single off the next ball brought up the 60th ODI fifty for Inzamam, firing up the highly enthusiastic and vocal Pakistani section of the crowd.
The next eight overs brought 50-odd runs, with Pakistan reaching 200 in the 40th over, as Inzamam got boundaries off the second and third balls from Hollioake, bringing up in the process his 8,000 runs in ODIs.
Cork came back for the 41st over and found instant success. Saeed had made 77 when he sliced the paceman straight to Hollioake at point. His 106-ball innings contained six fours and two sixes.
The Derbyshire paceman earned a bigger scalp, that of Inzamam, in his next over. Going for a big one, Inzi only ended up in holing out to Trescothick at deep cover, a very fine catch by the England opener.
The Pakistan vice-captain hit 79 off 95 balls, striking nine fours, with the fourthth wicket falling at 210 in the 43rd over.
Yousuf Youhana and Azhar Mahmood, having been promoted in the batting order, added 26 for the fifth wicket, before the former was run out after making 14 (18 balls).
Azhar then went on to add 29 for the sixth wicket with Younis Khan, while bringing up the 250 in the 48th over. Younis was caught behind the wicket off Gough after scoring nine from seven balls.
A number of lusty blows by Azhar in the final overs, including an amazing six off Gough that went flying over the cover boundary, took Pakistan past the 270-run mark.
The young all-rounder remained unbeaten on 38 off 24 balls, which contained four fours and a six. Wasim Akram faced three balls to finish on three not out.
Cork was the most successful bowler, getting two for 46 in ten overs. Gough and Mullally finished with one wicket each for 53 and 44 respectively.
It was, however, slow going having lost two for 56 by the 15th over. Pakistan desperate to find quick runs and England trying to further abort their freedom, with the result that only 28 were scored in 7 overs, despite a flat pitch and electric-fast outfield.
The jinx was broken by Saeed Anwar, as the left-hander elegantly hoisted the first ball of the 23rd over, by Ealham, to mid wicket for the first six of the match. A delicate dab of the very next ball brought a boundary to the vacant third man region, with Pakistan reaching into the 90’s.
Stewart brought on the Vaughan for the 25th over of the innings and his gentle off spins hastened Pakistan’s walk past hundred-run mark.
Starting off with a leg side wide, Vaughan offered width to Inzamam on both sides of the wicket and was comfortably dispatched for two consecutive fours, bringing up the fifty of the partnership in about 10 overs, with the scoreboard showing 107 after 25 overs.
The next over from Vaughan, the 27th of the innings, and a four by Saeed on the second ball – a sweep to fine leg – brought up the fifty for the left-hander off 68 balls. Saeed hit 5 fours and a six to reach his 40th fifty in ODI’s.
Paul Collingwood, the Durham debutante, was welcomed by a boundary in the first over – a ferocious straight drive by Inzamam. In all, that over, the 30th of the innings, cost him 7, with Pakistan reaching 132 for 2.
Inzamam and Anwar have already added 76 for the unconquered 3rd wicket in about 15 overs, with the former batting on 35 (56 balls, 3 fours) and Saeed Anwar on 57 (77 balls, 6 fours and 1 six)
The start to Pakistan’s innings was however quite confident with Saeed Anwar pulling Gough for four in the very first over. Afridi was soon to get into the act, getting runs off his trademark pulls and swots.
It seemed at the moment that Pakistani openers were having absolutely no problem against the English attack.
However, Gough produced a number of good deliveries, failing only to find the edge of the bat. And when he did find the edge, that of Afridi, it went soaring over slips for a boundary.
Shahid Afridi, coming back to international cricket after a longish stay off, did well to get 25 off 24 balls, before getting out in his customary carefree manner. After racing to 25 off just 20 balls, having already hit 4 boundaries, he was bogged down a bit by an organized Mullaly and this led to his demise. In an attempt to get out of the groove, he skied the ball to mid on, where Ealham took a well-judged catch.
The fall of wicket considerably slowed down the progress, with both Saeed and Razzaq discovering all of a sudden that there was bite in the England bowling.
The next three or four overs produced nothing but a few singles, Pakistan reaching into the 40’s by the 11th over. It was Gough’s 6th over when Razzaq glanced him down to long leg for his first four.
The visitors achieved their fifty in the 14th over, bowled by Mullaly, as Saeed drove him straight for an easy double, followed by a wristy glance to deep square leg for four.
Came the 15th over of the innings and out went Razzaq after making a tardy looking 9 off 24 balls. Trying for a single to Hollioake, he was undone by a direct throw, with the bat just failing to reach the crease at the batting end.
Inzamam, the hero of Old Trafford, has just joined Saeed Anwar (21*) at the crease, having already got off the mark with a single to third man. A lot now depends on these two veterans, as they have perfect ability to tear the opposition apart on their day. On the other hand, one more wicket at this stage can give England a clear upper hand in the match.
The wicket at Edgbaston is flat, hard and devoid of any grass, reasons enough, apart from Pakistan’s innate unease in chasing runs, for Waqar to decide on batting first after winning the toss.
The home team have made five changes, the most notable being the exclusion of the injured Andrew Caddick. He has made way for the left-armer Alan Mullally, while Matthew Hoggard has retained his place in the side.
The other players coming into the side are: Alistair Brown, Ben Hollioake, Mark Ealham and Paul Collingwood.
Date-stamped : 08 Jun2001 - 02:25