x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

How it happened: Pakistan level the series

A cameo from Abdul Razzaq helped Pakistan script a turnaround victory and square the two game series of Twenty20 internationals against England.

Pakistan has won the TOSS and elect to FIELD
Over 1: Runs straightaway as the first ball is angled and Jonathan Trott flicks it away for a couple. A slower one foxes him but no damage is done. Another couple to end the over. 4-0 Over 2: Yasir Arafat has an identical over like the first. Couple of twos to start and end the over after drifting on to Joe Denly's pads. Interestingly Afridi runs up to give him some advice. That is what a leader should be doing. Talking to his players and sharing his experience. 8-0 Over 3: Another quiet over. Razzaq keeps it at a nice length. A little fuller and he is flicked away for a couple but other than that, no boundaries yet. 10-0 Over 4: WICKET After a near play-and-miss, Arafat is through the defence of Joe Denly. Kevin Pietersen is next and the first ball he faces he tries to run down the crease. Arafat angles in but only concedes four wides. The ball went very close from wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed and he stood rooted. 18-1 Over 5: Pietersen is upto unconventional antics. He and Trott run three cheeky singles and then he manages to chip one over mid-on's head for a four, the first of the innings. 26-1 Over 6: Pietersen is running loose. A dangerous batsmen and his confidence back after yesterday's run-a-ball, he plays one down fine leg for FOUR, plays over short third man's head for another FOUR and flicks away the ball into the air over midwicket region. The deep square leg fielder just fails to reach there in time but saves a boundary but it is a costly over from Arafat. 39-1 Over 7: An uppish on-drive from Pietersen fails to reach Saeed Ajmal at mid-on. 42-1 Over 8: The spinners are on and it is Shahid Afridi to start with. The batsmen give hime due respect. 44-1 Over 9: England are taking the attack to the best bowler from yesterday's match - Saeed Ajmal. Three runs to start with for Pietersen followed by a huge SIX, the biggest over two days, over the bowlers head can be demoralising. 55-1 Over 10: Afridi also comes in for some punishment from Pietersen. A straight drive between him and deep long-off goes for a FOUR and is followed by a wild swing and miss but still manages to beat the third man for another FOUR. Pakistan need a wicket desperately as Pietersen is 35 from 18 balls. 55-1 Over 11: Trott joins in the feat, sweeping offspinner Ajmal for a FOUR over midwicket. 75-1 Over 12: The match is fast slipping away from the hosts. Afridi is treated with what is a calculated risk. Five balls for ones and twos and the occasional four or six. In this over it is a straight flat six that crashes into the advertising boards behind the bowler's head. 82-1 Over 13: Umar Gul is into the attack and Pietersen is on 46 but that does not stop him from coming down the wicket to the fast bowler and swat him away. Shahid Afridi gets his hand on the possible catch but the ball had so much sting that it bounced off his right hand. Brutal power and Afridi cannot be blamed for dropping that. 86-1 Over 14: For the first time there is no four or six but still six runs off Afridi's over as he finishes his spell of 4-0-27-0.92-1 Over 15: Pietersen just rocks back and lofts a short delivery from Gul back over his head for another big SIX. An angry Gul oversteps to get more pace but the freehit fetches only one run and a nice cricketing cover drive shot for another FOUR to end the over. 104-1 Over 16: Ajmal comes in from the other end. Trott is into a shot early but the ball balloons up into no man's land. A short delivery is paddled away and Razzaq cover huge ground, slides in to save a boundary. So far no hiccups on the ground by the fielders. 110-1 Over 17: WICKETA run out was the only possible way to break this partnership of 98 runs. Pietersen digs out a yorker straight to Imran Nazir at mid-on but Trott runs down from the non-striker like a car without brakes. The man in form, Eoin Morgan is in next. Gul tried to york him out the last ball of the over but Morgan only pulled off a perfect tee-shot from the crease for a SIX. 120-2 Over 18: WICKET A double blow for England. Pietersen was just what Pakistan wanted and Ajmal traps him leg before. Luke Wright is the next man in and there are a couple of thich edges but no harm done. Wright also survived a last ball run out appeal after a direct hit from Afridi. 124-3 Over 19: WICKETGul strikes, the danger man Eoin Morgan is out trying for a six but holing out to long-on for nine runs. It was captain Malik who took the catch in the deep. It is Afridi who is running up to the bowlers periodically. Get the drift? Meanwhile, Gul continues to leak runs. He started with a wide, drops short to new batsman Paul Collingwood and the captain pivots around for a first ball SIX over squareleg boundary and then drives him down the ground for a single. A misfield from Razzaq at this man allows a couple. Another SIX to end the over as Wright also swings away at a full delivery over wide long-on. 141-4 Over 20: WICKET Arafat bowls the last one and Wright fails to connect this one. Ball is in the air for a long time and Afridi runs down from mid-on towards long-on to complete the catch in a tense moment. No wonder they love him.
WICKET Tim Bresnan tries to hit a full toss out of the ground but the bat face has closed in early and Imran Farhat completes the catch at long-off. The hat-trick is saved and England finish at 148-6, still a healthy target for Pakistan. They will also need some one to do a Pietersen today. 148-6

Over 1: Okay we are back in action and it is Shahzad Ajmal, the debutant, who is in the line of fire straightaway with the ball. WICKET Poor cricket from Imran Nazir. After hitting Shahzad for a FOUR off the first ball he has a wide slash on the third ball and Tim Bresnan hardly moves to take the catch at third man. WICKET: Even as we speak, opener Farhat goes for a pull shot but only spoons it to mid-on. The batsmen had crossed at Nazir's dismissal. Poor cricket. Absolutely ridiculous but Shahzad is not complaining. Two wickets in his first over of international cricket. 4-2 Over 2: The reckless display has put Pakistan back in the shell, we assume. Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik are the men in the middle. A nice cut for a FOUR from Malik is cheered by the crowd. They need runs but not in the manner the openers tried to. Malik can be relied to hunker down but Akmal can have an occasional rush of blood. 12-2 Over 3: Akmal comes up with two genuine shots, one steered past mid-on and the other is run down fine by making space for himself for two FOURs. Malik is looking a bit nervous here of the two. Plays and misses the last ball and wicketkeeper Matt Prior is all over as he lets a low bounce delivery run for four byes. A bonus for Pakistan and they need many more of that. 25-2 Over 4: Tim Bresnan, who bowled the second over is taken off and Stuart Broad is in. Just two runs from the over. Bresnan had bowled one over from the same end yesterday before switching over. 27-2 Over 5: I guessed it right. Bresnan is back from the other end. Malik plays a pre-determined swat pull shot. As long as he can time it right it is a safe shot. The ball lands inch before the boundary rope for FOUR. A late cut by Akmal gets couple more. 35-2 Over 6: I told you so. Akmal has the rush of blood and tries to play the Dilscoop, trying to chip a ball from outside offstump. Malik comes down the wicket to calm him down. 39-2 Over 7: WICKET It is Malik is out and it is the first over wicket-taker or breakthrough bowler Graeme Swann. A legside going wide delivery and Malik loses his balance trying to steer it down. Prior has the bails off in a flash. The TV umpire Kumar Dharmasena take an eternity as the call is tight. Malik's foot was in the crease but he lifted it a wee bit as he swayed to find his balance. The man, Boom Boom Afridi is in next. He survives a leg before appeal on the last ball. 45-3 Over 8: Shahid Afridi opens his account with a FOUR, a nice square cut off point fielder and then works away to the leg side for a couple. 53-3 Over 9: A miserly Swann gives away only one run and also runs through his over fast. No dramas here. 54-3 Over 10: Akmal pulls a short one from Luke Wright's first ball in the air but safe for a couple. A wild slash goes fine past the third man for FOUR but the batsmen collide as they watch the ball run away past the ropes. Akmal is shuffling a bit in the crease. 62-3 Over 11: WICKET Afridi is gone. Big blow. A ball after Akmal tried to use his feet to Swann but managed a single, Afridi tried doing that but managed to hole it to deep midwicket. Is it over for them. Fawad Alam is in next. 67-4 Over 12: Nothing flashy, just quick singles but Pakistan still six from the over. Perhaps the previous batsmen could have done something similar. 73-4 Over 13: WICKETUmar Akmal succumbs to, what else, a rush of blood. After playing well for his 36, he slog sweeps Graeme Swann's last ball of his spell and holes it out to midwicket. Swann finished with the best economical figures for England with 4-1-14-3. 78-3 Over 14: The veteran Abdul Razzaq is in next and he gets to face the military medium pace of Collingwood. Two SIXes off successive balls are dispatched over midwicket's head much to the delight of the crowd. A straight drive off the next ball 92-3 Over 15: When Fawad Alam came in a Pakistan journalist here cribbed, "they should have sent Razzaq first. Alam cannot hit even a four!" Razzaq has agreed and he hit a SIX, a nice scooped one past bowler Wright's head, couple of twos and it is another nice over for Pakistan. Game on. 105-5 Over 16: Couple of wild blows and swings of the bat by Alam off Stuart Broad but no boundary and then the last ball, Alam gets a leading edge. The tall Shahzad is lazy to jump and lets a catch go abegging and worse, gives Alam his first FOUR. Broad cannot believe it. Pakistan need 31 from four overs, quite achievable. 118-5 Over 17: Alam bludgeons one past Bresnan nearly taking his head off for another FOUR. Some more swings get a pair of twos. The last ball was in the air for a while but Alam's mistimed pull fell short of long-on. 126-5 Over 18: WICKET Alam tries one too many and holes it straight down deep squareleg off the first ball of Broad's over. Broad greets Arafat with a short one and then again the second ball after. Arafat ducks but then strangely lifts his bat without looking and the ball runs down the third man for a couple of runs to him. 17 needed off the last 12 balls now. 132-6 Over 19: A single down third man, 1 run. Arafat plays one down straight, 1 run. A SIX, Razzaq is on fire. Eight runs shaved off the first three balls. It is all over. Razzaq fires another straight SIX to complete a dramatic turnaround win. 149-6 Razzaq unnoticed jumped to a nice cameo knock of 46 from 18 balls and what a match-winning knock or push it has been.