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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Dubai T20: Gul takes Pakistan home

Dubai T20: Gul takes Pakistan home

Last updated on: February 24, 2012 01:13 IST


Pakistan defeated England by eight runs in the first of three T20 Internationals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.

Chasing a modest target of 145, the visitors managed only 136 for six. Umar Gul was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers with figures of three for 18. He was named the man-of-the-match for his efforts.

Kevin Pietersen (33) and Craig Kieswetter (13) provided England a solid start, putting on 48 runs for the opening wicket (off just 34 balls).

Umar GulThe in-form Pietersen, scorer of back-to-back hundreds in the final two ODIs in Dubai, was in particular aggressive. His 21-ball innings inclusive of four boundaries and a huge six off Shahid Afridi. However, in a bid to get another maximum off the same bowler, he ended up holing out to Asad Shafiq in the deep.

Hafeez then struck twice, rattling the timber of both Kieswetter and Eoin Morgan (14). Ravi Bopara (39) and Jonny Bairstow put 33 runs in 21 balls for the fourth wicket before Gul cleaned up the former. The bowler then accounted for Jos Buttler (3) and Samit Patel (0) in successive balls.  

Bairstow remained unbeaten on 22 but couldn't take his team home.  

Earlier, Graeme Swann (4-1-13-3) ran through the Pakistan middle order to have them reeling at 73 for five in the 11th over.

It took a 71-run sixth wicket stand between captain Misbah-ul-Haq (26 not out) and Shoaib Malik (39) to give the Pakistan total a semblance of respectability, the latter falling off the last ball of the innings.

Having been put into bat Pakistan got off to a good start with Hafeez (23) and Awais Zia (18) putting on 32 runs for the opening wicket before Steven Finn struck, having the latter caught by Stuart Broad.

Hafeez and Shafiq (19) put on another 33 runs for the second wicket before the latter ran himself out. Thereafter, Swann got into the act, picking up the wickets of Hafeez, Afridi (7) and Umar Akmal (0) in the space of seven balls.

Misbah and Malik did well but still Pakistan fell a good 20 runs short on a wicket that seemed conducive for batting.

In the final analysis, the Pakistan bowlers more than made up for their poor batting effort.