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01 December 2023

Misbah, Akmal lead Pakistan to win over England

By Cricket Correspondent and Agencies

Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored a majestic 91 not out to lead Pakistan to a thrilling four-wicket victory over England in their final World Cup warmup at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old notched up five fours and two sixes in his 99-ball knock, turning the match in a fourth-wicket partnership of 133 with Umar Akmal.

Akmal fell for 65 to leave Sohaib Maqsood (20) and then Shahid Afridi to help their captain guide the 1992 world champions past England's total of 250 for eight with seven balls to spare.

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Afridi (eight not out) scored the winning runs with successive fours but rode his luck with the decisive second, which was almost caught at mid-off.

Pakistan's batting had been far from convincing in their win over Bangladesh on Monday and they will now head to Adelaide to face reigning champions India in their tournament opener on Sunday with renewed confidence.

England's bowling spearheads James Anderson and Stuart Broad took a couple of wickets apiece to keep the contest alive until the last few overs but the English were punished for anything loose.

Misbah brought up his half century with a thumping six into the noisy band of Pakistan fans packed into the members' stand and Akmal reached the milestone in the same manner 10 overs later.

Ehsan Adil had earlier set the tone for a fine Pakistan bowling performance in an opening over which accounted for Moeen Ali (4).

Gary Ballance came in at number three with a point to prove in his first game since September after recovering from a fractured finger, however, and he steadied the ship with a well-crafted 57.

It was only after he had departed with an ill-executed slog sweep and out-of-sorts skipper Eoin Morgan fell for a duck attempting a lap sweep to a full toss, however, that England really got a grip on their innings.

Joe Root provided the adhesive with a sparkling 85 off 89 balls and combined with Chris Jordan (31 not out) to steer his side towards a competitive tally.

England rested Ian Bell, Chris Woakes, James Taylor and Steve Finn but all should return when they open their World Cup campaign against co-hosts Australia on Saturday.  

Pakistan innings

Pakistan coasted to a comfortable four-wicket win in their final World Cup warm-up match against England with seven balls to spare.

Chasing a challenging target of 251, Pakistan rode on half centuries by Umar Akmal (65) and skipper Misbah ul Haq (91 not out) to make 252-6 in 48.5 overs.

Maqsood chipped in with a 12-ball cameo of 20 while Afridi hit the winning run by clubbing a couple of boundaries.

Afridi slams two consecutive boundaries off Broad as Pakistan win by four wickets and seven balls remaining.

Broad bowls it short and Akmal uppercut him to third man for a boundary but perishes next ball caught behind. Pak 211-5, 44.3 overs.

Anderson strikes as Maqsood nicks one behind with victory in sight for Pakistan. Pak 243-6, 47.4 overs.

Sohaib Maqsood c Buttler b Anderson 20 (12b 4x4 0x6)

Maqsood is off to a flier top edging a bouncer from Broad first ball to the fence followed by another boundary to midwicket. Pak 219-5, 45 overs.

Broad bowls it short and Akmal uppercut him to third man for a boundary but perishes next ball caught behind. Pak 211-5, 44.3 overs.

Umar Akmal c Buttler b Broad 65 (66b 3x4 3x6)

Misbah pummels Broad for a couple of boundaries to long-off and long-on. Pak 204-4, 43 overs.

Akmal brings up his half century off 54 balls in style by whacking Jordan for a massive six over midwicket. Pak 195-4, 42 overs.

Akmal gets his first boundary via an edge through the vacant slip off Bopara to bring up the 100 partnership while Misbah beats midoff for another boundary. Pak 185-4, 41 overs.

Anderson bowls an excellent over. Pak 174-4, 40 overs.

Akmal finds the ropes for the first time after 47 balls launching into Jordan for a straight six. Pak 171-4, 39 overs.

Misbah hammers a boundary and six off Ali to reach his half century off 51 balls. Pak 140-4, 32 overs.

Akmal gets going smashing a full toss from Moeen over midwicket for a six. Pak 116-4, 28 overs.

Pakistan are 91-4 at the halfway stage needing 160 from 150 balls.

Sohail departs attempting to loft Tredwell only for Ballance to take a good catch running from long-on. Pak 78-4, 22.1 overs.

Haris Sohail c Ballance b Tredwell 33 (56b 1x4 0x6)

Misbah decides to attack Tredwell belting him over long-on for a massive six. Pak 68-3, 19 overs.

Younis Khan goes as Ballance takes a miscued pull shot off Jordan. Pak 43-3, 13.2 overs.

Younis Khan c Ballance b Jordan 19 (40b 2x4 0x6)

Younis Khan survives a confident appeal for lbw off Broad as he shuffles across. Pak 14-2, 6 overs.

Anderson strikes as Shehzad attempts an expansive drive only to be caught in the slips. Pak 10-2, 4.1 overs.

Ahmed Shehzad c Tredwell b Anderson 2 (11b 0x4 0x6) SR: 18.18

Broad strikes with his first delivery as Jamshed fails again chasing a widish ball to give a catch to second slip. Pak 2-1, 1.1 overs.

Nasir Jamshed c Tredwell b Broad 1 (4b 0x4 0x6)

England innings

Pakistan have restricted England to 250-8 with Joe Root top scoring with 85 and Gary Ballance making 57.

Leg spinner Yasir Shah was the pick of the bowlers returning figures of 10-1-45-3 while Sohail Khan claimed two for 47.

England finish on exactly 250-8 with Jordan unbeaten on 31.

Misbah takes a skier from Broad who attempts to heave Wahab out of the ground. Eng 246-8, 49.2 overs.

Stuart Broad c Misbah-ul-Haq b Wahab Riaz 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)

Root perishes scooping a catch attempting a reverse hit off Sohail Khan. Eng 244-7, 48.5 overs.

Joe Root c Ehsan Adil b Sohail Khan 85 (89b 4x4 1x6)

Jordan gives Afridi a taste of his own medicine by swinging him for a massive six followed by a boundary. Eng 234-6, 47 overs.

Yasir Shah completes an excellent spell with figures of 10-1-45-3. Eng 211-6, 45 overs.

Root hits the first six of the match slog sweeping Shah. Eng 197-6, 43 overs.

Sohail Khan removes Buttler with a perfect yorker. Eng 184-6, 40.4 overs.

Jos Buttler b Sohail Khan 13 (20b 1x4 0x6)

Root has completed his half century off 59 balls. Eng 177-5, 40 overs.

Root opens his account with a delightful late cut off Afridi. Eng 163-5, 36 overs.

Shah strikes a deadly blow beating Bopara through the gate with a straight one to pick up his third wicket. Eng 157-5, 35 overs.

Ravi Bopara b Yasir Shah 11 (25b 1x4 0x6)

Bopara gets his first boundary via a misfield after sweeping Afridi. Eng 152-4, 34 overs.

Sohail Khan returns to the attack and bowls a maiden. Eng 144-4, 32 overs.

Double blow by Shah as England skipper Morgan's poor form continues. Eng 135-4, 28.4 overs.

Eoin Morgan c Younis Khan b Yasir Shah 0 (3b 0x4 0x6)

Pakistan get a breakthrough as Ballance sweeps Shah straight down the throat of Maqsood. Eng 135-3, 28.1 overs.

Gary Ballance c Sohaib Maqsood b Yasir Shah 57 (81b 4x4 0x6)

Root sweeps Sohail to fine leg for his second boundary. Eng 130-2, 27 overs.

The 50 partnership between Ballance and Root for the third wicket has come in 60 balls. Eng 121-2, 26 overs.

Ballance makes a timely return to form by stroking 50 off 70 balls. Eng 116-2, 25 overs.

Root bludgeons Shah to midwicket for his first boundary. Eng 111-2, 24 overs.

Yasir Shah replaces Afridi who has figures of 6-0-29-1. Eng 104-2, 23 overs.

Afridi strikes as Hales chips to Maqsood at short midwicket. Eng 69-2, 15.4 overs.

Alex Hales c Sohaib Maqsood b Shahid Afridi 31 (47b 3x4 0x6)

Hales has thumped a short ball from Riaz to midwicket for a boundary. Eng 68-1, 15 overs.

Spin introduced as Afridi comes into the attack in the 12th over.

Ballance gets going cracking a couple of boundaries of Adil flaying it past point and driving through the covers. Eng 44-1, 10 overs.

Ballance and Hales crack boundaries off Sohail on either side of the wicket. Eng 33-1, 9 overs.

Hales hits his first boundary top edging a short ball from Sohail to long leg. Eng 20-1, 5 overs.

Adil strikes with his second delivery as Moeen loops a catch off a leading edge to extra cover. Eng 5-1, 1.2 overs.

Moeen Ali c Younis Khan b Ehsan Adil 4 (6b 1x4 0x6)

Perfect start for England as Moeen clips the first ball of the match from Sohail Khan to the square leg fence.

England have won the toss and elected to bat in their World Cup warm up match against Pakistan at Sydney on Wednesday.

Pakistan beat Bangladesh by three wickets in their first warm-up game while England routed West Indies.


England - MM Ali, AD Hales, GS Ballance, JE Root, EJG Morgan, RS Bopara, JC Buttler, CJ Jordan, SCJ Broad, JC Tredwell, JM Anderson, JWA Taylor, CR Woakes, ST Finn, IR Bell

Pakistan - Shehzad, Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Younis, Haris, Misbah, Maqsood, Afridi, Ehsan Adil, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah.