Broad's rapid return to form halts Pakistan

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The Independent Online

Stuart Broad returned his second five-wicket haul in the space of three days to propel England to a 67-run victory over Pakistan in both teams' final World Cup warm-up game yesterday.

England reached 273 in 49.4 overs after 50s from Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, who also chipped in with three wickets, as Andrew Strauss's team found some useful pre-tournament form just four days before their first Group B match against the Netherlands in India.

Broad had the Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez caught in the slips, Kamran Akmal trapped lbw and Umar Akmal clean bowled in an accurate opening spell. He returned later to take the vital wicket of Younis Khan, who was on 80 and keeping Pakistan in the game. His dismissal of Wahab Riaz wrapped up the Pakistan innings for 206 in 46.1 overs.

"It was a top team performance tonight," Collingwood said. "It was pretty much the tempo we wanted to play our one-day cricket."

On Wednesday on the same pitch, Broad took five wickets in a narrow victory over Canada. That was his first performance since he picked up an injury in December that saw him miss England's recent 6-1 one-day series defeat in Australia.

Collingwood bowled 10 overs for 48 runs, and his victims included Misbah-ul-Haq, who was on 25 and threatening a dangerous partnership with Younis.

England got off to a poor start when Strauss went for five off the bowling of Shoaib Akhtar, the captain's third consecutive cheap dismissal.

Pietersen is beginning to show signs of getting comfortable in his new role as No 2 and reached his 50 in style with a six over long on. However, just as a big score was on the cards, he skipped up the pitch looking to drive the left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and was stumped on 66.

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