The spectre of ball-tampering raised its ugly head again last night as England fell to their ninth limited over defeat of the summer. Pakistan passed England's commendable total of 271 for 9 with seven balls remaining to claim a two-wicket victory in the most closely fought one-day game of the season. Inzamam-ul-Haq scored the winning runs when he pulled Rikki Clarke over mid-wicket for four but it was a brilliant hundred from Younis Khan that decided the outcome of a match that took the tourists into a 2-0 lead in the five game series.
The match officials were forced to meet after Shoaib Akhtar, the Pakistan fast bowler, was shown on camera brushing his thumb down the side of the ball. The image, highlighted by Sky Sports, came three balls after Akhtar had dismissed Ian Bell for 42. But after more than an hour of deliberations Mike Procter, the match referee quashed suggestions by stating that no action would be taken against Shoaib.
Procter's view was not presumed by everyone. Commenting at the end of England's innings Nasser Hussain, the former England captain, said: "I can't believe he'd be so stupid in the current climate, at best he's been very, very silly." The umpires inspected the ball after the incident but did not take any action.
The events had no effect on the result of the day/night encounter. Pakistan's reply was dominated by Younis and Mohammad Yousuf who added 167 runs for the third wicket.
Jon Lewis continued his good form with a testing opening spell, and two early wickets gave England hope of bringing an unwanted winless streak to an end.
While Younis and Yousuf were at the crease Pakistan looked in complete control but the dismissal of Younis, who was caught at long on for 101, brought a minor tremor. Yousuf was then bowled by Jamie Dalrymple for 60 and Shahid Afridi given out caught behind when the ball clearly touched his shirt sleeve and not his bat.
Abdul Razzaq smashed 16 but he and Kamran Akmal fell in successive balls from Broad. Lewis bowled Rana Naved-ul-Hasan for seven to leave Pakistan on 265 for 8, but Inzamam calmly saw his side home. The Pakistan captain struck two sixes and three boundaries, leaving the ground with 44 effortless runs off 33 balls.
England's total was built around contrasting half centuries from Andrew Strauss, Dalrymple and Paul Collingwood. Strauss led England's charge with a quick 50 before Dalrymple and Collingwood eased their way to 62 and 61.
England were delicately placed on 125 for 4 when Collingwood and Dalrymple came together and the 101 runs the pair put on allowed the lower order to play its shots.
England supporters must have feared the worst when Shoaib bowled Marcus Trescothick with the first ball of the match but Strauss and Ian Bell calmed nerves with a partnership of 79. Strauss's fun ended the ball after he had reached his 10th one-day half century, when he danced down the pitch and edged a catch through to the keeper.
Kevin Pietersen played a couple of stunning drives but when he and Bell perished England were in danger of being bowled out for a sub-standard score. Intelligent batting from Collingwood and Dalrymple ensured that this was not the case. Dalrymple was aggressive but Collingwood reached his half century in 14 fewer balls.
* The ICC has given England three days' leeway in naming their 14-man squad for next month's Champions Trophy. All competing countries were expected to name their squads by tomorrow but the ICC has been sympathetic towards England because of injury problems, and the fact that the team are currently playing in the NatWest series.
Scoreboard from the Rose Bowl
Pakistan won toss
M E Trescothick b Shoaib Akhtar 0 1 min, 1 ball
*A J Strauss c Kamran Akmal b Abdul Razzaq 50 68 min, 46 balls, 8 fours
I R Bell c Mohammad Hafeez b Shoaib Akhtar 42 109 min, 66 balls, 3 fours
K P Pietersen c Mohammad Hafeez b Naved-ul-Hasan 20 28 min, 22 balls, 3 fours
P D Collingwood c Shoaib Akhtar b Naved-ul-Hasan 61 103 min, 62 balls, 5 fours
J W M Dalrymple b Naved-ul-Hasan 62 70 min, 78 balls, 5 fours
R Clarke b Abdul Razzaq 0 3 min, 1 ball
ÝC M W Read not out 21 29 min, 20 balls, 2 fours
S I Mahmood run out (Abdul Razzaq- Shoaib Akhtar TV replay) 0 5 min, 0 balls
J Lewis c Shoaib Malik b Naved-ul-Hasan 7 5 min, 4 balls, 1 four
S C J Broad not out 0 2 min, 1 ball
Extras (lb1 w6 nb1) 8
Total (for 9, 216 min, 50 overs) 271
Fall: 1-0 (Trescothick) 2-79 (Strauss) 3-113 (Pietersen) 4-125 (Bell) 5-226 (Dalrymple) 6-229 (Clarke) 7-249 (Collingwood) 8-255 (Mahmood) 9-268 (Lewis).
Bowling: Shoaib Akhtar 10-1-59-2 (w1) (5-0-30-1, 3-1-6-1, 2-0-23-0); Mohammad Asif 9-0-51-0 (w2) (6-0-28-0, 3-0-23-0); Abdul Razzaq 8-0-44-2 (nb1) (6-0-34-1, 2-0-10-1); Naved-ul-Hasan 10-1-57-4 (w2) (6-1-31-1, 4-0-26-3); Shahid Afridi 6-0-26-0; Mohammad Hafeez 3-0-14-0 (one spell each); Shoaib Malik 4-0-19-0 (w1) (1-0-3-0, 3-0-16-0).
Progress: Power Play 1: overs 1-10 54-1; PP2: overs 11-15 80-2; PP3: overs 16-20 100-2. 50: 42 min, 54 balls. 100: 85 min, 112 balls. 150: 136 min, 187 balls. 200: 172 min, 243 balls. 250: 202 min, 289 balls.
Strauss's 50: 64 min, 45 balls, 8 fours. Collingwood's 50: 94 min, 55 balls, 4 fours. Dalrymple's 50: 55 min, 69 balls, 4 fours.
Shoaib Malik c Collingwood b Lewis 1 4 min, 4 balls
Mohammad Hafeez run out 20 26 min, 19 balls, 2 fours
Younis Khan c Trescothick b Broad 101 155 min, 109 balls, 13 fours, 1 six
Mohammad Yousuf b Dalrymple 60 146 min, 103 balls, 5 fours
Inzamam-ul-Haq not out 44 35 min, 33 balls
Shahid Afridi c Read b Mahmood 0 5 min, 3 balls
Abdul Razzaq c and b Broad 16 21 min, 18 balls, 1 four
ÝKamran Akmal c Collingwood b Broad 0 1 min, 1 ball
Naved-ul-Hasan b Lewis 7 9 min, 8 balls, 1 four
Shoaib Akhtar not out 2 2 min, 2 balls
Extras (lb5 w11 nb6) 22
Total (for 8, 40 overs) 273
Fall: 1-2 2-29 3-196 4-215 5-217 6-256 7-256 8-265.
Did not bat: Mohammad Asif.
Bowling: J Lewis 8-0-29-1; S C J Broad 10-1-57-3; S I Mahmood 7-0-51-0; R Clarke 2-0-11-0; P D Collingwood 3-0-20-0; J W M Dalrymple 10-0-44-1; K P Pietersen 4-0-23-0.
Pakistan win by two wickets
Umpires: B R Doctrove (WI) and N J Llong.
TV replay umpire: P J Hartley.
Match referee: M J Procter (SA).Reuse content