England happy with World Twenty20 preparations after beating Pakistan

 

England continue to grow in confidence after a second successive ICC World Twenty20 warm-up win to put themselves in good heart for their first competitive match.

The defending champions will begin their campaign against Afghanistan on Friday on the back of victories by nine runs against Australia and 15 runs over Pakistan this morning.

They did not look set for a second win after mustering only 111 at the P Sara Oval, thanks mostly to Luke Wright's continued good form at number three.

England may encounter very different conditions too when they switch to the nearby Premadasa Stadium, where they will not be anticipating a surface so difficult to score runs on as today's was.

But they will still be encouraged to know their bowling unit can dig in and defend a small total if the situation demands.

England lost their last five wickets for five runs in eight balls as off-spinner Saeed Ajmal (four for 14) again wreaked havoc against them.

But 'Nelson' proved anything but a bad omen once young slow left-armer Danny Briggs (three for 15), and then Jade Dernbach (three for 14), got to work to restrict Pakistan to 96 for nine.

Briggs was following up a promising performance against Australia - spoiled by Michael Hussey's three successive sixes in his final over - and spoke afterwards of his satisfaction with his performances so far on tour.

"It came out really nicely, which is pleasing and really good in our preparation," said the 21-year-old Hampshire spinner, from the Isle of Wight.

"It's good to go into a tournament with confidence, and I hope that can carry on."

England's total was obviously vulnerable, even on such an awkward pitch, but Stuart Broad's team refused to give up.

"Some of the lads struggled towards the end - it was hard to manoeuvre the ball around," Briggs said of England's innings after they had chosen to bat first.

"But we knew we were always in the game, with any score on the board, and the way we bowled in the second half showed that."

PA

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