World Twenty20: England's Danny Briggs proves to be trouble and strife for Pakistan

England 111 Pakistan 96-9 (England win by 15 runs)

The P Sara Stadium

So far, Danny Briggs has been notable as the first cricketer from the Isle of Wight to play for England. His credentials for distinction may soon be extended.

He has now become the first cricketer from the Isle of Wight to delay his wedding because of playing for England and on the evidence here in Colombo he may well have to postpone a multitude of other social engagements over the next few years for similar reasons. Briggs took 3 for 15 as England somehow defended a miserable total of 111 all out to defeat Pakistan by 15 runs in their second and final warm-up match before setting out to defend their World Twenty20 title. Having beaten Australia by nine runs earlier in the week they should enter the tournament proper, which they begin with a tricky little encounter against Afghanistan tomorrow, in good heart.

The result on this occasion was everything for it demonstrated that England, despite exhibiting their traditional deficiencies in the sub-continent, have regained their steel.

It helped that Pakistan batted hopelessly as well, though the pitch at the P Sara Stadium where England won a famous Test victory in April, should also have faced stern interrogation about what on earth it thought it was doing. Twenty20 was not invented so that it could be stifled on surfaces such as this which granted too many favours to spin and seam.

England should have made at least 20 more, but were again undone by their regular nemesis, Saeed Ajmal. The old sorcerer merely resumed where he left off against England at the start of the year, by utterly confounding them.

He took 4 for 14 in four overs as England lost their last five wickets in eight balls. For Eoin Morgan, newly restored to England's Test squad, it was the recurrence of a nightmare.

Ajmal had him in knots during England's matches against Pakistan, played in the UAE last winter, and nothing has changed. Morgan obligingly cut one that skidded on into the wicketkeeper's hands.

By the time Ajmal cleaned up the tail with three more wickets, lasting damage had already been inflicted. But he deceived Jos Buttler with a beauty that was held back and was altogether too much for Stuart Broad and Steve Finn.

Only Luke Wright assembled something substantial with 38 from 36 balls. There were no fireworks and only four boundaries but to say that he did not look out of place at No 3 is not to damn with faint praise.

Briggs, 21, lost nothing by comparison with the master. He opened the bowling and struck with his sixth ball to have Mohammad Hafeez caught on the mid-wicket boundary by which time he should already have had him stumped, only for Craig Kieswetter to muff an elementary chance.

There was control, turn and authority in reasonably equal measure and while nothing at all should be assumed about the future direction of Briggs's career – he is not yet on the Test radar – it is always welcome to see left-arm spin operating. He was supposed to have been married on 30 September but the ceremony has been postponed until mid-October because of this tournament. That still means he must miss the qualifying rounds of the Champions League T20 with Hampshire but he will play in the later stages if the county make it that far. "It's so busy with the cricket you never know where you're going to be," he said.

For Briggs's information, he will spend the next three weeks – all being well – in Sri Lanka, perhaps go to South Africa for the Champions League in mid-October and thence to India with the Performance Squad shadowing England's Test tour in November and December. And he will be expected to go on honeymoon sometime as well.

"It is difficult adapting to Sri Lankan conditions but I think this week has been good for that," said Briggs.

Adapting to conditions here means more than using the pitch. For bowlers it can be difficult to keep hands dry given the humidity. Briggs, bless him, had thought of this.

"A towel is useful and keep your hands to the ground the whole time to keep them dry," he said. This boy should go far.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?