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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor