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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 13:21 GMT
Pakistan cruise to Lahore victory
Second ODI, Lahore: Pakistan 231-3 bt England 230 by seven wickets

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib was at his deadly best
Shoaib Akhtar's 5-54 and Kamran Akmal's 102 helped Pakistan crush England by seven wickets in the second one-dayer.

Akmal hit 15 fours and a six in his second one-day century as they reached a target of 231 with six overs left.

Liam Plunkett's maiden fifty for England rescued the tourists after Shoaib helped reduce them to 130-8.

He put on a record 100 with super-sub Vikram Solanki, who weighed in with 39, but it was not enough and the teams go to Karachi on Thursday all square.

Having made 327 in the opening game, the visitors would have had a similar score in mind when Marcus Trescothick won the toss and put on 30 with Matt Prior in the first six overs.

But as in the Tests, Shoaib used variation in pace to swing the game Pakistan's way.

Trescothick did not read his clever slower ball which clipped the off-bail and Andrew Strauss gloved an absolute brute of a bouncer behind four balls later to fall without scoring.

Kevin Pietersen blazed four successive boundaries off Rana Naved-ul-Hasan but the seamer had his revenge when he played across the line and was bowled.

Andrew Flintoff hooked Naved straight to mid-wicket for a fourth-ball duck and when Prior, who looked neat and compact in his 32, was bowled by one that Abdul Razzaq nipped back England were toiling on 89-5.

Geraint Jones had no answer to a snorter from Shoaib which he fended to Younis Khan at slip and Ian Blackwell was given a torrid going over by the "Rawalpindi Express" before having his off-stump uprooted.

When the watchful Paul Collingwood spooned a return catch to Danish Kaneria a rout was on the cards but Plunkett and Solanki, who was brought on for James Anderson, mixed quick running with some lusty hitting.

Liam Plunkett
Plunkett had more fun with the bat than ball

Plunkett heaved Shoaib Malik over mid-wicket and Solanki played an audacious reverse sweep off Arshad Khan, who came on when Kaneria injured his shoulder.

The innings ended in a hurry with Plunkett top-edging a drive which Shoaib collected off his own bowling and a direct hit from Younis running out last man Steve Harmison, but England still went for lunch better placed than they had feared.

It soon became clear, however, that 231 was not likely to tax the home side as Flintoff and Harmison served up plenty of wide deliveries for left-hander Butt and wicket-keeper Akmal to carve away on the off-side.

A cut from Akmal flew over a despairing Blackwell on the third man boundary, while Butt smacked Harmison straight back over the bowler to the long-on boundary.

Butt's 48-ball knock, which featured eight boundaries, was ended when Flintoff found a way through his defences but the runs continued to come freely.

There was something of a shock when Collingwood's slower ball beat Younis Khan's attempt to turn it on the leg-side and, with Mohammad Yousuf content to nudge the ball around, the run rate slowed a little.

But Akmal was determined to keep playing his shots and was quick to punish width from Plunkett and Harmison as he reached his century off 108 balls.

The torment for England did not end after he hooked Harmison straight to Solanki at mid-wicket as captain Inzamam-ul-Haq tucked into the bowling.

He picked up four boundaries in an over from the highly expensive Plunkett (0-63 off seven overs) to pass 11,000 runs in one-day internationals.

His cameo of 31 off 25 balls put the tourists out of their misery and completed a perfect riposte from a team that had been outplayed only two days previously.

Interview: Marcus Trescothick


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