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England v Pakistan 3rd ODI
Rose Bowl: 5 September, 2006



Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent at The Rose Bowl

Younis Khan
Younis Khan produced some wonderful strokes in his innings

Pakistan gave another performance which confirms that they will be serious contenders for the World Cup in 2007.

Inzamam-ul-Haq's team is in a different league to England, and although Pakistan were pushed a little harder under the lights at the Rose Bowl, England's lack of direction and uncertainty about injuries is causing such concern that their selection for the Champions Trophy has been delayed.

Just a glance at the two batting line-ups is enough to appreciate the gulf that exists between the two teams.

Pakistan's is packed with match winners, including the irrepressible Younis Khan, the composed Mohammad Yousuf, the explosive Shahid Afridi and the majestic Inzamam.

In contrast, Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen are the only batsmen one really feels can sway a one-day game England's way, and well as he played today, Jamie Dalrymple is at least one place too high in the order.

Pakistan have a well balanced bowling attack, with Shoaib Akhtar an out-and-out wicket-taker, backed up by the accurate Mohammad Asif and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

England must be wondering if Mahmood is a good bet for the Ashes

Jon Lewis is, in many ways, England's Naved - both bowl at a full length and aim to swing the ball away. But while there seems to be uncertainty about Lewis' place in the team because of his lack of pace, Naved is rightly praised.

Hopefully Lewis' efforts in the last two games will make his presence more secure.

England had something to bowl at under the lights.

Pakistan faced traditionally the most difficult time to bat, but although they lost two early wickets and a handful in the closing overs, they were not overly pressed.

Again, Sajid Mahmood failed to produce under pressure.

England must now be wondering if he is really a good bet for the Ashes, and although Strauss juggled his bowling around, he could not take the wickets he needed mid-innings to swing the game England's way.

Younis reached a brilliant century before lofting Broad to long on, and although Yousuf and Afridi (unluckily) followed, Inzamam remained to guide his team to their second victory.

SEE ALSO
Pakistan in England 2006
27 Jun 06 |  Future tour dates
Live cricket on the BBC
19 Apr 06 |  Cricket


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