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Big-hitting Abdul Razzaq sinks England in Twenty20

Second Twenty20 international, Dubai:
Pakistan 149-6 (19 ovs) bt England 148-8 (20 ovs) by four wkts
Match scorecard

By Jamie Lillywhite

Abdul Razzaq
Razzaq turned the match on its head with some extraordinary hitting

Abdul Razzaq fired 46 from 18 balls as Pakistan beat England by four wickets to tie the Twenty20 series at 1-1.

Kevin Pietersen made an imperious 62 from 40 balls with four fours and three sixes as England compiled 148-8.

Debutant seamer Amjal Shahzad then took two wickets in the first over of the Pakistan reply and Graeme Swann claimed 3-14 as Pakistan slipped to 78-5.

But Razzaq smashed five sixes and finished the match with a maximum as Pakistan won with six deliveries left.

England looked certain to seal a 2-0 whitewash when the confident Swann removed Umar Akmal with the final ball of the 13th over.

But that brought in the mercurial Razzaq, the 30-year-old all-rounder who made his international debut back in 1996 and has three Test centuries and 22 one-day fifties, yet averages below 30 in both other forms of the game.

606: DEBATE
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He made no contact with his first ball, a wild swipe at Paul Collingwood, but the next two went for six and he scored off each of the remaining deliveries he faced to single-handedly change the course of the match.

The pitch used for England's impressive seven-wicket success on Friday was pressed into service again, but this time Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik this time decided to field first after winning the toss.

Joe Denly, seemingly the player most under pressure following Craig Kieswetter's elevation to the one-day squad for the forthcoming tour to Bangladesh, was soon on his way as an ungainly swipe resulted in him being bowled by Yasir Arafat.

Out in the middle early, Pietersen lacked any inhibitions as he boldly went for his shots - launching Saeed Ajmal for an imperious straight six.

His eye was so good that when Shahid Afridi sent one down while he was still tapping at the crease and looking at the ground, he was still able to adjust and slice it away to the boundary.

Jonathan Trott was content to play the supporting role in a stand of 98, making 39 from 51 balls, which in the light of what was to follow may be regarded as too pedestrian.

Pietersen despatched Afridi into the crowd, shaping left to right in the air like a tee-shot struck with fade.

He was dropped in the covers on 45, when Afridi could not hold one travelling like a tracer bullet, and he neatly picked off two runs to bring up his half century from only 28 deliveries faced.

Trott sacrificed his wicket when Pietersen, in his determined pursuit of the strike ignored his refusal of a single and stormed to the batsman's end, which brought in Friday's matchwinner Eoin Morgan.

The innovative left-hander flicked his third ball for six over mid-wicket, but England then lost Pietersen who was given out lbw after missing a sweep at a quicker ball from spinner Ajmal.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen dominated the bowling from the outset with some scintillating shots

Morgan was soon taken at deep mid-on, but Collingwood hooked his first ball for six and Luke Wright thumped a massive maximum into the top tier at mid-wicket as Gul finished with 1-43 from four overs, his most expensive Twenty20 figures.

Arafat picked up two wickets in two balls as England fell short of 150, but their total looked good enough as Shahzad made a remarkable entry onto the international stage.

Having seen a perfectly respectable opening delivery unceremoniously thumped back down the ground for four by Imran Nazir, the Yorkshire all-rounder tempted the opener to slash off balance at one that flew straight to third man.

Two balls later, Imran Farhat tried a similarly reckless shot when not properly balanced and the ball spooned to mid-on.

Umar Akmal rebuilt the innings with the help of Shoaib Malik, who played one extraordinary tennis style smash down the ground as the score reached 39-3 after six overs.

Swann's first ball was a wide down the legside but Matt Prior took the bails off and though Malik had got back, TV umpire Kumar Dharmasena decided that when the stumps were disturbed the Pakistan captain's foot was in the air.

That heralded the hugely awaited arrival of Afridi, who opened his account with a square cut for four as Shahzad dropped short.

But Swann was varying his length and flight superbly and his shrewdness soon brought him Afridi's wicket, much to the dismay of the crowd, as Morgan took a running catch at deep mid-wicket.

After Razzaq's dramatic arrival he quickly added a soaring six down the ground off Wright as he and Fawad Alam added 48 in barely four overs, but with 23 needed from the final 18 balls, the latter hooked Stuart Broad straight to Morgan at deep square-leg.

Shahzad was entrusted with the penultimate over despite only 17 being needed from the final 12 balls and had the nerve to try a slower ball, but Razzaq was quick to spot it and dispatched it high into the crowd over long-off.

Suddenly, England's hopes had disappeared and Razzaq nonchalantly drove another six straight down the ground to finish the match in style and leave Shahzad to reflect on the sometimes harsh reality of international cricket.



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see also
Morgan guides England to T20 win
19 Feb 10 |  England
England rule out Kieswetter call
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Morgan looks to the future
18 Feb 10 |  England
Lions defeat England in warm-up
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Collingwood demands England focus
15 Feb 10 |  England
Kieswetter stars in Lions victory
12 Feb 10 |  England
Lions begin with Twenty20 victory
10 Feb 10 |  England
Asif barred from England matches
08 Feb 10 |  Pakistan
Banned Afridi replaced by Malik
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Live cricket on the BBC
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England in UAE & Bangladesh 2010
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