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Last Updated:  Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 20:42 GMT

Landslide win just the tonic
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

If ever England needed a morale-lifting performance to show their supporters - and probably even themselves - they have a role to play in this World Cup, then this was it.

Quite how a team which came perilously close to being embarrassed by Namibia can turn themselves around to inflict such a heavy defeat on Pakistan is anybody's guess.

But this now means England can, for the first time, be viewed as serious candidates for the Super Six.

There is still India to come in another day/night match on Wednesday, followed by the mighty Australians on the weekend.

But England will have gained much-needed confidence while Pakistan left Newlands knowing their future will entirely depend on a showdown with India in Pretoria.

Paul Collingwood
Collingwood's knock should not be overlooked

There was no doubt, as is usually the case, the team which batted first was immediately handed a significant advantage.

The white ball swung viciously at times, and there was much more movement off the seam for England's bowlers once the sun had set behind Table Mountain.

This detracts absolutely nothing from the brilliant performance by James Anderson, merely to say that he thrived in the conditions.

Pitching the ball the ball up at a lively pace, he found the outside edge of a rather lazy looking Inzamam before, next ball, knocking back Youhana's middle stump.

Caddick, having removed the dangerous Afridi, also applied the pressure and once Pakistan were 59 for six, with Anderson nipping out Saeed and Latif in a single over, they were doomed.

Anderson deserves great credit for his four for 29, but Paul Collingwood's crucial innings of 66 must not be overlooked.

He came out to bat as England appeared destined for a total well short of 200, yet he worked hard with the lower order, receiving support from Giles and White.

This should not hide the fact that England's top-order was disappointing, once again, with soft dismissals making life too easy for their opponents.

None of the top five could claim to have been genuinely 'got out', which is an area England must address before they face India in Durban in four days' time.





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