27 March 2015
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What a victory for the hosts, and the perfect way for Andrew Strauss's side to end the summer on a real high! Pakistan have battled in this ODI series, but it is England who run out the winners, and it is good to see a round of handshakes to end proceedings. Eoin Morgan and Graeme Swann were the two heroes for England! Thanks so much for your company all summer, folks - join me from November 25 for the first Ashes Test from Brisbane! I can barely contain my excitement... SCORECARD: ENGLAND WIN BY 121 RUNS
ENGLAND WIN THE MATCH AND THE SERIES! Pakistan 135 all out (Broad 1-lb-0-W-W): WICKET! DEAD EYE MORGAN - IT'S HIS NIGHT! Razzaq attempts the third single of the over with what looks a pretty solid run, but Morgan hurls down the stumps with just one to aim at from midwicket - what a stunning effort, and he celebrates like a football goal! Akhtar then dinks up a tame drive straight to Morgan, who takes a simple catch off Broad, and England have won by 121 runs!
Pakistan 133-8 (Swann 1-W-1-1-0-1): WICKET! GUL IS RUN OUT! Rubbish cricket from Pakistan, simply rubbish! Razzaq calls his partner through for a single, running to the danger end, but for some reason Gul hesitates and pays the price for his dallying! /// RM says if Swann was a few years older and looked like Jose Mourinho then she's give him a present for his performances in this series - there you go, that's quite an incentive!
Pakistan 129-7 (Broad 0-1-1-0-0-0): Right, we have the mandatory ball change at the 34 over point, and Broady will make first use of the replacement white cherry. Gul drives wide of mid on for a single, before Razzaq rides the bounce of the ball superbly to pick up another. That is the extent of the damage, and surely it is curtains for Pakistan?!
Pakistan 127-7 (Swann 1-0-0-0-0-1): Swann stays round the wicket to Razzaq, who drives through cover for a single, before Gul takes another to keep the scoreboard ticking, albeit slowly! Pakistan's required rate is now up at 8.06 runs per over, and England are thriving.
Pakistan 125-7 (Collingwood 4-0-W-0-0-4): WICKET! COLLY GETS AKMAL! Akmal plays a superb premeditated paddle for four runs over short fine leg, and that's the first boundary since the ninth over for Pakistan! Akmal then drives straight back at Colly, who somehow manages to cling on to a stunning return catch! England are delirious, and that is another very big wicket.
Pakistan 117-6 (Swann 0-0-1-0-1-0): Razzaq takes a swift single to cover point, before Akmal keeps the scoreboard ticking with a neat nurdle into the gap at midwicket. It would be very foolish to rule out Pakistan entirely with this destructive duo still at the crease! /// Pakimaskeen says England and the umpires are both playing very well - ooh, that's a low blow!
Pakistan 115-6 (Bresnan 1-0-0-0-1-0): Akmal takes a swift single despite Anderson producing a superb pick up and throw to almost catch the batsman short of his ground! Razzaq takes another single with a dab down to third man, and that will be drinks. I'm going to see what this vodka/lucozade combo is all about - I'm slightly dubious!
Pakistan 113-6 (Swann nb-1-1-lb-1-1-1): Swann continues to bowl a very attacking line and length, and as a result Akmal and Razzaq take five singles from the over with a leg bye and a no ball also conceded. Pakistan's required rate is now at 7.20 - a tough ask! LIVE SCORECARD
Pakistan 106-6 (Bresnan 0-1-0-0-1-0): Timmy B returns, and it is a very wise time for Strauss to be bringing back his most expensive bowler, with Pakistan reeling from a Swann attack! Akmal and Razzaq each take singles as they consolidate their side's chase, and England are firmly on top.
Pakistan 104-6 (Swann 1-0-0-W-W-0): WICKET! ANOTHER MAGIC BALL FROM SWANNY! Akmal takes a single, before Swann gets another delivery to turn viciously and bowl MoYo through the gate! Afridi then plays on to his stumps as Swann tosses up the next delivery, and the spinner is on a hat-trick! Out comes Razzaq, and he is rapped on the pads to prompt a huge appeal, but it was a touch high! What an over from Swann, and the atmosphere is absolutely brilliant at the Rose Bowl.
Pakistan 103-4 (Wright 0-1-0-1-0-0): Yousuf and Akmal each take singles with nurdles into the leg side, but it's another fantastic over from Luke-ozade Wright as he enjoys being served a drink for once with Ajmal Shahzad bringing on a swift isotonic!
Pakistan 101-4 (Swann 0-1-1-0-1-0): Yousuf brings up the Pakistan 100 with a flick through midwicket, and two singles follow as he and Umar rotate the strike. Swann and Wright are putting the stoppers on Pakistan right now - how will the tourists respond? /// P is a huge fan of the impact made by Swann in his first over, and thinks the Aussies must be awaiting the spinner with trepidation! Agreed.
Pakistan 98-4 (Wright 1-2-1-0-0-0): Four runs are mustered off Wright's fifth over, and the medium-pacer is performing superbly for England this evening, just as required. Yousuf is taking control for Pakistan, but he just isn't a dynamic a player as the tourists need right now. /// Sir Fleming tells everyone to just enjoy the great game!
Pakistan 94-4 (Swann 1-3-1-0-1-0): Yousuf works the ball away through midwicket for a single, before Akmal drives fiercely through the covers for three more with Wright making a fine diving stop to prevent the boundary! Two singles follow, and Swann is not happy with that over.
Pakistan 88-4 (Wright 0-0-1-0-0-0): Yousuf picks out third man with a precise shot, but that is the only run which he and Akmal can muster from the over. Wright is bowling superbly, and really relishing this opportunity to bowl in the middle overs with Yardy absent.
Pakistan 87-4 (Swann 0-0-1-0-0-0): Yousuf sweeps powerfully through short fine leg for a single, before Umar Akmal bides his time to play himself in, defending off the back foot to see out the remainder of the over. /// Who would everyone like to see thrown in from left field into the England Ashes squad tomorrow, then?
Pakistan 86-4 (Wright 0-1-0-0-1-1): Yousuf and Akmal exchange three singles between them as the pair look to consolidate for the tourists after a period of England dominance at the Rose Bowl. /// Glenn asks about the Ashes dates, and you can join me for the first Test at Brisbane from November 25 - how exciting!!!
Pakistan 83-4 (Swann 0-1-0-0-W-0): WICKET! SWANN BOWLS A JAFFA! Fawad Alam departs for one after Swann gets a delivery to grip, turn, and remove the off bail - what a stunner from the best spinner in world cricket! This really is a match-defining passage of play now, as Umar Akmal joins MoYo at the crease with Swann buoyant as he strikes in his first over yet again! LIVE SCORECARD
Pakistan 82-3 (Wright W-1-0-0-1-0): WICKET! WRIGHT TRAPS AKMAL LBW! The all-rounder can barely believe it as he charges down the track with his arms aloft - he dismisses Akmal as the batsman is caught on the crease! The opener is absolutely furious and walks off painfully slowly - hot spot shows there was an inside edge, so he has every right to feel slightly aggrieved.
Pakistan 80-2 (Bresnan 1-1-1-1-0-0): Yousuf and Akmal exchange three singles, before Bresnan ends the over with two deliveries which the opener has to dig out of the block hole. England are putting the pressure on Pakistan now, and the tourists need a fresh impetus from this pair. /// Asif M is having a right old laugh, while Markear gives Drunken Sailor a piece of his mind and a ticking off to boot.
Pakistan 76-2 (Wright 1-0-1-0-1-1): One man who did not need those drinks is MoYo, who is just leaning on his bat with a runner out in the middle due to the ankle injury he sustained 'doing a Monty' on the boundary during England's innings. Pakistan can't run between the wickets effectively at the best of times, but it is sheer chaos out there now as Akmal is almost run out on three separate occasions!
Pakistan 72-2 (Bresnan 2-0-2-0-1-0): DROPPED! Akmal takes two runs with a flick to midwicket, before he picks up another brace following a dropped catch by Colly at backward point - it was flipping hard, but you would always back him there! Another single follows from Akmal, and that is drinks - I'm off for a Disaronno on the rocks!
Pakistan 67-2 (Broad 0-0-1-1-0-0): Broad seethes quietly to himself as Strauss makes a real hash of a simply piece of fielding at cover, and you cannot berate your skipper really, can you?! Akmal follows MoYo in taking a single, but this is much better from England. /// Martin G wonders what the odds were on Morgan getting a 100. Why, are you hoping to put a bet on it happening?
Pakistan 65-2 (Bresnan 1-0-0-0-0-0): MoYo nurdles a full delivery from the returning Bresnan behind point for a single, before the burly all-rounder recovers well to end the over solidly. After that flurry of boundaries, Pakistan are being pegged back now following Broad's two vital breakthroughs. /// Matthew Robinson notes that the team batting second under lights at the Rose Bowl have enjoyed most of the success, and England will be hoping that is not the case this evening.
Pakistan 63-2 (Broad 1-0-0-W-W-1): ONE BRINGS TWO FOR ENGLAND! Collingwood snaffles a stonker of a catch at point to send a rather bewildered Hafeez packing, before Shafiq feathers one behind to Davies first ball as Broad wheels away in jubilation! MoYo (or Mohammad Yousuf to those of you who do not know their hip-hop) walks out painfully slowly to the crowd's frustration, and takes a single to survive hat-trick ball. What an over from Broad!
Pakistan 62-0 (Anderson 1-1-0-0-0-0): Hafeez and Akmal each take singles to begin the 12th over, but Anderson responds with four terrific deliveries to peg the batsman back in the crease. That is more fine bowling from Jimmy, and he and Broad are really giving it everything for the hosts.
Pakistan 60-0 (Broad 0-1-0-wd-0-1-0): England take their powerplay immediately, and even Pakistan's electric start does not deter Strauss from doing the inevitable. Akmal takes a single to third man, before Broad is wided for a delivery which Hafeez really should have hammered for four! Hafeez then takes a single with a pull out to deep square, and the required run rate is just 5.02 per over. /// Henry John rather dubiously suggests that Morgan should bowl an over and, well... no!
Pakistan 57-0 (Anderson 0-0-0-0-0-0): Brilliant from Anderson! Never have I been so excited about a maiden over in one-day cricket, but that was pretty exceptional stuff from the seamer, whose impeccable effort even prompts Strauss to stroke his chin and contemplate a slip, something he has not indulged in since 2007! /// David says: "Go Pakistan!" and Adam Easterlow thinks the 'all rounder' job specification is responsible for England's stubborn selection policy regarding Bressy! LIVE SCORECARD
Pakistan 57-0 (Broad 0-0-0-0-4-1): Hafeez bides his time as he watches four deliveries from Broad recorded as dots in the book. But the opener responds with a thumping pull through midwicket for four runs, and a single follows to retain the strike for Anderson's next over. Surely it is all about Graeme Swann for England this evening?! /// Carrow wonders why Morgan is representing England, and Drunken Sailor responds to that tired old argument by citing Jack Charlton's RoI squad!
Pakistan 52-0 (Anderson 0-4-4-wd-0-0-0): Akmal throws his bat at a delivery wide of his off stump and it whistles through point for four runs! Another boundary follows next ball as Akmal drives through cover for four more, and Anderson responds with a wide. England are under big pressure!
Pakistan 43-0 (Broad 0-0-0-4-2-4): Hafeez opens the face of his bat to guide a short delivery from Broad through third man for four runs, before taking two more with a whip through deep square. Hafeez ends the over with a flick wide of fine leg for another boundary, and this is terrific batting!
Pakistan 33-0 (Anderson 0-4-0-0-4-0): Pakistan are getting well ahead of the rate while the ball is hard, and that is a good tactic! Akmal stands and delivers with two emphatic cover drives, and Anderson is punished for bowling too full to the belligerent opener! /// RM wonders why Finn isn't playing instead of Bresnan, while P wants to know why England did not open with Broad? Bressy has really not performed for England with the ball in hand in this series, it has to be said!
Pakistan 25-0 (Broad 0-0-0-0-lb-0): Akmal plays with a great deal more circumspection as he rocks back in his crease and defends stoutly. Davies concedes a leg bye, but no runs come off the over as Broad begins superbly for England following the Bresnan debacle! /// Brian and Aesterlow discuss the skills and techniques required for all three formats of the game, and Bobito notes that Morgan is still only the 19th best player in the ICC rankings - yep, that tells us everything we need to know!
Pakistan 24-0 (Anderson 0-0-0-1-0-0): That is much better from England! Anderson reins in the Pakistan openers with a fine over in which only Hafeez can muster a scoring shot. The paceman concedes a single and no more - fine bowling!
Pakistan 23-0 (Bresnan 4-0-0-0-4-0): Poor from Bresnan! Hafeez mows a short delivery over midwicket for four, before the batsman pulls another long hop over square leg for a ruthless boundary - great batting! The required run rate is now 4.95 per over for Pakistan. /// Ollie Bear thinks England were 20-30 runs short, while RM is not Bressy's biggest fan, clearly! Aeasterlow believes Bopara would have been a better option for this match, while Glenn is proud of Morgan.
Pakistan 15-0 (Anderson 1-1-1-2-0-1): Akmal and Hafeez both take singles as Pakistan continue their brisk start. Hafeez works a full delivery through square leg for two runs, before the opener takes a single to keep the strike as Anderson over-pitches.
Pakistan 9-0 (Bresnan 4-4-0-0-0-1): Ooh, not the best start from Bresnan, as Akmal cracks two successive fours through the covers - great opportunist batting! Bressy recovers with three good deliveries, and Akmal takes a single to retain the strike.
Pakistan require 257 runs to win off their 50 overs, and the tourists need to go at a rate of 5.14 to secure a series win! Morgan was absolutely phenomenal for England, and the magician finishes with 107 runs to his name from just 101 balls - stunning stuff from the number six. England have every chance of clinching a series win now, and the lights are coming on at the Rose Bowl. SCORECARD: ENGLAND 256-6
England 256-6 (Ajmal 3wd-6-4-2-2-0-2): MORGAN REACHES HIS CENTURY - WHAT A KNOCK! Ajmal begins with three wides down the leg side, and that is shoddy bowling at this crucial stage. But it is then the Morgan show: he bludgeons a stunning six straight back past the bowler, and follows that with an almighty blow down the ground, this time for a one-bounce four - and that brings up his 100! Morgan has been the hero for England, and the hosts set a decent total thanks to the centurion!
England 236-6 (Gul 0-2-1-0-2-3): Afridi concedes an overthrow, then has the audacity to berate Akmal once more, but that was the skipper's fault entirely! Bresnan picks up two runs, and a single follows. Morgan then drives down the ground superbly for two runs, and follows that with a swipe across the line to pick up three more and move to 91 - what an innings this has been, and he thoroughly deserves a century for his efforts!
England 229-6 (Akhtar 1-4-1-1-2-1): Shocking fielding from Pakistan! Morgan takes a single which was never there, before Bresnan spanks a half-volley from Shoaib through cover for four runs! Both batsmen take unlikely singles, before Bresnan is gifted two runs as Umar Akmal hurls the ball wide of the stumps for an unnecessary overthrow.
England 218-6 (Gul 1-1-3-0-1-4): Morgan and Bresnan take singles, before Morgan whips a full delivery square for three runs! Morgan takes another single with some superb running, and Bresnan slaps a full delivery through cover for four more to end the over with a bang! Brilliant from England, and another 10 runs are taken from the over! /// Maidul says something or other, while Epo rightly recognises Luke-ozade Wright's contributions through the series with the drinks tray!
England 208-6 (Akhtar 0-W-1-4-1-0): WICKET! AKHTAR CLEAN BOWLS WRIGHT! That wasn't a yorker, but it was such a low full toss that it creeps under Wright's bat as he strides purposefully down the wicket at the paceman! Morgan then pummels another low full-bunger back past the bowler for four runs, and that is brilliant batting!
England 202-5 (Gul W-lb-0-0-lb-1): WICKET! GUL BOWLS COLLY! Collingwood takes a step down the track and is comprehensively bowled as Gul finds one of his classic off-stump yorkers - what a delivery! Luke Wright comes out for a tonk, and he is a good man for this situation to complement Morgan. The pair can only muster a single to follow two leg byes, and that is a fantastic over!
England 199-4 (Afridi 4-1-1-0-1-1): What a way to begin the powerplay! Afridi drops short, and Morgan absolutely mullers the ball over square leg for a one-bounce four - so nearly a six! Four singles follow, and England get going as they mean to go on with a big over. /// P thinks 250 is now getable, and he wonders why Wright has been picked in preference to Bopara - thoughts on that one?
England 191-4 (Gul 1-1-1-1-1-1): It was always coming: England take six singles off the over! There is nothing this pair love more than taking singles, and the return of Umar Gul sees six taken on the trot! The field is spread far and wide, and now England will take the powerplay... /// Koyli gets his wish with the powerplay, while Glenn is now hoping for a score in excess of 260!
England 185-4 (Afridi 1-1-0-0-0-1): Three singles are mustered from the pair, and Ajmal keeps things tight with some loopy flight and an unerring line on off stump. /// Koyli reckons England need at least 250 on this wicket, and he urges the hosts to "step on the gas" - yes! William sums up nobody's thoughts by simply saying: "Rain." That could not be more unlikely on this glorious evening!
England 182-4 (Akhtar 1-0-1-1-0-1): Akhtar continues, but the paceman is holding his side once more as he fires the ball in rapidly and on middle stump. Colly and Morgan take four singles between them, and I may as well just write that for every over in advance of it actually happening!
England 178-4 (Afridi 0-1-1-1-1-0): Afridi continues to ring the changes as he brings himself back on now. Morgan and Colly take another four singles, and all I can say is it is a very good thing that this pair are so incredibly fit! And I don't mean that in a Lily Allen kinda way either. (The singer famously said Graham Onions should be selected on the basis that he is damn hot!) LIVE SCORECARD
England 174-4 (Akhtar wd-0-2-0-1-1-0): Akhtar begins with a wide down the leg side after he is brought back, then Morgan glances a straighter delivery down to fine leg for two runs. He and Colly exchange singles, and five runs are taken from the over.
England 169-4 (Ajmal 0-1-1-1-0-1): Ajmal continues as Colly shuffles across his crease and picks out deep backward square for a single. Morgan and Colly continue to run incredibly hard as they take a further three singles, and the current projected score would be 222. /// What do others think would be sufficient?
England 165-4 (Gul 1-4-0-4-0-0): MORGAN REACHES HIS 50! Colly pushes a full delivery from Gul firmly out to deep cover for a single, before Morgan brings up his 50 with a powerful swipe over point for four! A second boundary follows as the left-hander rocks back in his crease and pummels a short delivery over square leg for another four! The 50 partnership has also been reached between this pair. /// Afternoon P, who thinks 250 would be a defendable target - let's hope for a thrilling finish!
England 156-4 (Ajmal 1-1-1-1-0-1): Saeed Ajmal, sans shades, continues with Colly and Morgan taking two singles a piece, before Colly takes another with a forward prod and run to end the over. The England run rate is now at 4.33, but the hosts need a big finish to post a competitive total on what looks a perfectly good wicket!
England 151-4 (Gul 0-2-2-1-0-1): The filthy old rag (or the 34-over-old ball) is changed, and Gul continues. Morgan drives through the covers for two runs, before he picks up another brace with a clip through midwicket. Morgan then brings up England's 150 with a cut out to deep cover, and this is fine batting from the Middlesex man. /// Ooh, Glenn that is a cutting rebuttal - enjoy your retirement!
England 145-4 (Hafeez 1-1-2-1-4-lb): Colly and Morgan take singles with clips into the leg side, before Colly flicks one over midwicket for two more. Morgan gets in on the act with a drive through cover for four runs, and 10 runs are taken from the over... cracking stuff!
England 135-4 (Gul 2-0-1-1-0-1): Right, the mandatory ball change is two overs away, and Gul will now look to make his customary impact. Colly works a leg-side ball through midwicket for two runs, then rocks back and cuts for a single. Morgan locates third man with an intentional deflection, and Colly ends the over with a fifth run to mid off. /// Glenn feels a score of around 228 would prove a good target for Pakistan, and he makes the tourists a short price favourite!
England 130-4 (Hafeez 0-0-1-1-1-1): Hafeez continues his successful spell and concedes just four singles off his eighth over as Colly and Morgan nudge and nurdle the ball around without being able to find the boundary rope. England are desperate to give themselves a pre-powerplay platform, but Umar Gul is about to make his impact.
England 126-4 (Afridi 2-0-2-0-0-2): Colly drives through the covers for two runs, before playing against the turn with a whip through midwicket for another brace. Another two follow to end the over as Colly works the ball off the back foot through square leg - good batting! /// Bobito agrees with Sussexdietcoke and Dave H that going through with this series was questionable. It's a very fair point you all make, and there is no doubt of course that Giles Clarke is only proceeding due to money!
England 120-4 (Hafeez 2-0-1-0-3-1): Colly takes two runs with a chip down the ground, before taking a single. Morgan then skies a drive in the air to long on, MoYo takes the catch but has about as much coordination as a well hydrated Philip Clive Roderick Tufnell as he fails to stop inside the boundary rope and has to fling the ball back in play before limping off with an ankle injury! /// The projected score for Englant at this present rate is exactly 200, and that would be well below par! LIVE SCORECARD
England 113-4 (Afridi 1-1-0-1-1-0): Morgan and Colly take four singles off the over, but Afridi is delighted with another six deliveries which keep the pair firmly pegged back in their crease and the run rate down. /// Teal thinks Glenn has too much time on his hands, and that is no way to treat our own Poet Laureate!
England 109-4 (Hafeez 1-0-0-0-1-1): Morgan works a leg-side delivery through midwicket for a single, before Collingwood defends back in his crease to consolidate once more. Colly eventually takes a single to long on, but thankfully Morgan spares us another over of watching Colly block with a single of his own.
England 106-4 (Afridi 2-0-0-0-0-W): WICKET! AFRIDI BOWLS BELLY! Bell chips a full delivery through extra cover for two runs, before playing out three dot balls in circumpsect fashion. But Belly falls as he is caught in two minds and does not move his feet at all - Afridi bowls him and wheels away in celebration! Pakistan are on top at the Rose Bowl.
England 104-3 (Hafeez 4-1-1-0-0-2): What a shot from Morgan! The batsman rocks back in his crease and crashes a firm cut shot through point for four runs - that's a cracker! Two singles follow, and a drive wide of long on brings Morgan two more.
England 96-3 (Afridi 0-0-0-1-1-1): Morgan hammers two firm drives out to long on, but they both go straight to the fielder on the boundary and he is limited to singles. Three runs are taken off the over in all, and this partnership has consolidated well for England.
England 93-3 (Hafeez 1-0-1-1-1-0): England are cruising along nicely now, but the hosts desperately need a few boundaries to bolster the run rate! Four singles keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely, and Bell and Morgan are well set.
England 89-3 (Afridi 1-0-1-1-1-1): Bell and Morgan take five singles off the over, despite some rather hairy moments as Davies calls loudly as the runner and he and Morgan have to work out who is making the judgements! This is better from England, and this pair are settled at the crease.
England 84-3 (Ajmal 1-0-1-2-1-1): Four singles are taken as Bell and Morgan rotate the strike, seemingly at will, and Morgan adds another two runs with a clip through midwicket - good batting from the Middlesex man! Colly is back smiling on the England balcony...
England 78-3 (Afridi 1-2-0-0-1-0): Bell takes a single with a tap down the ground as Afridi continues, and Morgan again ups the tempo with a clip through midwicket for two runs! Morgan picks the gap at square leg for a single, and Afridi ends the over with a fine delivery.
England 74-3 (Ajmal 1-0-0-0-4-0): Ajmal bowls in some shades darker and even less suited to cricket than those sported by Graeme Swann. Bell takes a single to long on, before Morgan chips a full delivery from the spinner over the same fielder for an emphatic one-bounce four! LIVE SCORECARD
England 69-3 (Afridi 0-0-0-0-0-1): Steve Davies trots out in the guise of Ian Bell's runner, and the batsman has tweaked his groin, by all accounts! Bell bides his time patiently with five defensive prods, before finally driving out to deep mid off for a single. Morgan is dying to get in on the act at the other end, and Bell is not really doing anything at the moment in his very cautious knock. /// Glenn of Pevensey offers us "A Captain's Dilemma", and that is a mighty fine read - good work sir!
England 68-3 (Ajmal 0-1-0-1-2-0): Morgan takes a single to get off the mark with a tip and run, and Bell picks a good doosra from Ajmal to return the favour. Morgan then picks the gap at midwicket with a precise clip through the leg side, and that is fine batting - can he go on from here? /// Andrew hopes that Adil Rashid will get a go, and the spinner is a fine batsman, bowler and drinks waiter! Agreed.
England 64-3 (Gul 0-0-0-4-0-0): Gul is still not afforded a slip by his skipper, and Bell plays out three deliveries before skipping down the track and driving straight back past the bowler for four runs! Bell is playing very nicely, but England are still only going at 3.76 runs per over. /// Michael is off to the local drinking establishment, and thanks everyone for their company - cheers fella, have yourself and good 'un and join us back in November for 'the big one'!
England 60-3 (Ajmal 0-0-1-0-0-0): Right, that is the end of the powerplay, and Ajmal stays round the wicket after Collingwood leaves the field to take a heavy dose of painkillers, no doubt! Eoin Morgan comes out, and that is not the worst move for England at any rate! Just a single from Bell follows. /// Ulsterman thinks England must win here to have a chance Down Under, while Dave H thinks only people (like me) who stick their heads in the sand can give this series any substance!
England 59-3 (Gul 0-0-4-1-0-0): Bell clips a full delivery from Gul through midwicket for four runs, and that is a delightful shot from the number five! Bell punches a short delivery through the covers for a single, and Colly plays out the fnial two deliveries - is he okay to continue after the drinks break? Colly should join me in grabbing a heavy gin and tonic with a few thick slices of cucumber - try it!
England 54-3 (Ajmal 2-1-1-2-0-0): Colly cuts a short delivery from Ajmal down to third man for two runs, before Colly cracks a full delivery out to deep cover for another brace! Six runs come off the over, and Colly is really struggling here with what seems to be a migraine, but he sends the physio back! /// Michael asks if I'm open to business concerning the Ashes squad announcement - I'll whip up a story and there will be a thorough blog from Thorpey!
England 48-3 (Gul 0-0-0-0-0-0): Now, will Shoaib be given another? Nope, he trots off to fine leg for a blow, and now Umar Gul will come on. The paceman has been absolutely superb in the last two matches, and Bell is forced to play out a very solid maiden over. England's run rate is down to 3.69 per over now, and Colly needs to step it up a bit now!
England 48-3 (Hafeez 0-1-0-0-0-0): Hafeez continues, and Afridi's gut instinct in employing the spinner ridiculously early has been well and truly vindicated as he rattles through another impeccable over. Bell takes a single to mid on, but that is the extent of the damage. /// Sussexdietcoke (cracking name, that) asks why this match is even being played? It's a decider, and the cricket in this series has been superb! 12
England 47-3 (Akhtar 1-W-0-0-0-0): WICKET! STRAUSS IS CAUGHT BEHIND! What a wicket for Pakistan as the Rawalpindi Express sends one whistling through to get the outside edge of Strauss's bat, and Akmal clings on to the catch! Collingwood arrives at the crease as he and Umar Akmal square up to each other in the middle - and this is getting extremely frosty! 11
England 46-2 (Hafeez 0-0-0-0-0-0): Hafeez races through a solid maiden over very effectively, and England do not know how to approach playing the spinner at this stage of the innings - it's pretty bizarre, but the tactic is working a treat for Pakistan! LIVE SCORECARD
England 46-2 (Akhtar 0-1-1-1-W-0): WICKET! AKHTAR BOWLS TROTT! Strauss and Trott take three singles off successive deliveries, before the number three sees his woodwork utterly demolished by the paceman! /// Michael backs Kieswetter and Tremlett for inclusion in the Ashes squad, while Daniel would like to see a wildcard such as Jimmy Adams to come in. What do others think?
England 43-1 (Razzaq 1-0-6-1-0-0): WHAT A STRIKE! Trott works a full delivery into the leg side, before Strauss skips down the track and mullers a full delivery over long on for six runs - what a stunning blow from the England skipper! Strauss pushed another out to mid off for a single, and moves on to 23. /// Michael hopes England bolster the innings with a destructive five overs, while Steve.Hilton says he is better than Timmy Bresnan!
England 35-1 (Akhtar 0-2-0-0-0-0): Akhtar rattles through a rapid over with Strauss picking up two for an elegant on drive. /// Lovely stuff, Bobito: "Back in 1877, on England's first tour of Australia and NZ, a man was arrested after a punch up with a bookmaker who refused to pay him out for bets he had placed on England's tour match against Christchurch. It seems he had placed a shilling on each player to get a duck, sneakily neglecting to mention to the bookie that he was umpiring the match."
England 33-1 (Hafeez 0-1-1-W-1-1): WICKET! HAFEEZ GETS DAVIES! It's a bizarre change as second-string spinner Mohammad Hafeez is brought into the attack very prematurely, but he lures Davies down the wicket with his fourth delivery to have the opener stumped! Akmal, astonishingly, manages to both hold on to the ball and whip the bails off with it still in his hand - phew! Four singles are taken off the over, and that brings Jonathan "Boo, Boo" Trott to the crease - it's a very mixed reception!
England 29-0 (Akhtar 0-0-0-1-2-0): Davies plays with caution as he defends off the back foot against Akhtar, before working a full delivery out to deep backward square. Strauss then works another in front of square for two runs, and that is fine batting. /// Right, it's Ashes squad selection time, and I want to know if you would all take Davies or Kieswetter; Tremlett or Bresnan, and other such matters! Post your views and suggestions below...
England 26-0 (Razzaq 0-1-4-0-4-1): Strauss works a full delivery through square leg for a single, before Steve Davies thumps two stunning drives through extra cover with a real flourish - wonderful stuff from the former world snooker champion. /// Afternoon all! Michael is relieved to see England finally win the toss and bat, while Matthew Robinson launches a random attack on Jimmy Anderson. Teal is utterly infuriated with the amount of comments piling up - out of my reach fella, apologies!
England 16-0 (Akhtar 0-2-4-0-0-0): Davies works a full delivery through square leg for two runs, before capitalising on a leg-stump half-volley to clip the ball through midwicket for four runs - cracking strokeplay from the opener! Davies plays out the remainder of the over, and that is class batting.
England 10-0 (Razzaq 4-0-0-0-0-4): Abdul Razzaq will share the new ball, and the all-rounder will be used to the Rose Bowl wicket having played a bit for Hampshire this season. Strauss whips the first delivery of the over through square leg for four runs, then picks up a second boundary with a clip through midwicket.
England 2-0 (Akhtar 0-wd-0-0-1-0-0): Akhtar smacks Strauss in the gut with a vicious first delivery, and that is just the sort of start Pakistan would have been looking for! The Rawalpindi Express then delivers a wide down the leg side, before Strauss works a straight delivery through midwicket for a single to get off the mark. /// Good afternoon all! LIVE SCORECARD
Right, the ground is filling up nicely, and it should be a sell-out later on as the Rose Bowl embrace this series decider - good to see! Shoaib 'I've got a side strain' Akhtar will open up!
Pakistan apparently considered not playing in the fourth one-dayer after a dispute between England batsman Jonathan Trott and fast bowler Wahab Riaz in the nets, Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has said. Read more here
"Pakistan's players should be roundly commended for their valiant efforts in squaring the series at Lord's, but PCB chairman Ijaz Butt should be given short shrift after his seemingly defamatory diatribe." That is an extract of waffle from the latest Cow Corner blog: No Butts, England were outplayed
England: AJ Strauss (capt), SM Davies (wk), IJL Trott, IR Bell, PD Collingwood, EJG Morgan, LJ Wright, TT Bresnan, GP Swann, SCJ Broad, JM Anderson
Pakistan: Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Yousuf, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (capt), Fawad Alam, Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Saeed Ajmal
ENGLAND WIN THE TOSS AND BAT! Andrew Strauss is absolutely chuffed to win the toss, and he has no hesitation in opting to make first use of what looks to be a cracking deck at the Bowl! They have made one change with Luke Wright coming in for Michael Yardy who is unwell.
The weather is absolutely glorious at the Rose Bowl, and the sun is shining with only a very light smattering of cloud cover... in the words of Mark Nicholas, it is "dreamy!" View a full weather forecast here
Andrew Strauss says the possibility of legal action against Ijaz Butt over his accusations of match-fixing was no idle threat. Read Strauss's quotes in full here
Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed has placed his future in the hands of PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, saying he has no plans to resign after a tour of England blighted by corruption allegations. Read more here
England take on Pakistan in the fifth one-day international at the Rose Bowl with the series finely poised at 2-2.
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