DateLine: 28th August 2006
Pakistan put their off-field worries to one side by winning their inaugural Twenty20 international with a five wicket success against England at Nevil Road here Monday.
Set 145 for victory, Pakistan finished on 148 for five as they won with 13 balls to spare after opener Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 46.
Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, still facing ball-tampering charges, was 11 not out and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq, who finished the match with two successive boundaries, 17 not out.
England's total never looked enough after pace bowler Mohammad Asif led the Pakistan attack with two for 21, including two wickets in two balls.
This match was Pakistan's first international since they forfeited the fourth Test at The Oval a week last Sunday after refusing to take the field having being penalised five runs for alleged ball-tampering.
England debutant Stuart Broad took two wickets in two balls to reduce Pakistan to 23 for two but the innings was then revived by man-of-the-match Shahid Afridi's quickfire 28.
Broad, the 20-year-old pace bowling son of former England opening batsman Chris, had Shoaib Malik lbw for 16 and next ball Younis Khan (nought) was caught hooking down the legside by wicket-keeper Chris Read.
Afridi then survived the hat-trick in flamboyant fashion by driving Broad high and straight over the bowler's head.
Sajid Mahmood went for 22 runs in his first over.
Mohammad Hafeez swept his second ball for four over leg slip. Then, after a single, Afridi struck the Lancashire quick straight over his head with immense power for four.
Mahmood, whose over also featured two wides and a no-balled for the lack of a fielder in a close catching position, also saw Afridi pull him for four and then strike another boundary next ball when he drove 'inside out' over extra-cover.
Broad too didn't escape punishment, hoisted for a huge six by Afridi over midwicket as 19 runs came off the next over, the sixth of the innings.
But Afridi was brilliantly caught by England debutant Michael Yardy running round from long-on, who held on to a chance above his head as he hit the turf after the batsman had launched off-spinner James Dalrymple down the ground.
Afridi faced just 10 balls with one six and five fours, leaving Pakistan well-placed at 67 for three in the seventh over.
Veteran fast bowler Darren Gough, recalled for his first England international in over a year, returned to the attack with Pakistan needing 25 off the last five overs.
Inzamam then drove his first ball back over long-on for six.
Hafeez was run out by Paul Collingwood's direct hit after lazily failing to make his ground.
Earlier, Pakistan held England to 144 for seven after the hosts won the toss.
Asif's fellow quick Shoaib Akhtar marked his return to international cricket after an ankle injury with one for 31 from his permitted four overs.
Medium-pacer Razzaq, who removed top scorer Marcus Trescothick for 53, finished with three for 30.
Apart from Trescothick, only Dalrymple (27) and Yardy (24 not out) scored more than 23.
Pakistan reduced England to 40 for three with three wickets for one run in five balls.
Bell, promoted to open in place of captain Andrew Strauss, was caught, at the second attempt, by diving slip Younis off Akhtar for 14.
Then Pietersen was bowled for a first ball nought by an Asif delivery that cut back and knocked out middle-stump.
Two balls after that Strauss also fell for nought, caught by diving wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal and England were 40 for three inside six overs.
Trescothick completed a 33-ball fifty with nine fours before he too was caught behind, off Razzaq.
England and Pakistan now head into a five-match one-day series, starting at Cardiff on Wednesday.
(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)