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England v Pakistan, 2nd Twenty20, Dubai

Razzaq blitz levels series for Pakistan

The Bulletin by Andrew Miller in Dubai

February 20, 2010

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A

Pakistan 149 for 6 (Razzaq 46*, Swann 3-14) beat England 148 for 6 (Pietersen 62) v Pakistan
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kevin Pietersen carves the ball away during his powerful innings, England v Pakistan, 2nd Twenty20, Dubai, February 20, 2010
Kevin Pietersen returned to his best form with a 40-ball 62, but he was overshadowed by Abdul Razzaq's late show © PA Photos

Abdul Razzaq produced a blistering innings of 46 not out from 18 balls as Pakistan squared the two-match Twenty20 series in dramatic style in Dubai. Defending a target of 148 following a timely return to form for Kevin Pietersen, England's bowlers looked to have the game in the bag as Pakistan slumped to 78 for 5 after 13 overs, following a two-wicket debut over from Ajmal Shahzad, and a brilliant spell of 4-1-14-3 from Graeme Swann.

Razzaq, however, decided that aggression was the best route out of the hole that Pakistan had dug for themselves. After a solitary sighter, he launched Paul Collingwood over midwicket for six twice in two balls, and then repeated the dose one over later, as Luke Wright was battered into the long-off stands.

With 44 runs required from the final five overs, the momentum of the match had suddenly turned, and Fawad Alam kept up the pressure by milking 13 runs from Stuart Broad's next over, including four consecutive twos, and a last-ball boundary as Shahzad on the edge of the circle muffed a half-chance for a diving catch. Three balls later, Fawad continued the onslaught by bludgeoning Tim Bresnan straight down the ground, and though he picked out Eoin Morgan on the midwicket boundary soon afterwards, he had helped add 48 match-changing runs in four overs.

The equation was 18 runs from 12 balls when Shahzad was recalled to bowl the penultimate over of the innings, but Razzaq was ready for his bustling approach and slotted him into the long-off stands for his fourth six of the innings, before sealing the contest with his fifth and largest blow of the night, a mighty heave into the heavens. The game was done and dusted with a full over in hand, to give Pakistan their first victory in 11 outings in all internationals.

Such a finale hadn't looked at all likely for much of the evening, not least when Shahzad - a late replacement for Ryan Sidebottom - was handed the ball to bowl the first over of England's innings. His first delivery was inauspicious, as Imran Nazir clunked him back over his head, but two balls later he had his revenge, as Nazir charged down the pitch to a short but straight delivery, and top-edged a wild smear into the hands of Bresnan at third man.

Before the over was complete, Shahzad had claimed his second, as Imran Farhat flapped another loose pull, this time to Broad at mid-off, and at 4 for 2 after five deliveries, Pakistan were in some serious strife. Though Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal redressed the balance of the innings with an aggressive third-wicket stand of 36 in five overs, Swann suckered Malik with the first ball of his spell - a leg-side wide that resulted in a smart stumping from Prior - before Shahid Afridi and Akmal both launched ambitious hoicks into the hands of Morgan at midwicket.

Once again, England found themselves unable to defend a total of less than 150 - they have never yet managed that feat in Twenty20 internationals. But it was far from a gloomy evening for their long-term prospects, not least because Pietersen confirmed that he is close to finding his best form. With Jonathan Trott providing solid support in a 98-run stand for the second wicket, Pietersen cracked four fours and three sixes - including one of the biggest hits of the week - to power England along to 148 for 6.

It was blistering batting from Pietersen, whose confidence was sky-high after a measured 43 from 43 balls in Friday's opening contest. Whereas in that encounter he had been happy to play second-fiddle to an excellent performance from Morgan, this time he was ready to resume his more typical front-running approach.

After a sighter from Arafat that fizzed past his leg stump for five wides, Pietersen got into his stride by advancing down the pitch to Razzaq to swing a lofted drive over wide mid-on. His next boundary had a modicum of good fortune as he threaded the gap between gully and backward point with a cramped cut shot, but his next shot in anger was one of pure class - a rifling drive off Saeed Ajmal, that rebounded off the steps of the second-tier hospitality boxes, and left one embarrassed spectator on his backside.

The biggest let-down for England was the continuing poor form of Joe Denly, whose place at the top of the order is now in serious jeopardy following England's decision to call the big-hitting Craig Kieswetter into the one-day party for Bangladesh. Denly came into the contest with a total of 15 runs in his previous four Twenty20 innings, but he managed to add just five more runs to that tally from a further 10 deliveries, before Yasir Arafat nipped a good-length delivery back through his gate.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Comments: 48 
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Posted by   on (February 22 2010, 12:05 PM GMT)

A.Razzaq.. dear , u really show ur self.. may Allah give you maximum chances to represent Pakistan team. love you patriotic player.

Posted by   on (February 22 2010, 06:06 AM GMT)

We heartly congratulate him for wining T20 Razaque is the best all rounder of Pakistan Cricket Team Please bring back him for all nature of matches T20, 1DAYS & TEST MATCHES

Posted by SIREN6800 on (February 22 2010, 05:00 AM GMT)

It was not too long I had raised cocerns over unnjust dropping of Abdul Razaq. The same blunder was committes by our selection committe during t 20 world cup.However during the tournament they realized and Razzaq was included in second phase of tournament. Ironically after the victory Razaq was ignnored once again and was not even considered drinng Newzeland and Australian tours. I hope this time they learn the lesson, which I doubt very much they will, keepinng in view their past history . For some reason our selectors always prefer Rana Navid over Razaq.Perhaps in their opinion Rana is better all rounder than Razaq, despite the fact Razaq has much better record than Rana. May be Rana has better connection with PCB or he is related with Shfaqat Rana or any other big gun. I hope our future selectors will keep in mind that nepotism does play a negative role in team spirit and will try their best to avoid reoccurannce of such examples in future.

Posted by AleemLatif on (February 22 2010, 01:11 AM GMT)

Pakistan team for T20 World Cup should be: 1.Imran Nazir 2.Yasir Hameed 3.Kamran Akmal 4.Umar Akmal 5.Shoab Malik 6.Fawad Alam 7.Shahid Afridi (Captain) 8.Abdul Razaq (Vice Captain) 9.Yasir Arafat 10.Mohammad Aamir 11.Saeed Ajmal

Posted by AleemLatif on (February 22 2010, 01:02 AM GMT)

PCBs tactics for retaining Khalid Latif and Imran Farhat in the team, replacing Kamran Akmal with Sarfaraz Ahmed and making Abdul Razak out of the team during OZ tour - are absolutely insensible, ill-advised and outlandish. This PARCHI/ Safarashi culture is doing no good for us and should be handled more severely by the Pakistan media. PCB should hire some young IT consultants (who have good cricketing sense), and their roles should only be to find the weaknesses in opposition batsmen as well as bowlers and should work together with the coach and rest of the team to device plans of actions before every match. They should also work together with Paki batsmen and bowlers to eradicate weaknesses in their techniques in consultation with the coach. And the coach should be young, energetic, friendly and well aware with advanced technologies and should be somebody with vast overseas exposure.

Posted by Hibs on (February 21 2010, 22:00 PM GMT)

Its a BIG SLAP on the face of the dirty politics of Pakistan cricket which tried its best to destroy the career of one of the most able and loyal servant of Pakistan cricket. Leaving Razzaq out of the first Twenty20 world cup was the most heinous crime a bunch of selectors could do. That broke Razzaq's heart who in utter devastation declared his retirement from the International Cricket. Can anyone fathom the damage done to Pakistan cricket caused by Abdul Razzaq's omission, in all formats of cricket? When Pakistan team was in trouble,they got him back in the middle of the last Twenty20 world cup, and the way the team's fortunes changed was there for all to see. And what the selectors do after that?they leave Abdul Razzaq out of the New Zealand and Australia tour, shame on PCB.

Posted by   on (February 21 2010, 19:27 PM GMT)

dats really fantastic and tremendous inning by Abudl Razzaq!! we take our hat off to Him

Posted by   on (February 21 2010, 16:32 PM GMT)

very good knock by abdul razzaq under pressure. He has justified himself that dropping him from oneday side was unjust.

Posted by swat1999 on (February 21 2010, 14:57 PM GMT)

This is real Pakistan after a long wait......

Posted by cricpakboy on (February 21 2010, 12:52 PM GMT)

well deserved victory to the pakistan team, this ends the bad luck that was behind the team all the time. malik , fawad , razzaq they are playing really well . malik is still having some bad luck by that he was stumped of a wide that could have gone both ways anyways well played boys

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Andrew Miller UK editor Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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