Mahmood made it possible to level series for England

Though Pakistan’s total was never a decent looking total but Pakistanis came back strongly and at one moment it appeared as if Pakistan would win this match and so the series when England lost some quick wickets chasing a low score of 154 only.

It was second time consecutively that Pakistani Batting line, considered to be very strong on papers, collapsed. Its not a new thing for Pakistan. In past such debacles have been occurring for Green team but this has happened after a long time. In the previous match Razzaq had saved the team from criticism but these things don’t happen every time. This time no one was there to take English bowlers to the trip of boundaries. Mahmood who was badly hit by Razzaq the other day came back strongly and bowled very well.

First 12 overs were rather safe for Pakistan. Though not many runs scored but openers had saved the wicket till Imran Farhat was run out. Criss Read, showing the presence of mind and making use of negligence of Farhat, sent him back to pavilion. No one could survive after the door was opened. Afridi, who was sent earlier for some unknown reason, could not hit a six. He was bowled out cleanly by Lewis. Hafeez, the other opener, was next to go off an inside edge. These three wickets were down in three consecutive over.

Y factor (Younis+Yousaf) was the last hope for survival of Pakistan but Yousaf had to edge a beautifully bowled delivery and Inzamam followed Yousaf to pavilion very quickly after that. Younis was the only person who could prolong his stay at crease. Razzaq and Kamran Akmal were not able to company him. Kamran again failed to get some runs in his record. Rana Naveed was even better than those but after loss of Younis Khan when Rao and Asif were at crease, Rao played sensibly. Though he is not a batsman and no one can expect any batting from a boy at this number but he sensibly saved Muhammad Asif from exposure to Mahmood. The two last comers were able to play through 50 overs.

England had a good and solid start and it never looked that they might face an problem in achieving this small total. But Pakistanis bowled very well with passion in the middle. There was a stage when England lost 6 quick wickets one after the other. They were 114-7 when Mahmood came for their rescue. He played very well under pressure and at the end Rana Naveed really helped him in completing the total with ease.

Hence a series which Pakistan must had won ended in draw. One reason of this draw might be rain at Cardiff where Pakistan was in real strong position to win the match. One main reason is no doubt Pakistan’s irresponsible and fumbling fielding. Pakistan has always been conceding extra runs due to their bad fielding and sometimes they offer the opposition with a gift of dropped catch. Pakistan must work on its fielding if they want to win matches.

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