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England lose final warm up friendly

England lost their last World Cup warm-up game by four wickets as Pakistan prevailed in a tense finish in Sydney.

Edward Falzon
11 February 2015, 4:09pm
Pakistan Captain: Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan Captain: Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan Skipper Misbah-ul Haq scored a brilliant 91 not out to lead his team to a thrilling four-wicket victory over England in their final World Cup warmup at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

The 40-year old notched up five hours and two sixes in his 99-ball knock, turning the match in a fourth-wicket partnership of 133 with Umar Akmal.

Akmal fell for 65 to leave Sohaib Maqsood and then Shahid Afridi to help their captain guide the 1992 champions past England’s total of 250 for eight with seven balls to spare.

Afridi scored the winning runs with successive fours but rode his luck with the decisive second, which almost caught ad mid-off.

Pakistan’s batting had been far from convincing in their win over Bangladesh on Monday and they will now head to Adelaide to face current champions India in their tournament opener on Sunday high on confidence.

England’s bowling spearheads James Anderson and Stuart Broad took a couple of wickets apiece to keep the contest alive until the last few overs but the English were punished for their deficiencies.

 

Misbah brought up his half century with a thumping six and Akmal reached the milestone in the same manner 10 overs later.

Gary Balance came in at number three with a point to prove on his return since an injury in September had ruled him out; and he steadied the ship with a well -crafted 57.

It was only after he had departed with an ill-executed slog sweep and out of sorts skipper Eoin Morgan fell for a duck attempting a lap sweep to a full toss, however that England really got a grip on their innings.

Joe Root provided the adhesive with a sparkling 85 off 89 balls and combined with Chris Jordan (31 not out) to steer his side towards a competitive tally.

England will face co-hosts Australia on Saturday in their World Cup opener.

Edward Falzon is sports reporter at MaltaToday.
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