Pakistan rode on cameos from Salman Butt (34) and Umar Akmal (30) to post a modest 147 for 9 against England in the first Group E Super Eight stage match at Bridgetown, Barbados, on Thursday.Butt’s 26-ball knock, inclusive of three boundaries and a six, was the highest individual score in the Pakistan innings.The southpaw also put on 31 runs for the opening wicket with Kamran Akmal (15) and a further 40 runs for the second wicket with Mohammad Hafeez (18).The above-mentioned stands were the best in the Pakistan innings.
Put into bat, Pakistan could never really break loose.Captain Shahid Afridi faced just one ball before running himself out in pursuit of a non-existent single.His early dismissal cost Pakistan dear.
There was some exemplary discipline shown by the England bowlers, especially Michael Yardy (2 for 19) and Stuart Broad (2 for 25) who sent down eight tidy overs between themselves. Yardy’s was the best individual bowling performance for England.Ryan Sidebottom also chipped in with figures of two for 28.
Pakistan’s cause wasn’t helped by some poor fielding.Saeed Ajmal, in particular, was guilty of dropping as many as three catches in the same region.And his generosity helped the England openers lay the foundation of their chase.Ajmal though redeemed himself a bit with a good showing with the ball — with figures of two for 15.
Kevin Pietersen played a characteristic innings to ensure England a comprehensive six-wicket win.The South Africa-born batsman made a superlative 52-ball 73, a knock inclusive of eight hits to the fence and two over it, and remained unbeaten.He also shared a 60-run third wicket stand with captain Paul Collingwood (16) to ensure his side’s chase was a smooth affair.He was deservedly named man-of-the-match.