England v Pakistan – as it happened!
The first Twenty20 between England and Pakistan will start at 2pm.
In the meantime, as the betting scandal inevitably casts its shadow over proceedings, the ICC's spotlight has also fallen on a Sri Lankan player, while Paul Collingwood has called for more honesty from players.
2.05pm Afternoon everyone and on another miserable day for cricket lovers the news from Cardiff is that there's going to be an unspecified delay after heavy morning rain. It has stopped, however, and though it looks gloomy to me, the Sky team have got their T20 polo shirts on and are confident of play. We'll get a full allocation of overs if it starts before 3.30pm but the regulations state they can shorten it to as little as a five-over a side match if needs be. There's an inspection due at 2.15pm and I'll let you know as soon as there is any news from the middle, along with the teams when they name the final XIs.
2.15pm The toss will be at 2.30pm with the match to begin at 3pm. I'll be back with news of both.
2.30pm The toss has been delayed until 2.40pm with the start still on for 3pm.
2.45pm England have won the toss and will field first, hoping, says Paul Collingwood, to take advantage of the sweat on the pitch after a morning under covers. Here's your teams:
England: 1 Craig Kieswetter, 2 Steve Davies (wk), 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Luke Wright, 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 Michael Yardy, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 Ryan Sidebottom.
Pakistan: 1 Shahzaib Hasan, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Fawad Aslam, 4 Mohammad Yousuf, 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Shahid Afridi (capt), 7 Abdul Razzak, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Shoaib Akhtar.
2.50pm: And so we begin in a few minutes but here's an interesting link from Selve from that certainly puts an interesting slant on the latest NotW exclusive with Yasir Hameed. Thanks, Mike. This is like the John Dean tapes.
2.55pm: In come the RAF skydivers, aligned in the shape oif a question mark as they hover over the ground. Is that symbolic? I don't know. Re the latest revelations about spot-fixing. I've only had minutes to digest the cricstan stuff but it seems clear to me that context is everything. Any recorded evidence must be published unexpurgated, surely, or we are left with too many doubts despite the headline-grabbing juicy bits.
1st over: Pakistan 12-0 (Kamran Akmal 7, Shahzaib 5) Ryan Sidebottom opens proceedings and Akmal Sr picks up on his looseish length to lift him over the head of cover. It would have been four but for the wet pitch but they got three. Better shot from Shahzaib off the second that races through point for four. They scamper a quick single to Bresnan at short, fine leg that would have been out had Bresnan hit the stumps off the third. Morgan makes a splendid stop on the rope to save four but Akmal gets his second three then a single to third man off the fifth. "Nice to be getting back to some on field action after the events of the past week. Or does OBO now stand for Outrage by Outrage?" writes Phil Sawyer.
Wicket!! Kamran Akmal c Yardy b Bresnan 7 A ludicrously misjudged hoick at Bresnan's shorter ball. He tried to pull it but it was too wide outside off and he just spooned it up to Yardy running back at squareish mid-on.
2nd over: Pakistan 15-1 (Yousuf 1, Shahzaib 7) It's Barney Ronay's dream best friend Tim Bresnan to share the new ball. Shazaib shovels the first to midwicket for a single and then Kamran has a rush of blood to bring Yousuf in and he's off the mark at once with an easy single. Bresnan's just tempting them to have a slog, a policy that has paid dividends in the past. "OBO? Oh dear By Oh dear," says Gary Naylor. "Obloquy by obloquy"?
3rd over: Pakistan 21-1 (Yousuf 6, Shahzaib 9) Broad replaces Sidebottom after one over and hits 90mph with his first ball that Shazaib taps away for a single. Yousuf plays one into the ring then has a cross-bat swat over midwicket and takes two. His attempt to unleash his favourite run off the face down to third man is smothered by a fly-slip/short third man hybrid and then curtain rails one over point's head for another two. Another half-power pull gets him a single off the last. He looks a bit too set in his ways for T20 and is just playing like someone's dad trying to whack every ball a whippersnapper serves up to him.
4th over: Pakistan 29-1 (Yousuf 14, Shahzaib 10) Yousuf plays a huge drive on the up off Bresnan that has the height but not the legs and he gets three. He then hits a purler of a four to fine leg. "Outre, Bloody Outre," suggests John Starbuck.
5th over: Pakistan 43-1 (Yousuf 24, Shahzaib 12) "So pleased the crowd in Cardiff seem to be playing nicely. And that link from cricstan makes very interesting reading although should we really be surprised by anything the NOTW does?" asks Lori McConnachie. Francis Urquhart time here, Lori. Beautiful leg glance from Yousuf for four and then he backs off to short leg and plays an uppercut over the head of Davies for four more. He's showing you can teach an old batsman new tricks with another outrageous aerial off drive that is hit with backspin and he only gets two as it stops dead a foot inside the rope. Yardy then makes a stellar stop on the third man boundary to save two runs. "Own goal by Own goal," is Gary Naylor's second bite at the cherry.
6th over: Pakistan 49-1 (Yousuf 25, Shahzaib 17) Yousuf drops his hands and kills the ball about two feet infront of him and dashes a single. Bresnan careers up the wicket to try to run Shahzaib out but he makes his ground. Good yorker from Bresnan follows, just a fraction wide or he would have been bowled. Lori McConnachie has done a Hadley Freeman on us: "Pakistan's outfits, not such a great colour." It's cornered tiger lime green, Lori. Shahzaib finishes the over with a short arm hook for four and turns one off his toes to Sidebottom at short, fine leg for one. There's been some brilliant ground fielding from England so far.
Wicket!! Yousuf c Morgan b Swann 25 Swann again takes a wicket in his first over as Yousuf's eyes light up and he carves it down Eoin Morgan's throat at deep midwicket.
7th over: Pakistan 50-2 (Alam 0, Shahzaib 18) Swann on the money right from the first ball. Shahzaib had a dash at one and curved it over cover for one but then Swann lured Yousuf to his doom.
8th over: Pakistan 51-2 (Alam 0, Shahzaib 19) On comes Yardy with his left-arm spears and he turns it a foot and gets good bounce. He just javelins it in and makes it difficult for the batsmen to get any room to hit. His last ball is round the wicket and absolutely hurled down at pace. Hellishly difficult to score off him.
Wicket!! Shazaib st Davies b Swann 21 Went for a waltz down the pitch, Swann saw him coming, and the batsman was done by the spin and the dip. Davies easily made his first international dismissal.
9th over: Pakistan 56-3 (Alam 3, Umar Akmal 0) Swann is more of a purist's spinner and is still happy to give it some air. Shahzaib goes down on one knee and rifles a cover drive. Lovely shot and then shoots himself in the foot. It's spinning square from Swann.
10th over: Pakistan 61-3 (Alam 8, Umar Akmal 0) "Just tuning in," writes Marie Meyer. "It appears England have two wicket keepers on the field. Any ideas why Davies got the gloves instead of Kieswetter?" They didn't want to punish Kieswetter after his batting in the Caribbean but feel Davies is the better ODI bet behind the stumps, I think. Alam has started to use his feet cannily whichs eems a better policy than darting down the pitch. He gets a life when the umpire Richard Kettleborough turns down a good leg-before shout but the URDS is not in place other than for Test. Hawk-Eye shows it was hitting middle.
11th over: Pakistan 63-3 (Alam 9, Umar Akmal 1) The batsmen are mesmerised by both spinners. Comedy shot from Alam, chasing a wide one to sweep. So wide in fact he has to stretch and he lets go off the bat halfway through the shot and the bats hurtles to midwicket. Amateur hour. "Soon there will be five slow bowlers in a team and no pace at all in T20," writes Gary Naylor. Well, in England I can see it. working.
12th over: Pakistan 71-3 (Alam 12, Umar Akmal 6) Collingwood fancies a trundle and replaces Yardy. He drags his first ball down a bit too much and Umar gets on top of it and cuts for four. He almost makes up for it next ball, Akmal tries to hit the cover off it with his pull shot but got underneath it and it went straight through Bresnan's hands at short midwicket and knocked the cap off his head. Alam tries to do a Dilshan over the keeper but only gets two after mistiming it slightly.
13th over: Pakistan 76-3 (Alam 17, Umar Akmal 6) Better shot from Alam, in fact a better pair of shots from Alam, one a full-blooded cut, the other a delicate late glide to third man. Swann is clever, though, and decides to pin him on the back foot if that's how he wants to play with quicker deliveries. I can't tell you how much it's turning out there. It's ridiculous and he deserves his two for 14 figures at the end of his brilliant spell.
14th over: Pakistan 84-3 (Alam 17, Umar Akmal 14) Yardy's back with his round the wicket medium pace spinners. It's like watching Deadly Derek if the sainted Underwood had bowled short of a length. Akmal hunches low to scoop one over his shoulder and Broad makes a wonderful diving stop on the boundary to keep them to two.
15th over: Pakistan 88-3 (Alam 20, Umar Akmal 15) "If T20 does see more slow bowlers (11th over), the batsmen will just have to work out how to read and play them. T20 thrives on plenty of extravagant batting and will become less of a marketable product if the batsmen don't catch up in the arms race. Mind you, less likely potential for deliberate no-balls and that's a blessing. Isn't it?" Good points from John Starbuck. Silly season shot off Sidebottom's first ball, one outside off stump. Umar stretches and deflects it over his shoulder for a single but looks like a bit of a prat as he could have cover driven it. Alam is twitching and getting ready to launch some shots, playing and missing, his hands too fast and almoist swinging himself off his feet so Sidebottom toys with him a little by bowling fullish and seeing if he nicks it. He finally connects with a short ball but splices it to deep midwicket and gets two, then another for a single. He's hit more off the top half of his bat than the bottom this innings and is doing better for England than the tourists.
WICKET!! Alam c and b Yardy 20 His torture is ended with one of the weirdest shots you'll ever see, almost French cricketing it straight back up the wicket into yardy's hands. His footwork seemed to be almost entirely wrong to every ball he faced.
16th over: Pakistan 96-4 (Afridi 7, Umar Akmal 16) Enter Boom Boom in his lime Boom Boom kit. Off the mark with a push into the off-side. That innings from Alam was, well, rubbish and he must have been having kittens as Afridi and Razzaq looked on, swinging their arms. Afridi is into the swing straight away: single, two, four.
17th over: Pakistan 100-4 (Afridi 9, Umar Akmal 19) It is, as Gary Naylor says, a rotten pitch. "All season to get a pitch together for an International Twenty20 double-header and Cardiff gives us a slow turner - the pitch least condusive to attacking batting or bowling. Why?" asks GN. Sidebottom is exploiting it magnificently with a mixture of slower balls and swingers. Umar Akmal looks to cream him down the ground but there's not enough pace on it to get under it and he gets only one. He tries that scoop over his shoulder from the slower bouncer and gets another single. Afridi swats another slow bouncer into the leg side for two.
18th over: Pakistan 109-4 (Afridi 13 Umar Akmal 21) Broad spills a difficult chance a mistiomed pull from Afridi that flew back at the bowler and stings his hands. He connects with the second that Luke Wright tips back before it goes over the boundary. This pitch is a total dog, making the batsmen do all the work and swinging so hard they can't keep both hands on the bat at times. Afridi flat bats it in the air to long-on and Wright, of all people, drops it. Umar takes two and a single to finish the over. Bumble says Bresnan is getting a volley from Broad for not stopping the two.
19th over: Pakistan 118-4 (Afridi 14 Umar Akmal 30) The sun's out at last but Umar Akmal has still got his umbrella shot out and again steps outside off to raise it over leg slip. Daft and unproductive. He then plays an orthodox shot, sails down the pitch and clatters it for four between deep mikdwicket and long on. Sidebottom follows up with a quicker bouncer but it's way too high and a wide is given.
20th over: Pakistan 126-4 (Afridi 16 Umar Akmal 35) Pakistan's batsmen have been made to look pretty ugly by the lack of pace in the pitch. Nurdling just isn't their game but they manage to take two from shots that if they could time them properly would balloon over the rope. Short balls work well when there's such little pace as if you bowl them at the body the best the batsmen can manage is short-arm jabs. A leg-bye off the last ball as Afridi wears another short ball on the grille of his helmet and Akmal takes two off the last with a hurried pull to midwicket. That wasn't very aesthetically pleasing at all to watch but England were very effective. They're about 25 runs short I would think.
1st over: England 9-0 (Kieswetter 6, Davies 3) Phil Sawyer has a question for you. "I was trying to use Statsguru to find out the last time there were no sixes in a T20 innings but have been failing miserably. Can anyone enlighten me? I'd be prepared to bet money on it being England before we finally realised how to play the game." Any Frindalls out there? Kieswetter takes a single of Razzaq's first ball, steering the ball through point to bring Davies up to face. And he has a nibble at his first ball but gets away with it. He slices it over cover to get off the mark then inside edges it to backward square leg. Kieswetter looks more at home, advancing to drive through point for four. "Checking out sky's innings break coverage, " writes Ant Pease, "you've got to say that Pakistan are edging it in one important department. Bumble's male-pattern skinhead simply can't compete with Ramiz Raja's long, thick luxuriant black locks. I say Pakistan for the win."
WICKET!! Kieswetter c Kamran Akmal b Akhtar 6 A huge swing that almost launched Kieswetter off his feet. It caught the edge and Akmal Sr caught it easily stepping to his right.
2nd over: England 9-1 (Bopara 0, Davies 3) Shoaib Akhtar makes his umpteenth comeback and hits 86mph with his first ball that flies past Kieswetter's chest and he follows up with a few choice words. His third ball is a beauty, in the mid 90s, that just leaves the batsman off the pitch a little while Kieswetter goes fishing. He's out next ball and he hit it with such force that it really was an excellent catch.
3rd over: England 20-1 (Bopara 0, Davies 14) A wicket maiden from Shoaib to start. Drama follows him, well Razzaq does and Davies takes two, two and then shuffles round to belt four down to deep backward square from one that follows his retreat to the leg side. Razzaq follows up with a better ball that squares Davies up and almost catches the edge. Two more into the leg side from Davies. He looks good when tucked up, which is a boon on this pitch. "Kieswetter did know that England need not much more than a run a ball? Sledged out by Shoaib - the Aussies will have noticed." He was given a few verbals, Gary. Good spot.
4th over: England 30-1 (Bopara 8, Davies 15) Shoaib resumes with a wide, a slowish attempted yorker that drifts down leg. Davies then almost gets himself out, given the hurry up by Akhtar he spoons the ball into the leg-side just short of the fielder that brings Bopara up. And he smacks the cover off a devastatingly brutal cut shot for four. Davies sends Bopara back and the Essex batsman just gets back. He runs hard again off the last ball, turning one into two, after another uppish square drive.
5th over: England 37-1 (Bopara 8, Davies 22) "Erm… Kieswetter is going to be playing against the Aussies when exactly?" asks Mike Selvey of Gary Naylor. The T20s next January? He'll hardly be quaking, will he? Nor they be working out mental disintegration tactics so soon. Anyway with Davies who knows how much of a T20 career he's got. Davies creams another four but takes a very risky single but the bowler Wahab Riaz can't throw the ball on to the stumps when Davies was two feet short having collected the throw. He should have let the throw reach its destination perhaps. And another missive from Selve rendering redundant what I've just written above: "Oh you mean the ODIs? We shall see."
WICKET!! Bopara c Yousuf b Akhtar 11 He takes Akhtar on, spanking a delivery high cross-batted and Yousuf steps back at long-on to take a very decent catch.
6th over: England 42-1 (Collingwood 0, Davies 23) Just a short bit from the legal snippers. Thanks for your quips about all manner of possible bets that may or may not be possible given the events of the past eight days. Thanks, but there's no way I can use any of them. Nor limericks about Salman Butt. Shoaib races in again and the crowd is keyed up for him, roaring him in. Bopara top edges a hook for three down to long leg and the Express is geed up, hitting 95.6mph with his next ball to Davies. Interestingly Umar Akmal is wearing football boots to field in.
7th over: England 46-2 (Collingwood 2, Davies 24) Riaz resumes and Davies leans back and plays him nicely off the back foot through the off side then Collingwood does a Pietersen and almost runs himself out in his first over. Had the fielder hit he would have gone. Pakistan have managed to crank up some pressure, largely thanks to Akhtar.
WICKET!! Collingwood b Afridi 4 Slow, short ball that Collingwood was attempting to thrash out of the ground. He instead under edges it on to his off stump. And the Pakistan fielders roar with laughter.
8th over: England 55-3 (Collingwood 4, Davies 32) Shoaib's got two for 14 off three but makes way for his captain who bowls to Davies who targets the offside, taking two and then four as Umar Gul fails to stop the boundary with his dive. Then Collingwood's out to a golden arm piece of filth.
Wicket!! Davies c Riaz b Gul 33 Picked it up off his hip but couldn't free his upper arms and scuttles it round the corner to square leg where Riaz takes a diving catch. Game on.
9th over: England 57-4 (Morgan 1, Wright 0) "I've no problem per se with you mentioning Umar Akmal's choice of footwear, but you did miss out a rather salient point; they're not just football boots, they're lime green football boots. More importantly, you've not mentioned that they're the same colour as his lipstick was for the duration of the Pakistan batting innings," writes Ant Pease. He's theming himself in the garb of a man who would shout "Aciiiiiiiiiid!" 20 odd years ago. The best T20 bowler of them all, Umar Gul, comes on and he ties Morgan up who only gets off the mark because Ajmal makes an absolute Mullalley of a stop. He finishes a fine over with a wicket. Intelligent bowling
Wicket!! Wright b Afridi 0 Bowling over the wicket, it drifts in and turns slightly to bowl him behind his legs.
10th over: England 62-5 (Morgan 6, Yardy 0) Lovely shot from Morgan for four but Afridi diddles Wright out after some poor thinking from the batsman, not playing straight, just looking for runs from the off.
11th over: England 74-5 (Morgan 12, Yardy 5) Umar Gul is on the receiving end of some orthodoxy from Morgan, a dazzling drive for four and Yardy clips his first ball through the covers to take one. Morgan's got the right idea here. No point being an amusement arcade when you only need a run a ball. "Shoaib," writes Gary Naylor. "has done some silly things in his time, but a couple of years ago, he was on twelfth man duty for Surrey and ferried drinks and gloves all day, signing autographs for the kids every time he went back and forth. I was impressed and have liked him ever since." He does seem a good guy but just as I wrote that he cocks up a dive and parries the ball for four at long leg. Still a nice chap, though,, as long as you're not a PCB board member.
12th over: England 79-5 (Morgan 14, Yardy 8) Morgan calls Yardy through for two and he makes his ground but it was tight. Aaagh. Shoaib spills a chance at backward point, straight into his hands, off Morgan's reverse sweep
13th over: England 91-5 (Morgan 19, Yardy 17) Saeed Ajmal comes on, presumably to bowl through given the dominance of spin for England. And Yardy gives him very short shrift indeed, belting his first ball through the covers. Then a viciously spinning delivery catches Yardy's edge and hits Kamran Akmal's pad. Tough chance that you couldn't really blame him for. Edges again but this time a deliberate one from Morgan, feathering the ball down to third man for a single. Very good over for England.
14th over: England 99-5 (Morgan 24, Yardy 19) "In a probably doomed attempt to start a riff, given how little time there is, I see in the Observer today that Australians reckon Nick Cave would make their best prime minister. If we did it here in the UK, I'd go for Shirley Bassey, with Collingwood as deputy." Doomed it is, John Starbuck. Morgan prepares to Fairbrother it out for England. Cutting, carving, prodding, and driving. He takes four off the last with one of those weird bottom hand square drives.
15th over: England 105-5 (Morgan 24, Yardy 27) Ajmal has not been able to do a Swann, he doesn't seem to be able to get rip with dip today. A couple of very optimistic leg-before appeals and that's his lot. Yardy's a very calm head out there. Milking and taking his fours off overpitched deliveries.
16th over: England 116-5 (Morgan 26, Yardy 33) Shoaib Akhtar comes back for his last over. It must have been better to have kept him on. It's looking much easier for England with these two at the crease. Nothing frantic at all. Nick Terdre has a complaint: "I get really fed up with seeing pics of sportmen (usually) celebrating, like the one on the OBO now, and Nadal on the tennis story. I'd rather see batsmen hitting sixes, or having their stumps splattered, Murray rifling a winning backhand down the line, Defoe angling the ball across the goalie into the far corner, than cricketers high-fiving each other, footballers cuddling each other and Nadal lying prostrate on the court after the winning shot. Where's the interest in that? They celebrate too much, anyway." The majority of photographs on the wires are from agencies catering for every media outlet, Nick. Hence the common denominator is they tend to file lots of these sorts of pics because they're popular.
17th over: England 125-5 (Morgan 34, Yardy 35) A steepling four from Morgan that would have been six on most other grounds. Two to win. Knocked them off Ajmal with ease.
18th over: England 129-5 (Morgan 38, Yardy 35) Morgan cracks a cut through point for four and England win by five wickets. David Lloyd starts the car, Morgan yelps with joy and that's that. Very competent run chase from the partnership of Yardy and Morgan. If those catches hadn't been dropped it may have been a different tale. It wasn't much of a thriller but absorbing nonetheless. Thanks for your emails. Good night.