Pakistan take on England in key warm-up tie


A day after the proper competition starts in the ICC World Twenty20 2012, England and Pakistan go head-to-head in the last of the warm-up fixtures at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Wednesday (September 19). Both teams have played only one warm-up game so far, interestingly, against old rivals – England playing Australia and Pakistan playing India. And both England and Pakistan won those games by small margins. England beat Australia by 9 runs, while Pakistan beat India by 5 wickets in a last over finish.
England’s performance against Australia was certainly clinical. While batting, the runs were shared between Alex Hales (52), Luke Wright (35) and Eoin Morgan (30), while all five bowlers in operation – Steven Finn, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann and Danny Briggs – picked up wickets. Crucially, England showed good spirit in standing up to a brilliant effort from Mike Hussey, who scored a 51-ball 71, to wrap up the win.
Pakistan, on the other hand, was profligate with the ball, with Sohail Tanvir (11.66), Mohammad Sami (15.50) and Shahid Afridi (10.25) all proving expensive as Virat Kohli (75 not out) and Rohit Sharma (56) took India to 185 for 3. The win was possible primarily because of the heroics from Kamran Akmal, who scored an unbeaten 92 from 50 balls.
Both teams are among the favourites to win the tournament, and both have history working in their favour. Pakistan won the second edition of the ICC World T20 in 2009 and England won in 2010, and is coming into the latest edition as the defending champion.
The clash between these two might provide a good idea of how each stands as they campaign to win the ICC World T20 for a second time.