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Pietersen, Cook guide England to series win


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Pakistan's top five batsmen failed to get a big score. — Photo by AFP
Pakistan's top five batsmen failed to get a big score. — Photo by AFP

DUBAI: Kevin Pietersen hit his eighth one-day hundred while Alastair Cook missed a third consecutive century as England crushed Pakistan by nine wickets in the third day-night match on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Pietersen notched an unbeaten 98-ball 111 while opening partner Cook hit 80 to help their team overhaul a modest 223-run target set by Pakistan with 12.4 overs to spare at Dubai Stadium.

The victory gave England an unassailable 3-0 win in the series, with the fourth and final match to come here on Tuesday.

Pietersen, whose last hundred came against India at Cuttack in November 2008, hit his 10th boundary to bring up the win.

Pietersen, who also hit two sixes, crossed the 4,000 one-day run mark when he reached 57, becoming the seventh England batsman to reach the milestone.

He pushed paceman Aizaz Cheema towards square-leg for two to reach his hundred off 93 balls, his first in 36 innings.

Cook, who hit a career-best 137 and then 102 in the first two matches, was shaping well for his third century but fell when he was caught behind off spinner Saeed Ajmal after a fluent 98-ball knock, hitting six boundaries and a six.

Pakistan's bowlers looked helpless against some impressive batting by Cook and Pietersen who improved on the previous best opening stand of 147 against Pakistan, set by Michael Atherton and Robin Smith in Karachi in the 1996 World Cup.

Cook fell with 53 still needed before Eoin Morgan (24 not out) helped Pietersen see off the target.

Cook said keeping Pakistan to 222 was fantastic.

“It's great to win the series,” said Cook, who took over in May last year.

“Keeping Pakistan to 222 on this pitch was fantastic and our bowlers were

outstanding. That total was below par.”Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq was disappointed with his team's efforts.

“Credit to England, they bowled well,” said Misbah, who lost his first one-day series after four wins. “England's bowlers pressurised us and we lost wickets regularly.” Earlier, Shahid Afridi hit a 55-ball 51 while Umar Akmal scored a 92-ball 50 during their 79-run sixth wicket stand which lifted Pakistan from a precarious 97-5 after Misbah-ul Haq won the toss and chose to bat.

Pakistan lost Azhar Ali (five), Mohammad Hafeez (29) and Misbah (one) in the space of just two runs.

Two of these wickets went to paceman Stuart Broad, who finished with 3-42, while the impressive Steven Finn added Hafeez to his early breakthrough of Imran Farhat (nine) in this pace-dominated period.

Finn, who took four wickets in both of the first two matches after sitting out the Test series, finished with 3-24 off 10 overs.

Afridi and Umar repaired the innings, with Afridi hitting three boundaries and a six.

Broad returned for his second spell to dismiss Umar, caught by Samit Patel after hitting just one boundary.

Afridi followed four runs later when he failed to connect properly with a big drive off paceman James Anderson who finished with 2-52.

Pakistan, who made two changes from the second one-dayer, were forced to leave out experienced batsman Younis Khan who was suffering from a fever.

Asad Shafiq (18) added 46 for the fifth wicket with Umar before he was run out. Umar Gul made 27 not out to give some late momentum to the innings.

Both teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals in Dubai (February 23 and 25) and Abu Dhabi (February 27).

Comments (12) Closed

Mujtaba mirza Feb 18, 2012 09:43pm
It has been proven by successive defeats that Pakistan is no match against England in one day Int.We don't have quick bowlers of the same caliber as those of England' trio.The Board and the selection committee must look into this point seriously and display honesty in finding the talent in Pakistan.There must be plenty of talent in a cricket crazy nation.Please come up above your regional basis of selection fairly common and select on merit the young players.The present team is not not good enough for world cup, or for that matter,to play matches on the fast,swinging or bouncy wickets. We all know,Pakistan's batting is so fragile.There is not a single world class player except Afridi and Yonus hanging on for their past achievements.The openers are terrible and there is no one down.Replace the openers and the one down immediately if you want to have any position in the future.
Javid Shirazi Feb 19, 2012 12:38am
Pathetic performance by Pak players. Their frailties have been exposed. Not good either batting first or last. Only excuses. England have 3 centuries and identical number of half-centuries against 2 by Pakistan. Finn was head and shoulders above the so called world class bowlers. The less said about fielding the better. Time to wake up.
Ashfak Feb 19, 2012 01:37am
u cant win one day cricket with players like Asad shafiq, Azhar ali and Adnan akmal. we need agressive players who can actually hit the ball
Ashfak Feb 19, 2012 01:39am
u cant win one day cricket with players like Asad shafiq, Azhar ali and Adnan akmal. we need agressive players who can actually hit the ball!!
Syed Shah Feb 19, 2012 03:01am
Atleast now they should realise how brittle our batting and ineffective or non-existent pace attack is. For God's sake, keep your egos aside and bring back Shoaib Akhtar for Pace bowling, treat him with respect which he deserves, he is the only genuine pace bowler we have. And bring back M.Yousuf one of the greatest batsmen ever. Both have at least 3 years of cricketing life in them. Avail of it. Otherwise keep loosing. And don't be fooled by Afridis 50 today based on which he is likely to play another 50 matches, blocking a batsman position and will keep failing. He already holds the record of maximum failures. Played 336 failed in 290. Think creatively for the team.
Vaseem Siddiqi Feb 19, 2012 03:43am
Team Pakistan's performance in the ODIs so far has been abysmal and from the current squad I can only see three players who have the potential to represent Pakistan. They are Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal and Wahab Riaz. Players like Asad Shafiq and Hammad Azam are work in progress with Shafiq no Javed Miandad and never will be. Players like Hafeez, Gul and Afridi possess limited talent. Against good quality bowling Hafeez can only score around 25 to 30 runs and he is no Alaister Cook. Whilst England's pace bowlers have dominated the series so far, Gul has not taken a single wicket. Afridi is hit and miss. Players like Yunus, Misbah and Ajmal are too old and are unlikely to be in the team too long. Other players such as Rehman, Malik, Adnan, Cheema and Farhat are simply not good enough to represent Pakistan and should retire from international cricket forthwith. PCB needs to quickly identify and develop new young players such as Shehzad and Sarfraz for the future and World Cup 2015.
Saleem. Feb 19, 2012 08:04am
A very big disappointment after such a great test series. It seems that player politics was the cause. The inclusion of Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik upset the balance of the team. The same test squad should have been maintained as they had developed a great understanding and were functioning in a very effective way.
Abdullah Hussain Feb 19, 2012 09:36am
The current lot of Pakistani cricketers had never been consistent in their performance. If we analyze the 3-0 test victory of Pakistan we will notice that the bowlers actually did the job well. The batsmen mostly failed. In the ODI series the bowlers simply didn’t click so the obvious descended. If team Pakistan needs to a consistent performers then it should do away with old & occasional performers. A new team comprising young & new talents should be raised.
Afzal khan Feb 19, 2012 01:30pm
Misbah has change his batting system,because ODI is not waiting game it is a hitting game if you Waite and play slow then this will happen to the team lose by 9 wickets wich is shame.
Yousuf Feb 19, 2012 02:08pm
I agree with you that Mohammad Yousuf should be brought back but not Sohaib Akhtar. He gives away too many runs and takes less wickets. Also he has a behaviour problem and is not allowed to play in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Dr. Salaria, Aamir A Feb 19, 2012 02:24pm
No doubt it is a hard time for the 'green-shirts' as currently, the chips are down for them. They are down and the whole Pakistani nation is down. Nevertheless, with a firm and true belief in themselves and their cricketing abilities and traits coupled with mental toughness, I still believe that they can make a come back, sooner or later. This Pakistani cricket team is a new side consisting mostly of young and inexperienced players. They have transformed themselves from being zeros to almost heroes status in recent months. It has been a long, painful and at times very hard and difficult journey path for them since last two years or so. However, they have shown strongly and solidly their real talents and true abilities in the test series against the top ICC ranked team in the world by making a clean sweep and inflicting humiliating defeat to their former colonial masters. Just imagine, the previous Pakistani cricket teams were never able to achieve what the current cricketers at the highest level have actually achieved recently in UAE against England in the form of a complete whitewash in the three match test series in U.A.E. Historically speaking, it never happened during yester years when great cricketers like Fazal Mahmood, A. H. Kardar, Hanif Mohammad, Imtiaz Ahmad, Saeed Ahmad, Intikhal Alam, Mushtaq Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Wasim Bari, Imran Khan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Javed Miandad, Abdul Qadir, Waseem Akram, Waqar Younus, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and others used to be at the helm. The current great test victory by the Pakistani cricket team has been effected under the able leadership of Misbah-ul-Haq, for which credit must be given where it is due by all neutral, unbiased and third party cricket fans, experts, academics, writers, scholars, players, umpires, sponsors, consultants, administrators, managers, physios and coaches. If the same team can win on the same soil only two weeks ago, why can't it win now in ODI and the upcoming T20 matches? Yes, they can, if they think they can and if they believe in themselves, anything is possible. Pakistan Zindaa Baad, Pakistani cricketers and cricket team, Paeendaa Baad.
mazhar Feb 19, 2012 10:29pm
One day cricket requires clinical performance from players which is not expected from the current lot of players representing the one day squad of Pakistan. The weakest are of current team is batting and fielding. Players like Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and also Misbah ul Haq do not deserve a place in the one day squad. Modern day one day cricket requires aggressive approach by the batsmen. Players like Ahmed Shahzad, Kamran Akmal, Shahzeb Ahmed need to be given more opportunities. Shoaib Malik should not have been sent on the wish of Misbah. Everyone saw his pathetic performance. It is also unfortunate that currently Pakistan team do not have fearsome pace attack. Apart from Umar Gul there is no significant pace bowler. One day matches cant be won with spinners only like test matches. Pace bowlers need to bowl at least 15-20 overs. Therefore one model fit for all approach of Pakistan cricket management is self defeating. The need of the hour is immediate appointment of a professional coach and trainer to hone the skills of players. Chief selector like M.Ilays should be immediately sacked so that average players like Imran Farhat may be weeded out. We want entertaining cricket. We want aggression and full use of bowling power play.