Michael Yardy guides England to T20 victory against Pakistan
Pakistani cricket’s week to forget was made all the more painful as England sealed a five-wicket win over the under-fire tourists in the first Twenty20 clash in Cardiff.
Eoin Morgan and Man of the Match Michael Yardy guided England through a difficult run chase despite the low target of just 127.
Earlier, the spin pairing of Graeme Swann (2-14) and Yardy (1-21) had restricted Pakistan to just 126-4 from their 20 overs as the middle order toiled on a slow turning wicket.
Kamran Akmal was removed early on before Shahzaid Hasan and Mohammad Yousuf took the score on with some lusty blows. But the introduction of England’s spinners immediately had the desired impact as Yousuf hauled out to Morgan in Swann’s first over.
From here on the Pakistan innings limped by with only Umar Akmal scoring better than a run a ball, ending on 35 not out.
Shoaib Akhtar’s pace was a constant threat as he removed Craig Kieswetter for six, yet Steve Davies occupied the crease before being caught for 33.
Two wickets for Shahid Afridi had England reeling on 62-5 as Morgan and Yardy came together.
Akhtar soon went from hero to villain as he dropped a simple chance from Morgan shortly after a miss fielding on the boundary.
And with seventeen deliveries left, Morgan struck the winning runs to underline England’s supremacy as World Twenty20 champions and give them a 1-0 lead ahead of the second clash on Tuesday.