Pakistan v England: Stuart Broad excited by future after series win
Stuart Broad is upbeat over how England's T20 team is progressing following a 2-1 series win over Pakistan in Abu Dhabi
Stuart Broad believes England’s Twenty20 side will continue to improve after the tourists clung on to beat Pakistan and clinch a dramatic 2-1 series win in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Broad’s men won a nail-biting encounter by five runs after it looked like Pakistan were closing in on England’s modest total of 129-6.
“Twenty20 is a thinking man’s game and it can change every ball,” said England captain Broad.
“As a team, we need to keep our emotions in check and keep calm. You have clear principles and clear plans in order to achieve that.
“We held our nerve at the end. It’s hugely exciting and I’m excited about how this team is shaping up.”
Kevin Pietersen was England’s hero once again and he superbly anchored the visitors’ innings with an unbeaten 62 – only wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter and spinner Samir Patel offered any support.
The one blot on the Surrey batsman’s copybook was his decision not to run after calling Eoin Morgan down the track, leaving the Dublin-born left-hander stranded.
And a vulnerable looking total was protected by a brilliant display from England’s bowling attack and some smart work in the field.
Jade Dernbach capped his own memorable performance by bowling Misbah-ul-Haq with the last delivery of the match with Pakistan needing just six runs for victory.
Another series win to add to the rather unexpected 4-0 whitewash in the one-day internationals will provide England with a much needed tonic after the humiliating 3-0 Test series defeat.
Broad’s side can now take confidence going into the T20 World Cup in September, where they will defend their crown in Sri Lanka – especially with Pietersen serving a timely reminder that he can still be England’s danger-man with the blade.
Spin-king Saeed Ajmal looked to have England on the ropes after Morgan’s unfortunate dismissal – as not a single boundary was struck for 33 balls – with Jos Butler and Jonny Bairstow falling victim to Ajmal in the process.
But when Patel came out swinging and tonked Ajmal for six, his gutsy impetus seemed to spur Pietersen on and England’s main man smashed Umar Gul high over the ropes off the last ball of the innings.
Pakistan only needed just over a run a ball for victory and although they made steady progress, some really tight bowling from England ensured a dramatic finish.
When Dernbach started his run-up for the final over, 13 runs were all that was needed for victory, but with six required from the last ball, Misbah-ul-Haq was clean bowled by the Surrey pace-man.
“I’ve worked my backside off over the last few weeks and put in some real hard work,” said man-of-the-match Pietersen.
“I had a two month lay-off and it takes time to get back into the swing of things, and their bowling attack surprised us.
“It’s difficult in T20 cricket because you have to change gears, I got that right today. Our bowlers have been magnificent and they keep doing a great job. We pride ourselves on our fielding and we have a young, energetic squad.”
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