Bairstow,Finn help England level series

Jonny Bairstow and Steven Finn inspired England to a 38-run victory over Pakistan in Dubai

Written by Reuters | Dubai | Published:February 27, 2012 1:58 am

Jonny Bairstow and Steven Finn inspired England to a 38-run victory over Pakistan in Dubai on Saturday to level the three-match series of Twenty20 internationals at 1-1. England chose to bat first under lights and chalked up 150 for seven with the 22-year-old Bairstow clubbing an unbeaten 60 in 46 balls.

Man of the match Bairstow,son of the late former England wicketkeeper David,belted five fours and two sixes. Opener Craig Kieswetter also chipped in with 31 off 24 deliveries while Umar Gul took two for 31 and spinner Saeed Ajmal produced an economical spell of one for 20 in four overs.

Pakistan started their run chase badly,slumping to two for two after losing Mohammad Hafeez for a duck and Asad Shafiq for one. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and Shahid Afridi top-scored with 25 in 23 balls as Pakistan were bowled out for 112 in 18.2 overs.

England captain Stuart Broad and spinner Graeme Swann took two wickets apiece but improving young paceman Finn stole the show by returning figures of three for 30 and running out Ajmal for a duck with a direct hit from close range.

“It was very gettable if you bat properly,’’ Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said of the 151 target. ”Once again,the disappointing factor was our batting. When you keep on losing early wickets,it’s difficult. We could not even get a good run rate in the first six overs and lost a lot of wickets. That is a problem.’’

Broad praised his team for bouncing back from a disappointing loss on Thursday. He was hopeful his young squad could take home the trophy after the third match on Monday in Abu Dhabi,a victory that would give them a boost of confidence as England prepares to defend its World Twenty20 title this year. “With our bowling attack and fielding display today,we were always confident that we would defend 150 on that wicket,” Broad said. “Steven Finn was in the wickets and Graeme Swann was fantastic. I thought it was very powerful fielding display from a young,athletic team … The guys did themselves proud today.’’

Brief scores: England 150/7 (J Bairstow 60 not out,C Kieswetter 31; U Gul 2/31) v Pakistan 112 off 18.2 overs (S Afridi 21,S Finn 3/30)

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