England vs Pakistan – second Twenty20 preview

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England vs – second Twenty20 preview
After inflicting a five-wicket defeat on Pakistan in the first of their two Twenty20 internationals in Cardiff, England will be looking to heap more pain on their beleaguered opponents in the second tonight.
And while the World Twenty20 champions should be able to wrap up the 2-0 series victory against’s undermanned side, they will be seeking improvement from some of their key batsmen in this one.
It was Eoin Morgan and Michael Yardy who clinched Sunday’s match for England with a partnership of 67 from 7.1 overs, but there are other batsmen who need to stand up and to take the pressure off Morgan to again produce another match-winning innings tonight.
Skipper Paul Collingwood is one who will be aiming to do better than the four he made in the first match, especially after a largely underwhelming Test series against Pakistan this summer. Wicketkeeper-batsman (six) is on notice after being dropped from the ODI squad against Pakistan, and with Steve Davies making 33 from 27, and a stumping as he was handed the gloves two days ago.
Ravi Bopara, given another chance after Kevin Pietersen was sent back to county cricket in search of his lost form, could only manage 11 on Sunday, and is another with plenty of personal motivation to make a major contribution to the team’s cause.
For Pakistan, Sunday’s match might have been the hardest of the remaining limited-overs matches in their tour, as they sought to shift their focus from the betting scandal that has enveloped Pakistan cricket since the end of last month back to the field.
Their task is made tougher by the absence of Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir – who have been charged by the ICC under its Anti Corruption Code and provisionally suspended from cricket in relation to August’s Test match between England and Pakistan at Lord’s.
The two pacemen and Test captain Butt have been implicated in an alleged spot-fixing scam (revolving around three no-balls bowled at allegedly pre-determined points in the Test at Lord’s) reported in the News of the World in late August.
“After what has been going on for a week or 10 days, it’s been very difficult,” Afridi said after Sunday’s loss. “But this is my job and the coach’s job, to lift the morale and keep the guys in high spirits.”
Nothing would lift the team’s morale more than an on-field victory, and promoting the fast-scoring Afridi higher up the order might be one way to increase their chances of doing so.
England though, are a much more stable unit right now, and while improvement is needed from some members of the home side, they should still wrap up a 2-0 victory here.



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