3rd ODI: Pakistan beat England to keep ODI series alive

LONDON: Umar Gul produced a devastating spell of swing bowling taking six for 42 as Pakistan won the third one-day international against England at The Oval by 23 runs on Friday.

Set 242 to win, England were in control as Eoin Morgan (61) and Luke Wright (48 not out) put on 98 for the sixth wicket. But when Morgan chipped Gul to midwicket, panic set in. Gul then ripped out Tim Bresnan and Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, normally a calm head in tight situations, then holed out to the last ball of Gul’s tenth over giving him his last four wickets for six runs in 18 balls. The win keeps the five-match series alive with Pakistan now trailing 2-1, with Gul who the difference between the sides. It was at this ground last year that Gul took his extraordinary five wickets for six runs in the World Twenty20 against New Zealand, and he showed his liking for South London with another brilliant performance.

Wright was lucky to last as long as he did as he was the recipient of an error by umpire Billy Doctrove who failed to call for a television replay when pictures showed the batsman had been out stumped when on 26. Wright’s foot was in the air when Umar Akmal – standing in as keeper for his injured brother Kamran – broke the wicket after Saeed Ajmal had beaten Wright in the flight. Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi remonstrated with the square leg umpire but to no avail and Wright escaped. James Anderson was the pick of the England bowlers in the Pakistan total of 241 all out – which looked around 20 runs below par.

Anderson took three for 26 and conceded just one boundary in his stint whilst Bresnan also took three wickets wrapping up the innings when he bowled Gul in the last over. Fawad Alam top-scored with 64 and Asad Shafiq made 40 but Pakistan could not accelerate significantly towards the end of their innings apart from a brief flurry from Abdul Razzaq (31). Alam faced 86 balls as he set about rebuilding the innings after Pakistan lost two wickets in the first three overs and were 31-3 by the tenth. Shahid Afridi’s dismissal seemed to sum up Pakistan’s tour as he was run out in bizarre circumstances. The tourists’ skipper was running to the non-striker’s end when a throw from Swann deflected off his bat onto the stumps and he was run out for 34 just as he was preparing to attack the bowling in the last ten overs.

Pakistan looked to have little chance of defending their 241 when Steve Davies and Andrew Strauss got England off to a flying start but Gul had other ideas. He bowled Strauss off the inside edge for 57 before trapping Michael Yardy leg before. Wright and Morgan seemed to have the match at their mercy but Gul returned to cause mayhem and take the game away from England – Timesofindia