Ahead of the Champions Trophy semi-final in Cardiff, a look at how England and Pakistan have fared versus each other in ICC tournaments. England lead Pakistan 6-4
Ahead of Wednesday's Champions Trophy semi-final in Cardiff, a look at how England and Pakistan have fared versus each other in ICC tournaments.
A closely-fought encounter at Leeds went England's way thanks largely to Mike Hendricks and an exciting spell of 4/3 in eight balls. Asif Iqbal put England in and they were quickly 2/4; Geoffrey Boycott did what he knew best, batting 85 minutes for a crucial partnership with Graham Gooch. Then Majid Khan's offbreaks snared three wickets and England slumped to 118/8. The two Bobs, Taylor and Willis, combined to forge what would be a match-winning stand of 43 and got the total to 165/9. Pakistan began cautiously, but Hendricks' crafty cutters pulled them back from 27 without loss to 34/6. Asif and Wasim Raja fought valiantly for nearly two hours until Bob Willis returned to the captain, and Mike Brearley again turned to Boycott. With his cap turned backwards, Boycott grabbed 2/14 at the death when he lured Sikander Bakht into a brainless swipe while Imran Khan was winning the game at the other end. This convinced England to go with four main bowlers for the rest of their matches.
Match nine of the third World Cup saw Imran's team beaten soundly by the hosts. Pakistan grinded their way to 193/8 in 60 overs thanks chiefly to Zaheer Abbas' unbeaten 83 - only three others made double-digit scores - and Wasim Bari's 18 not out from the No 11 slot. It was far too little, as Graeme Fowler's plodding 78 not out from 151 balls and 48s to David Gower and Allan Lamb finished the job with 56 deliveries remaining.
The teams met again soon after, and though this time Pakistan did better with the bat in posting 232/8, the result was nearly the same. Javed Miandad made 67 and Ijaz Faqih a brisk unbeaten 42 from 52 balls, but England's batting might was too much. Fowler made a quicker 69 off 96 balls, with seven fours, and the habitually obdurate Chris Tavare scored 58 from 116 to give England a start with 115, and from there Lamb's unbeaten 38 hurried the chase to a close.
Imran's team four years later - co-hosts in Rawalpindi - had some measure of revenge when it beat Mike Gatting's eventual World Cup runners-up in the fifth match. Fifties to Saleem Malik and Ijaz Ahmed propped up the total to 239/7 in 50 overs, after which Abdul Qadir grabbed four wickets to keep England to 221 in 48.4 overs. England's collapse was dramatic; from 186/4 they went to 221 all out. And to think, they needed 34 runs from four overs with six wickets in hand. The over that turned it, literally, was Qadir's last - the 47th - in which Lamb, John Emburey and Paul Downton were dismissed.
Eight days later, Pakistan again beat England, this time when chasing in Karachi. The target was 245 after more good work from Qadir (3/31) and Imran (4/37), which Rameez Raja made easy with a fine 113 in partnership with Saleem Malik, who smacked 88 from 92 balls. Pakistan won with an over to spare to confirm their place in the semi-finals. England would join them soon after.
That Imran would bow out of world cricket with the World Cup trophy in his hands, in front of a record crowd of 87,182 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, was hard to envision during the first half of the tournament. Pakistan, already missing an injured Waqar Younis, won only one of their first five league matches and were staring at an exit before Imran, in his 40th year and nursing a troublesome right shoulder, famously told his team: "Listen, just be as if you were a cornered tiger." Pakistan's worst performance during that terrible start to the tournament came against England at Adelaide Oval, but rain saved them from certain defeat. Put in to bat, Pakistan were bowled out for a lowly 74 in 40.2 overs. England were 24/1 in eight overs when rain ruined the match, giving each team one point.
Wasim Akram emerged as one of the game's great allrounders in the 1992 World Cup as he finished top wicket-taker with 16 and destroyed England with a Man-of-the-Match showing in the final. He went on to become one of the game's leading exponents of reverse and conventional swing, and this was best evident in the final when he snuffed out any hopes of an England win, bowling Lamb and Chris Lewis with consecutive beauties.
England had lost steam by the time they met Pakistan at the MCG, with a few leading players not at their best. Perhaps they were still a bit groggy after getting a reprieve against South Africa in the semi-final, too, for the bowlers turned in an ordinary performance in keeping Pakistan to 249. Derek Pringle started well, removing the openers, but half-centuries to Imran and Javed Miandad in a stand of 139 for the third wicket in 31 overs was followed by a 52-run alliance in six overs between Inzamam-ul-Haq and Akram. It was Akram's big hitting at the death which helped Pakistan reach that score; he hit 33 from 19 balls with four boundaries. That was enough to inspire Pakistan to fire on all cylinders, and their superb blend of youth and experience took care of England, with Akram returning figures of 3/49 off his quota.
The first four English batsmen were dismissed with the score on 69. Neil Fairbrother and Lamb attempted a middle-order recovery, but Fairbrother's dismissal by Aaqib Javed was followed by Wasim's magnificent removal of Lamb and Lewis off successive deliveries. England tried to fight on, but were bowled out 22 runs short with only four balls left.
Four years later England were horrible, losing all three of their games against Test nations and struggling to beat the Netherlands. Their third consecutive loss came to hosts Pakistan in Karachi, where a target of 250 was chased with three wickets in hand and 14 balls remaining. Aamer Sohail (42), Saeed Anwar (71), Ijaz (70) and Inzamam (53*) all made runs as England's exit from the tournament was all but confirmed.
One of England's narrow wins - in terms of deliveries faced - on the way to winning the third edition of the World Twenty20 (which is the only ICC tournament they've ever got their hands on). Once again Pakistan's batting underperformed; only Salman Butt (34) and Umar Akmal (30) crossed 15 as tidy work from Broad (2/25) and Michael Yardy (2/19) applied the brakes. Set 148, England won in 19.3 overs with Pietersen again starring, this time with 73 not out from 52 balls.
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