England clinch low-scoring warm-up

England

England's build-up to their World Twenty20 defence enjoyed another confidence boost after they trumped Pakistan by 15 runs in Wednesday's warm-up match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

England's build-up to their World Twenty20 defence enjoyed another confidence boost after they trumped Pakistan by 15 runs in Wednesday's warm-up match at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

The reigning champions endured a substandard day with the bat, managing a mere score of 111 all out in 19.3 overs. Spinner Danny Briggs and Jade Dernbach, however, rectified England's ambition by snaring three wickets apiece in Pakistan's unsuccessful pursuit, which ended on 96 for nine.

All-rounder Luke Wright's standalone cameo of 38 from 36 balls, four boundaries included, was as good as it got in England's below-par tally. Spinner Saeed Ajmal proved the destroyer in-chief, clinching figures of four for 14 as the last seven English wickets fell for just 31 runs.

Stuart Broad's men struck back with the ball, though, reducing Pakistan to 67 for five after Briggs took three key scalps. Briggs opened the attack with fast bowler Steven Finn – and England would do well to fit him into the first-choice XI alongside fellow slow bowler Graeme Swann come the tournament proper.

Broad's role as a third-change bowler proved important, with the right-arm seamer removing Pakistan's top-scorer Asad Shafiq and the dangerous Shahid Afridi in quick succession. Dernbach, later, was prompt in his dismantling of the lower order.

The triumph was England's second this week, after they narrowly beat Australia by nine runs at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground on Monday. Their WT20 campaign gets underway against Afghanistan at tje R Premadasa Stadium on Friday.

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