England cruise to victory after Pakistan fall for 89
England 90 for 4 (Collingwood 21) beat Pakistan 89 (Bresnan 3-10) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
England's Twenty20 cricketers were barely forced to break a sweat as they sauntered to a crushing six-wicket victory in Cardiff against a Pakistan side whose off-field woes appeared to have seeped out into the middle with them. Despite another slight wobble with the bat as England closed in on a record-equalling seventh T20I victory in a row, a dismal target of 90 never looked like being a challenge, as Eoin Morgan and Michael Yardy once again eased them over the line with six overs to spare.
The victory wrapped up a 2-0 clean sweep of the Twenty20 series, and completed a subdued sojourn in South Wales for Pakistan, which started with further newspaper allegations ahead of Sunday's opening fixture, and concluded this evening with their lowest ever total in the format, as Tim Bresnan led an excellent attacking bowling performance with 3 for 10 in 3.4 overs. In front of a county-standard attendance of 5,821, it was an anticlimactic spectacle in every sense. But at least the sunset was pretty.
Although Pakistan this time batted first of their own volition, their innings started in an uncannily familiar fashion to Sunday's first fixture. A loose first over from Ryan Sidebottom was swatted for 11 useful runs (one fewer than had been the case two days earlier), before Bresnan dismissed Kamran Akmal via a rash pull for the second game running. He struck with his second ball on Sunday, and his fourth today, but at 11 for 1, Pakistan's innings had once again been robbed of its early momentum.
The situation got steadily worse for Pakistan. Bresnan claimed his second wicket in five balls when Mohammad Yousuf flapped a well-directed bouncer to Bopara at deep square leg, and six balls later, Shahzaib Hasan was also suckered by the short ball, this time courtesy of Stuart Broad, who beat him for pace as he swished airily and snicked the thinnest of edges through to the keeper, Steven Davies.
Broad then made it two in an over, as an anxious Shahid Afridi poked nervously at his first ball before top-edging his fourth to Morgan at midwicket. At 22 for 4 after five overs, Pakistan were already dealing with damage limitation.
Mohammad Hafeez's response was to drop anchor as if he was battling to save a Test match. He faced 19 of the next 21 deliveries of the innings, picking off five singles while Umar Akmal ticked impatiently at the other end of the pitch, and it came as little surprise when Umar beat that tally in one blow by mowing Graeme Swann straight back over his head for the first six of the series. He produced an identical blow in Swann's next over, only to fall one delivery later, as Swann gave the ball extra air outside off stump, and a clueless Umar threw back his head to be bowled through the gate for 17.
Hafeez's torturous innings was ended by a sharp run-out as Sidebottom shied at the non-striker's end from short fine leg, and two balls and a single later, Fawad Alam's grim series was concluded by a first-ball duck, as he attempted to cut Swann off the back foot and edged instead to the keeper.
Umar Gul produced the shot of the innings when he lifted a Broad slower ball over the fine leg boundary for six, but Razzaq was unable to find his range in a fitful performance. He finally struck his first boundary from his 19th delivery, as Sidebottom offered too much width from a low-toss, only for both men to fall from his next two deliveries. First to go was Razzaq, who top-edged a slower-ball bouncer to Yardy at slip, before Gul pumped a similar delivery to Bopara, running in from deep square leg.
Shoaib Akhtar creamed Bresnan through the covers for a handsome four, but before the over was out, Bresnan had been rewarded for an impressive performance with his third and final wicket of the innings. A well-directed yorker took out the base of middle stump to leave England chasing a meagre 90 for victory.
Their desire for a swift kill was showcased by Craig Kieswetter, who unfurled an audacious back-foot drive over extra cover for six as Umar Gul's first over was clattered for 19. However, both he and Steven Davies fell in consecutive deliveries in Shoaib's subsequent over, and thereafter England opted for a safety-first approach to their run-chase.
The spin of Saeed Ajmal and Afridi claimed a wicket apiece after Paul Collingwood and Bopara had knocked off a third of the target in seven overs, but it was once again Morgan's matchless repertoire that put the contest beyond doubt. Three fours in 14 balls, all of them from the spinners, injected some late oomph to the innings, before Yardy sealed the deal with an all-run four to deep cover
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.