England v Pakistan, 2nd T20I, Cardiff September 7, 2010

Pakistan flounder against united England

England wrapped up an easy 2-0 victory in the Twenty20 series that left Pakistan desperate for a positive result in the one-dayers to lift them out of the mire
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Pakistan's captain, Shahid Afridi, offered no excuses after his team capped a dreadful week by collapsing to their lowest total in Twenty20 history. In front of a paltry crowd of 5,821, one of the lowest gates ever seen for an England international, Pakistan were brushed aside for 89, en route to a six-wicket defeat with a full six overs to spare.

"We were very bad, very inexperienced and immature from my side and from all the batsmen," said Afridi. "I think we played very bad cricket. I didn't want to sound negative before the game - I wanted to be positive as the captain - but we didn't play well and we're still making mistakes. At this stage all we want is one victory, because that would be really good for the team to keep the morale high."

With three of their key players suspended by the ICC- their senior opening batsman Salman Butt and both of their front-line seamers in Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir - Pakistan played as if they were on a hiding to nothing. "We are not enjoying ourselves in the field," said Afridi. "We need to forget everything [that's going on]. I know it's difficult but we should be professional cricketers and focus on the cricket."

England's victory was their seventh in a row in this format - a feat that equalled the record jointly held by South Africa and Pakistan's World Twenty20-winning team from 2009, of which Afridi was an integral part. The contrast between then and now is stark. "England are united because they are winning continually," he conceded. "Victory brings unity to the team."

Regardless of the bleak circumstances of the contest - with the autumnal conditions, a concurrent England football international, and the off-field issues all conspiring to undermine the attendance - Collingwood was delighted to be able to follow up his team's achievement in winning the World Twenty20 with a clean sweep in their next outing.

"In this form of the game it can be tough to win consecutively," he said. "It just takes one performance from the opposition to take it away from you, and to have that World Cup, you can have added pressure on you as well. But the way we've played over the last two games, the boys are enjoying that added pressure. They tried to come hard at us today - you could sense that was their approach - but we kept taking wickets and really applying the pressure."

On the subject of the scheduling, however, Collingwood was unequivocal. "We've been saying that for ten years," he said when asked if the game was suffering from overkill, adding that a wet Tuesday in September was every bit as likely to have scuppered the gate receipts as Pakistan's ongoing problems.

Afridi, who has rejoined the squad since quitting Test cricket back in July, believed that a change of format - and the addition of two new players in Asad Shafiq and near seven-foot-tall fast-bowling sensation, Mohammad Irfan - would help his team emerge from the doldrums and get that all-important victory.

"It's not easy, it's very, very hard, but I'm not letting my team down like this, not in the one-dayers," he said. "At the moment our morale is very down, day by day, so it will be a big challenge to compete in the one-dayers. But we have some time, and me, my coach and the team, we will sit together and talk."

However, there was not, he insisted, any talk about wanting to quit the tour and get back to the sanctity of Pakistan. "I think we are all enjoying England because it is like a second home," he said. "A lot of players have families here. You'd have to ask them personally, but I am happy to be here."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • raoakram on September 9, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    hello.i have an idea to make one days more interesting.......Retain the first 15 overs remain as powerplay as it before.and make another 3 power plays divided each into 3 overs.and its necessary to take one into 20 to 30 and one from 30 to 40 and 1 from 40 to 50 overs.so it may make one days more interesting.or have the first 10 overs as power plays and make then 4 power plays.and make them necessary for each 10 overs.each pwer play is for 3 overs.and give each team two power play...hope u like it...thankss

  • nair_ottappalam on September 9, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    "We were very bad, very inexperienced and immature from my side and from all the batsmen," said Afridi. When did you learn to speak the truth, dear Shahid? You spoke about the batting performance. Was the beemer -bowled by you-in the true spirits of the game? Do you think that England is an unbeatable team? I do agree that England have done well over the past year or so after winning the Ashes and the World Cup T20. The way in which the sub continent teams (Pakistan and Bangladesh) performed this year, I think England could very well be a strong contender for World Cup 2011. With players like Trott, Morgan, Swann & Broad coming good for them. Atleast one thing is sure, the way the Aussies dominated World cricket for more than a decade, no team is going to rule in the near future.

  • VEGHA on September 9, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    I am an Indian.I will support Shahid Afridi.When whole team is shocked due to sudden developments and it is quite difficult to lift the morale of the team from shock.He is not magician and by continuosuly talking to them he has to bring unity in the team first.What composition of team he had for world cup and now what is given.Most of the team memebrs are new and it will take some time even for the best captain.Pakistan Cricket Board also must support the team even if they have some losses.Only patience is the key and PCB also should not change captain due to some failures.

  • ForTeamIndia on September 9, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Happpppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppy Birthday Mohsin :)

  • dummy4fb on September 9, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    I love the comment from Afridi. Tell the same "we were very bad" to all other leaders of this country - political, religious, military,ISI leaders and others organizations to be fair....Do not get into bad politics.

  • dummy4fb on September 9, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    Exactly as I predicted. There was no chance Pakistan are ever going to recover from this losing drought. They simply just don't have the batsmen! All those players; Fawad Alam, Hasan, Razzaq and even Boom Boom are all "hitters" and hitters never make runs consistently. Alam and Hasan, two young prodigies that need to be worked on hard enough to score runs. Razzaq and Afridi just can't learn from their mistakes.. Anyhow, look on the bright side... The Pakistani's bowled well!!!

  • Tucknoloji on September 9, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    Well who have spoken out load against Pakistan's Team. Please remember that we are phasing out from worst. And in this worst scenario, you cannot criticise Shahid Afridi, who played two big mature innings in Srilanka this year..... two big hundreds were there and if team supported over there, they would get win over Srilanka in opening Game where he scored 100.... well coming to ward current situation, you cannot criticise single player, they tried their best but confidence has been shattered due to conspiracy, which has been raised in England recently, we have to give time.... they will performe.... and for the Pakistani People, we should realize that there is no point of thinking alway in negative fashion.... i give u example of Greatest Ever Sachin...for me he is the greatest one ever but he was not a good captan as well, during captancy, his performance tend to go down and look now.....so it is harsh for the Afridi, he is Bowling allrounder, who give some utility in Batting as wel

  • mohsin9975 on September 8, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Dats d way 2 go dr athar. I m an indian doctor. Am loving the us open action. Am a big federer fan.Hope he wins 2day.Abt cricket, i was big fan when i started watching since 1997-98. Bt recently since the advent of ipl, have shifted to tennis which is much cleaner and less controversial. Afridi is one of the worst captain to lead pakistan in last 20 years.He shd learn to lead by example. What say ppl in pakistan

  • DrAtharAbbas on September 8, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    An Ardent cricket lover for decades, I am positively retiring as a cricket fan. Yesterday I did not watch the T20 between england and pakistan & instead watched the tennis matches, Aisam-Bopanna-Pescke. I am a long term fan of Aisam ul haq since his junior years. There is no selection committee there, no camps, no Ijaz Butt, no governments deciding the fate of the tours. . . . . No anxieties other than the performance on the court.

    Aisam can play where he wants and he can win. No politics, no nothing, that is a much better managed sport globally. I want to watch the game, not the politics

    Beware ICC, PCB and cricketers, There are a lot of cricket fans out there thinking like me.................... I truely want to say "Bye Bye cricket"

  • mohsin9975 on September 8, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    When afridi was appointed pak captain, i had the feeling that he is matured as a player to lead his side.His comeback innings in abu dhabi raised hopes.But after carefully following his captaincy after t20 wc 09 till date, it seems he's learnt nothing since his debut abt cricket but slogging.Ppl in pak call it aggrsn bt its nothing bt slogging. Abt his captaincy,he is the biggest hypocrite ever .Captains lead by example,motivate players to play sensibly ,sometimes even command sanity.How can he make umar ukmal mend ways if he himself gets out by playing reckless strokes.Captains cant be outspoken,in ur face or criticise his players individually in the media. U need to be patient and diplomatic as well as quick thinker which afridi can never be(his field positioning is ridiculous and lethargic)

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