2nd One-Day International, Lahore

Pakistan v England

Simon Briggs

At Lahore, December 12, 2005 (day/night). Pakistan won by seven wickets. Toss: England.

Flintoff had to be up at 3 a.m. to receive the trophy for BBC Sports Personality of the Year; when he and some team-mates appeared somewhat bleary-eyed in defeat, there were heated arguments over whether they should have agreed to the live appearance. (The non-Ashes men, who slept through, performed best.) Later, Cricket Australia announced that England's much-loved bowling coach Troy Cooley was returning to his native country, capping a grim day. The match was dominated by Shoaib Akhtar, whose five-wicket haul began with a brilliant double-strike: Trescothick bowled by a slower off-cutter, then Strauss undone by a rip-snorting bouncer. England's attempts to rebuild were hardly helped by Flintoff, who holed out for a fourth-ball duck, or Pietersen, who had aggravated an old rib injury and batted like a man with one foot on the plane (he was ruled out of the tour next day). The recovery was left to Plunkett, with a maiden international fifty, and Solanki - an emergency replacement at No. 10, which meant Anderson could not bowl. Plunkett and Solanki added 100, almost doubling England's ninth-wicket one-day record. But 230 was still at least 50 too few, and Pakistan's wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal put a belowstrength attack to the sword.

Man of the Match: Shoaib Akhtar.

© Wisden Cricketers' Almanack