Marcus Trescothick held the England innings together with 53
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Pakistan showed they are focused on finishing their tour on a positive note as they warmed-up for the one-day series with a comfortable five-wicket win, and had 13 balls to spare, in the Twenty20 at Bristol. As expected, Shahid Afridi provided the fireworks in the run chase with a crackling 10-ball onslaught, before Mohammad Hafeez played a measured hand. Stuart Broad gave England hope with a memorable two wickets in two balls on debut, but their total was about 30 runs short after the Pakistan pacemen had ripped through the top order.
Marcus Trescothick prevented a total collapse after three wickets had fallen in five balls as England slipped to 40 for 3, but the batsmen struggled to find the boundary and only managed one six in their innings. Boundaries are not something Afridi often struggles for and he didn't hang about trying to open his account, despite walking in with Broad on a hat-trick.
Broad, too, had wasted little time in making his mark on proceedings and gave a glimpse of the ability that has got the cricket world talking. His first over went for just two, then with his 10th ball on the international scene he trapped Shoaib Malik lbw. Throughout the season Broad has proved himself to be a thinking bowler and he then showed his adaptability by bouncing Younis Khan first ball, who gloved his pull shot to Chris Read. He wasn't afraid of a stare towards the batsmen and while he hasn't picked up bowling skills from his father, Chris, he certainly has traits of his combative spirit.
Afridi, though, isn't a player to give an inch and negotiated the hat-trick ball by heaving Broad over mid-off for a couple - and he never threatened a defensive shot. He was responsible for the majority of the 22 runs that came off Sajid Mahmood's first over, then Broad was shown the other end of international cricket as 20 came off his third.
Pakistan were 26 runs ahead of England after the fielding restrictions, but Afridi wasn't about to take stock and tried to launch Jamie Dalrymple over the river to Wales. However, Michael Yardy - whose performance made it a good day for England's debutants - ran backwards from long on, leaped, and held a stunning catch to at least keep the match interesting.
When Yardy claimed Mohamamd Yousuf as his first international scalp, the equation almost came down to a run-a-ball. But through all the action, Hafeez had played a composed hand, working the strike, but also crunching the ball to the fence. A couple of cheeky sweeps were the highlights of the innings and when he was stranded by Paul Collingwood's direct hit the job was nearly done. Inzamam-ul-Haq made a statement by launching Darren Gough - in his comeback match - effortlessly over long on and this week is looking rosier for him than the last seven days.
With the striking power all the way down Pakistan's order, England knew they needed an imposing total to have a real chance. Trescothick and Ian Bell had started promisingly enough, but Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif reduced them from 39 without loss to 40 for 3 within five balls. Asif removed Kevin Pietersen first ball for the second time in three innings and Strauss only faired one ball better. This left England needing to rebuild, but with Asif bowling four economical overs and the returning Rana Naved-ul Hasan also not giving much away the overs quickly ticked by.
Trescothick held the innings together and showed a pleasing return to form after a difficult Test series. He'd kick-started his innings with three fours in a row off Shoaib and his trademark meaty thumps were quickly rocketing in the boundary boards. When spin was introduced, Trescothick went into slog-sweep mode and his fifty came off 33 balls. However, with England needing him to bat through the innings Abdul Razzaq produced a decent ball, which kissed the outside edge, and Kamran Akmal held his second low catch.
It wasn't until the final over that England cleared the ropes as Yardy's quick-fire 14-ball effort at least handed them something to bowl at. But the ease with which Pakistan completed the chase showed they would have been capable of knocking off many more.
Andrew McGlashan is editorial assistant of Cricinfo