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Trescothick's heroics in vain as Pakistan win thrilling NatWest Series encounter

Marcus Trescothick's heroic innings of 137 from only 142 balls, carried England to within three runs of victory in a breathtaking finish to their second clash with Pakistan in the NatWest series.

Trescothick's magnificent effort over nearly four hours took him within one run of equalling the highest individual score in limited overs Internationals at Lord's. That record goes back to June 1979 when Vivian Richards hit an unbeaten 138 in the World Cup final.

He did, however, in partnership with Owais Shah, go past the England fourth wicket record of 154 in One-Day cricket. The two hit 170 off 183 balls with Pakistan appearing to lose control of the game as both batsmen dominated the bowling.

Their hundred stand came from 125 balls and the 150 from an even quicker rate off 163 as Shah sped to his half-century from 79 balls. His run-out, perhaps betraying some inexperience as he backed up too far to Trescothick with 46 still needed from 10 overs, precipitated a landslide of England wickets with seven falling for 44.

The start of the England innings was disappointing as well when three wickets went down for 26 in ten overs. Nick Knight, who has been in such fine form in this competition, was the first to go, run out for one and after Alec Stewart, four, fell to a catch at point from his pull shot England were two down by the eighth over.

After Shah's dismissal, Trescothick added 20 to his score but lacked support from the middle and lower order. His brilliant innings, which contained three sixes and eleven fours, ended with a catch at deep mid-wicket, with Shahid Afridi holding on to the ball despite a collision which caused Shoaib Malik to leave the field.

Trescothick's was the penultimate wicket to fall, with England six short of their victory target. Finally with three required from the last ball Andy Caddick was stumped, leaving Pakistan winners by two runs and England suffering their eighth successive defeat, their worst sequence in limited overs cricket.

Trescothick has now had the mixed fortune to hit three international centuries for England to date, and his team have lost on each occasion.

Earlier, Pakistan had got off to a brisk start after being put in to bat in overcast conditions, scoring at the rate of four an over until Darren Gough trapped Saleem Elahi leg before wicket with the total on 28. Elahi, coming in for Saeed whose daughter has been taken ill, was one of two changes in the side from their previous match at Edgbaston with Shoaib Malik, the off-spinner replacing the unfit Shoaib Akhtar.

England, also with two changes from the match against Australia, had Michael Vaughan back for Ally Brown and Andy Caddick replaced Robert Croft.

Caddick's eighth over proved most effective with Pakistan losing two important wickets. The departure of pinch hitter Afridi would have been a relief to the hosts. He looked dangerous for England. He slogged a six over long-on, going down the wicket in Alan Mullally's first over and after the 50 had come up in the fourteenth over, he hit two consecutive boundaries off Caddick.

But Caddick had him caught in the same over, for 30, as he tried to cut a ball - coming into him - too close to his body. Pakistan were 59 for two and a run later from a no-ball, Inzamam-ul-Haq misjudged a full toss on the leg stump and was bowled. Caddick had taken two for 33 in eight overs.

Pakistan's hundred came from 153 balls and after 25 overs they were 100 for three. The scoring rate fell considerably as the partnership between Youhana and Younis Khan progressed, to the extent that between the 23rd and 35th overs there were no boundaries hit.

It was, nevertheless, a stand that Pakistan needed, and the two revived the innings, taking it to 140 before Younis, on 41, hit Dominic Cork to cover to be caught low by Nick Knight.

Youhana, in partnership with Rashid Latif lifted the tempo. He reached his 50 from 89 balls with a four to extra-cover off Cork whose five overs at that stage went for 36. The fifty stand between Youhana and Latif came fast, from 48 balls, and when Latif was bowled by Mark Ealham for 23 from 26 balls, Pakistan were 190 for five.

Youhana, scored more freely as the overs climbed into the forties, displaying some lovely strokes, mostly along the ground but on 81, off 119 balls, he played a lofted shot to mid-wicket where Owais Shah held the catch. It was off Mullally who, two overs earlier, had dismissed Abdur Razzaq when Pakistan were 195 for six.

After Youhana's excellent innings which ended on the total of 208, a late flourish from Azhar Mahmood took him to 27 not out from 21 balls as Pakistan reached 242 for eight. It proved to be a vital contribution.

Afterwards England captain Alec Stewart was obviously disappointed, but tried to look on the bright side.

"Today we've seen what a fine player Marcus Trescothick is and we've seen the emergence of Owais Shah," said Stewart. "They were outstanding.

"We've had two very close games in the last two days and it's very disappointing to have lost them," Stewart told Sky Sports.com TV. "We got ourselves in a winning position but at the end we couldn't quite get home. We couldn't quite finish the job off."

But England now find themselves adrift at the foot of the NatWest Series table, and on a record run of eight consecutive defeats stretching back to Lahore in October and encompassing the Sri Lanka tour.

"It's mathematically possible (to reach the final). We know it's going to be hard but we need to hold our heads up high and show a bit of character."

Waqar Younis paid tribute to Trescothick's great knock: "I think Marcus Trescothick played a magnificent innings. He made us look as though we were going to lose.

"It was one of our best games of the tour. I am really happy with the way we bowled, and Yousuf Youhana played the best innings. All the game we fielded well and that's possibly why we were the winners."