England pay tribute to war dead

englandThe England cricket team have arrived back in the country after a two-day visit to Flanders Field in Belgium, as part of their preparations for the forthcoming Ashes campaign against Australia.

The 16-man Ashes party and management team visited war graves, laid wreathes at the famous Menin Gate in Ypres and took part in a memorial service to commemorate those servicemen who lost their lives in World War One.

Umpires disagreed over timing of The Oval ball change!

Pakistan’s defence against the charges of ball tampering and subsequent forfeiture of the Oval Test against England will rely heavily on the initial disagreement between Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove, the two on-field umpires, over the changing of the ball, Cricinfo has learnt.

Hair and Doctrove changed the ball in the 56th over of England’s second innings at on the fourth afternoon. Hair then awarded England five penalty runs, indicating that the ball had been tampered with.

A tour on which Pakistan came out second best

As Pakistan returned home on Tuesday morning from their tour of England, even the most avid Pakistani supporter would have to grant that controversies apart, purely from a cricketing point of view, this tour had been some way short of being Pakistan’s finest hour and that the tourists had come out second best in both the Test and ODI series.

It may be argued that if rain had not intervened in the first ODI at Cardiff, Pakistan may well have won the ODI series before the teams got to Trent Bridge, but the fact is that the manner of their defeat at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston erased any feeling of unquestioned superiority over England in the limited overs form of the game.

One-day performance poorest by any Pak team: Imran Khan

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Former Pakistan captain and legendary all-rounder Imran Khan on Tuesday said he was dejected at Pakistan’s poor performance in the One-day International (ODI) series against England’s “weakest” outfit.

“This was the poorest performance by any Pakistan team and considering England was the weakest ODI outfit, I am disappointed at the one-day series result,” Imran said.

The Pakistan team returned on Tuesday after losing the four-Test series 3-0, which included forfeiture of the final Test at The Oval over a ball-tampering row. England also squared the five-match ODI series 2-2.

Woolmer tries to hide team’s shortcomings after poor show

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The Pakistani camp was on Monday looking for excuses for its team’s surprisingly below par performance against England in the final two matches of the one-day series.

After the emphatic manner in which Inzamam-ul-Haq’s men began the one-day series, it was shocking to see the tourists getting slaughtered by England at Trent Bridge and later edged at Edgbaston for a 2-2 verdict in the five match contest.

Inzamam praises England fightback

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Inzamam-ul-Haq on Sunday praised the England team for its fighting spirit that gave the home side a 2-2 draw against Pakistan in the Natwest one-day series.

“England fought hard after being two games down in the series and that is really praiseworthy,” said Inzamam whose side was beaten in the final to one-dayers at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston.

Inzamam admitted that Pakistan were outclassed in the fourth one-dayer but said that his team could have easily been in a position to force a series-winning triumph on Sunday. “I think we could have scored around 230 on this wicket and had we done that it would have been a winning total,” said Inzamam.

Collingwood’s Milestone

Paul Collingwood became the 17th English bowler to take 50 or more ODI wickets when he dismissed Abdul Razzaq in the fifth match of the series at Edgbaston. It was Collingwood’s 100th ODI match. He also became only the third English allrounder after Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff to complete the double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets. The accompanying tables have the complete details.

Collingwood celebrates 100th ODI with superb bowling display

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England’s Paul Collingwood celebrated his 100th one-dayer with an effective bowling display against Pakistan here at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Collingwood, 30, got 2-23 including the prized scalp of Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq to help England restrict the tourists for a paltry 154-9 in the final one-dayer. The Durham all-rounder became one the 12th Englishman to play 100 one-dayers, joining an elite group that includes England legends Ian Botham, Graham Gooch and David Gower.

Absorbing finish at Edgbaston as England square ODI series

England cashed on a catastrophic batting display from Pakistan to level the five-match Natwest Series 2-2 with a thrilling three-wicket win in the fifth and final One-day International (ODI) at Edgbaston here on Sunday.

In a low-scoring yet electric encounter, the home side restricted Pakistan to 154-9 through an effective performance from their bowling attack and then survived a series of anxious moments to reach the victory target in an electric atmosphere.

The triumph capped a great comeback for England who were thrashed in the second and third ODIs at Lord’s and the Rose Bowl by Pakistan after being saved by inclement weather in the opener at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

Yardy’s Feat

Michael Yardy returned with figures of 3 for 24 off his ten overs in his debut match for England against Pakistan at Nottingham the other day. He thus provided only 18th instance of an Englishman taking three or more wickets on ODI debut. His figures are now the eighth best by any England bowler on his first appearance. The accompanying table has the complete details.