Essex duo on course for the Super Eights!

ESSEX duo Ravi Bopara and James Foster helped England into the World Twenty20 Super Eights after they powered past Pakistan on Sunday, writes MIKE SIMMONDS. The pressure was on England after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Holland in their opening ma

ESSEX duo Ravi Bopara and James Foster helped England into the World Twenty20 Super Eights after they powered past Pakistan on Sunday, writes MIKE SIMMONDS.

The pressure was on England after a humiliating defeat at the hands of Holland in their opening match, but they bounced back in style with a 48-run victory.

Bopara was caught at point early in the innings for five, but Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright carried the fight to the opposition bowlers with 34 from 16 balls.

The star of the innings was the returning Kevin Pietersen, who hit the ball to all parts in a knock of 58 which included three sixes, while Owais Shah also contributed 33.


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Unlike in the game against the Dutch, the English middle-order successfully put bat to ball this time, with Foster lofting a sublime six to finish on an unbeaten 14.

There was far more urgency and variation with the ball this time too, as Dimi Mascarenhas removed Ahmed Shehzad early, before Stuart Broad made a crucial breakthrough, dismissing Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt in successive deliveries.

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When Shoab Malik was caught by Foster with the score on 87, Pakistan were well behind the run-rate, and although skipper Younus Khan was undefeated on 46 from 31 balls, they could only total 137-7 from their 20 overs.

A delighted skipper, Paul Collingwood, said: "Our approach from the first ball was purposeful and that was the way we needed to bounce back.

"All 11 players put their hands up and showed a lot of character.

"We got a great score on the board but we couldn't rest on our laurels and I thought our bowling and fielding was top rate.

"There is a belief in the squad and if we play like that we cover all bases.

"We've got guys who can hit the ball well, we've got great thinkers and we've got great fielding and bowling.

"We've just got to get all three disciplines right at the same time and against Pakistan, we did."

England's victory now means they enter a Super Eight group that is expected to include India, South Africa and West Indies.

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