Danny Briggs, Jade Dernbach and Stuart Broad inspired England to a cracking victory for their second Twenty20 warm-up game in Sri Lanka as the batsmen failed against Pakistan’s spin.
Despite much hope for the batsmen in England betting markets, they suffered an ominous collapse to the spin of Sajeed Ajmal (4-14) in Colombo.
Alex Hales, Jos Buttler, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow all failed to make more than 20 runs, with only Luke Wright (38) managing to make any impact on Pakistan’s attack.
It is a worry for Stuart Broad and Andy Flower that the sides’ batsmen failed so miserably, especially against the spinners on the subcontinent.
Buttler looked promising in England this summer, while Hales has bags of talent. But if they fail then it is back to square one and hoping that the old guard can haul the team out of a hole.
Meanwhile, Briggs – a slow left -armer – who has one T20 international cap to his name, picked up three big wickets including the opening batsmen. Pakistan were set just 112 to win and failed to reach that target by 15 runs – a large margin in T20 cricket for such a low total.
Dernbach (3-14) – who is becoming a real one-day specialist - and skipper Broad (2-12) made mince meat of the middle order with their change of pace to seal a second warm-up victory, following the 9-run victory over Australia. That time around the batsmen shone and the bowlers toiled.
England are unfancied in T20 cricket betting markets to retain their T20 crown and they will be hoping before Friday’s opening game with Afghanistan is that the batsmen and bowlers can both find their rhythm at the same time.