Coach tells Pakistan to `finish on high`

London: Coach Waqar Younis has urged his Pakistan side to go on and win the current one-day series against England after their stunning display at The Oval on Friday.

Their 23-run victory, built on Umar Gul`s brilliant show of reverse swing bowling, left the series 2-1 in England`s favour with a game at Lord`s on Monday and the final match in Southampton on Wednesday to come.

Pakistan`s tour has been dogged by spot-fixing allegations - although they have managed a Test win against both Australia and England on the trip - but Waqar still believes his side can come back and seize an unlikely series win despite the off-field troubles.

"The series is still alive and it gives us the incentive that we can come back and win the series now," said Waqar.

"The momentum is with us. It is outstanding to be going to Lord`s with this win behind us and we will be looking to make it 2-2. There is no reason why not.

"It has been a real tough tour on and off the field with a very young side. We have done pretty well. We won two Test matches and I am pretty pleased if you look at the bigger picture but there is still work to be done.

"Hopefully in the next two games we can produce some more good cricket. In the first two games we produced some pretty good cricket but we just couldn`t finish.

"I am happy with the overall performance but we probably could have done better and we will discuss that. We could have put another 30 or 35 runs on the board.

"We are a really young side with young bowlers and we have always been very good when it comes to reverse swing."

Pakistan are still unable to play cricket at home due to security concerns, but Waqar is confident for the future.

"I hope it comes as soon a possible. We want to take cricket back into Pakistan, there are heaps of stadiums there and the people are waiting for cricket to come back," he said.

"I don`t know how long it will take but I want it to happen as soon as possible."

Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamram Akmal was heading for hospital for a scan on his injured hand on Saturday morning.

Akmal left the field on Friday in considerable pain but Waqar is hopeful he will be fit for Monday`s game.

Meanwhile, England captain Andrew Strauss expects Paul Collingwood to have recovered from the virus that kept him out of the match at The Oval.

Strauss said: "Hopefully he will be fit for Monday. It looks like it is going to get better rather than worse.

"He is one of our most experienced players and having him coming in at number four is always a positive."

Strauss was one of Umar Gul`s six victims on Friday but refused to talk up the skills of the Pakistani.

He added: "A lot of bowlers reverse swing the ball but I am not going to hype him up."

Bureau Report

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