England win 2nd ODI against Pakistan by 4 wkts
Leeds: England almost failed to make the most of captain Andrew Strauss`s hundred before sealing a four-wicket win over Pakistan in the second one-day international at Headingley on Sunday.
England, chasing 295 for victory, were cruising at 220 for two but slumped to 260 for five with opening batsman Strauss out for 126 - his fifth century in 110 matches at this level and second hundred in three.
They eventually got home with three balls to spare to go 2-0 up in this five-match series after a 24-run win at The Riverside on Friday.
England, not long after Strauss was out, needed 42 off the last five overs.
Ravi Bopara and Michael Yardy got the target down to 13 off 12 balls before Bopara lofted off-spinner Saeed Ajmal to Mohammad Hafeez at long-off.
However, new batsman Tim Bresnan cut Ajmal first ball for four and England needed six off the last over, from seamer Umar Gul.
Bresnan was unable to score off a near yorker length first delivery but the second was an offside wide and that left England needing five off five balls.
Bresnan`s top-edged hook for four off the next ball, a bouncer, saw England draw level and then a single with Bresnan out by yards had Fawad Alam`s throw hit the stumps, saw the hosts to victory.
Bresnan finished 10 not out.
Kamran Akmal top-scored with 74 in Pakistan`s 294 for eight as they tried to turn attention away from the spot-fixing scandal engulfing their tour.
He put on 122 with fellow opener Mohammad Hafeez (43) before Mohammad Yousuf (46) and Asad Shafiq (50) shared 74 for the third wicket.
Stuart Broad`s 10 overs cost an expensive 81 runs but the seamer`s four wickets helped prevent Pakistan from reaching 300.
Strauss received solid support from Jonathan Trott (53) in a second-wicket stand of 146.
England were 43 for one after Steven Davies, fresh from his 87 on Friday, was caught behind off Shoaib Akhtar and they should have been 50 for two.
Left-hander Strauss glanced Akhtar only for the 7ft tall Mohammad Irfan, positioned at short fine leg for that shot, to drop the catch.
And he`d made 38 when wicketkeeper Akmal, diving full length to his right, appealed for a catch off what appeared to be an inside edge but the decision went in Strauss`s favour.
Trott, who made 69 in the series opener, completed a 67-ball fifty with just two boundaries.
But after surviving an lbw appeal sweeping at Ajmal, he set off for a risky single and, having been sent back by Strauss, on 99, was run out by Akhtar`s direct hit from short third man.
Strauss`s 134-ball innings ended when he missed a sweep against Ajmal and was lbw to leave England 248 for four.
For Pakistan, Akmal, who made 53 on Friday, was eventually lbw to Paul Collingwood, although replays suggested he was outside the line of off-stump.
Shafiq in only his third match at this level, drove off-spinner Graeme Swann for six over long-on on his way to a maiden ODI fifty off 57 balls.
But he then cut Broad to backward point where Bopara, despite colliding with Strauss, held the catch.
Pakistan`s tour of Britain has been overshadowed by newspaper allegations of a betting scam that saw no-balls deliberately bowled in the fourth Test against England at Lord`s last month.
The claims, published in the News of the World, led to the suspension of Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif by the International Cricket Council.
This series continues at The Oval this coming Friday.