Pakistan square series with spirited win at Lord`s

London: Pakistan recovered from a terrible start to their day to complete a spirited victory in the fourth one-day international against England at Lord`s.

Their 38-run win with 3.5 overs to spare under the floodlights in the day-night match squared the series at 2-2 with the final match scheduled for Southampton on Wednesday.

When play began Pakistan`s troubled tour had taken another turn for the worse after the England and Wales Cricket Board threatened legal action against Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ejaz Butt.

Butt had suggested in a television interview that England had been paid to lose Friday`s match at the Oval.

England captain Andrew Strauss said his team had "strong misgivings" about completing the series and match referee Jeff Crowe had to step in after an altercation at the nets between Jonathan Trott and Wahab Riaz.

Against this background of acrimony and distrust, Pakistan reached 265 for seven due primarily to Abdul Razzaq, who hit 44 not out from 20 balls including 40 off the last 10. The Pakistanis scored 83 from the final 10 overs.

Strauss put his concerns to one side with 68 from 72 deliveries, cutting and carving the ball through the off-side with familiar assurance on his home ground in an opening partnership of 113 with Steve Davis (49).

He struck Shoaib Akhtar`s first delivery of the innings to the boundary and reached his half-century off as many balls before Akhtar got his revenge when the left-hander cut a wide delivery tamely to Fawad Alam at backward point.

Pakistan fought back with the wickets of Trott (4), Paul Collingwood (4) and Ian Bell (27). Bell, who missed the test series with an ankle injury, replaced Ravi Bopara.

Akhtar, now 35, responded to the situation and the increasingly vocal support of the Pakistan fans with a mixture of express deliveries and clever changes of pace to finish with three for 59 from his 10 overs.

Umar Gul, Pakistan`s hero at the Oval, bowled with equal fervour at the Pavilion end for figures off four for 32 from 8.1 overs. England`s last five wickets fell for 30 runs off as many deliveries.

Bureau Report