Pakistan flew into England for the Champions Trophy today with coach Dav Whatmore confident they have been given an ideal preparation following series wins against Scotland and Ireland.The world's sixth-ranked side had to survive a major scare to wrap up their RSA Insurance series with Ireland 1-0 in Dublin yesterday.After the opening match finished in a dramatic tie it took a stunning eighth-wicket stand of 93 from 62 balls between Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz to secure a narrow two-wicket win.Whatmore, pictured below, admitted he had been left "sick in the stomach" after his side had crashed to 17 for four in pursuit of 230 and in grave danger of becoming the first Test-playing nation to lose a series to Ireland.
Pakistan had also needed to rally to beat Scotland last week, when their top order also struggled in seaming conditions, before the second game was washed out.However, Whatmore is unconcerned as he instead focused on a two-week period in which his side have been able to acclimatise to conditions.With most other nations still to arrive in England, Pakistan have arguably got a head start on their rivals in terms of preparation, albeit having not totally convinced against lower-level opposition."Playing the Associate countries is one thing because everyone is expecting you to win but moreover it has been about that ability to spend a week and a half in these conditions," Whatmore said."To win games is a good thing for confidence as well."I have to admit though the first two hours of our innings was a horrible feeling. I was sick in the stomach to be honest."I felt the wicket was much more difficult for us to negotiate than the home team but that's how it is when you travel."The effort to never say die and come back was great really."I feel in some ways sorry for the home team but that's the way it goes."Pakistan will finalise their preparations for the Champions Trophy with further warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and South Africa at Edgbaston and The Oval this week.They will then open their Champions Trophy campaign against West Indies at The Oval on June 7.