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Rashid inspires series victory

England Lions

Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid claimed 3-13 in four overs as England Lions restricted Pakistan A to 106 all out in the second Twenty20 of three

England Lions wrapped up the Twenty20 series with Pakistan A - their first series triumph since 2007 - after taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.

After Adil Rashid, who finished with 3-13, left Pakistan in a spin as the Lions were set just 107 to win, Craig Kieswetter and Ian Bell put on a stand of 60 to see their side to an eight-wicket victory with 23 balls remaining.

Lions captain Andrew Gale wanted to see improvements on Friday's win and the skipper would have been thrilled with the response of his players.

After winning the toss - his third of the tour - and electing to bowl first, the captain sprung a surprise by throwing the new ball to James Tredwell who conceded just four runs in what proved to be a one-over experiment.

Chris Woakes replaced Tredwell with immediate success, the Warwickshire seamer taking two wickets in as many balls to reduce Pakistan to 13 for two.

He first lured Pakistan A skipper Mohammad Hafeez to drive to Gale at mid-off, then banged the next ball in short and Umair Khan top-edged to Steven Davies at short fine-leg.

Woakes and Steve Kirby were disciplined during the powerplay and restricted Pakistan to just five an over until Shahzaib Hasan cracked two boundaries in the seventh over to boost the total to 40 for two.

The introduction of spinners Rashid and Tredwell completely undermined the Pakistan innings as England took three wickets in as many overs.

Rashid struck first in the eighth over when Aamer Sajjad shovelled to Gale at midwicket where the captain took an excellent tumbling catch.

The economical Tredwell then bowled the dangerous Hassan before Rashid tempted Kashif Siddiq down the track with Kieswetter completing a smart stumping to leave Pakistan 45 for five.

The Rashid-Kieswetter partnership combined in the 12th over as Pakistan slipped further into the mire, Asad Shafiq the latest batsmen to give way to temptation when a more cautious approach might have been wise.

Ian Bell

Ian Bell's unbeaten 32, in partnership with Craig Kieswetter who hit 40 not out, sealed an eight-wicket victory in Sharjah

Mahmood then became the third bowler to strike in his first over when Tanvir Ahmed hoiked to Michael Lumb at deep midwicket.

The returning Kirby, sporting new highlights, was celebrating in the next over, the 16th, when a diving Woakes pulled off a stunning catch at third man to dismiss Abdur Rehman as Pakistan threatened to crumble at 69 for eight.

Wahab Riaz, as he did in the first game, decided to play some shots but the end was nigh.

Naeem Anjum perished in the late dash for runs, caught in the deep off Mahmood by the reliable Lumb, who was also involved in the final wicket when his long throw to Woakes caught Yasir Shah short of his ground.

In reply, England made a promising start with Davies and Kieswetter unleashing an array of elegant strokes which disheartened the geed-up Pakistan fielders.

Davies looked in particularly good touch with successive boundaries that pierced the covers off Ahmed, while Kieswetter carried on from the first Twenty20 where he made an unbeaten 77 by powerfully driving Hafeez for a pair of fours.

England Lions suffered a setback when Davies lost his middle stump to Riaz but new batsman Lumb relieved any pressure by driving his first ball serenely for four.

Lumb, who turned 30 on Friday, cracked two more boundaries but on reaching 13 attempted to loft Rehman over the infield only to be athletically caught by a leaping Shah at midwicket.

Pakistan sniffed blood with England Lions stuttering on 57 for two, but Bell was calmness personified as he and Kieswetter brushed the threat aside.

The Warwickshire man rotated the strike to keep the score ticking over while the patient Kieswetter played an innings which was in stark contrast to his crash, bang, wallop affair on Friday.

Bell finally opened his shoulders in the 11th over when he swept Shah for six over the small stand at long-on. The ball, like Pakistan’s hopes, disappeared out of sight.

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