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Briggs impresses on England debut
HAMPSHIRE’S Danny Briggs helped England complete a one-day whitewash of a Pakistan on his full international debut.
Briggs, 20, became Hampshire’s youngest England international and the first from the Isle of Wight when he was included in place of the injured Graeme Swann for the last game of the four-match series in Dubai.
He did not disappoint, finishing with two for 39 from his ten overs, adding Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik to an impressive list of career scalps as England restricted Pakistan to 237.
Briggs’ former Hampshire colleague Kevin Pietersen then hit 130 to set up a four-wicket win, with Samit Patel and Tim Bresnan reaching the target with four balls remaining.
Pakistan were 135 for three when Briggs, pictured right, celebrated the first ODI wicket of his career, dismissing Akmal, who mistimed straight to Jade Dernbach at longoff, at the end of the 30th over.
Having returned for another spell, Briggs ended a 58-run partnership between Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Shoaib Malik.
He proved the merit of his tight lines and full length when he had Shoaib lbw sweeping to leave Pakistan 202-5 midway through the 44th over.
Together with Samit Patel, Briggs formed England’s first slow left-arm spin partnership since Ian Blackwell and Monty Panesar dovetailed in India six years ago.
But Briggs outbowled his fellow southpaw, who finished with 0-55 from his ten-over allocation.
Pietersen, who played one game alongside Briggs for Hampshire, then produced what he regards as the best of his ODI hundreds.
Without an ODI century for more than three years before his unbeaten 111 three days earlier, Pietersen produced his careerbest in another run chase under lights.The outcome was in doubt for much longer this time, after a rare failure from Alastair Cook immediately put England's pursuit on the back foot.
But Pietersen appeared in control throughout a 153-ball innings, which contained 12 fours and two sixes, in front of a nearempty Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
He established a scoring rate that kept England ahead of the game, even from a precarious 68 for four after 16 overs, to the extent that Pietersen and Craig Kieswetter's fifth-wicket stand of 109 did not have to feature undue risks against Pakistan's spinners.
The whitewash, England's first against Pakistan for 25 years, was compensation of sorts for the recent 3-0 Test series drubbing.
Shortly after the victory the International Cricket Council confirmed England had moved ahead of Pakistan in the world rankings.