Pakistan loses 2-0 to England in T20 series

Reeling from match-fixing allegations that have resulted in three of its players being suspended by the ICC, Pakistan was bowled out for 89 and then England reached 90-4 in 14 overs to win a record-equaling seventh straight T20 match yesterday.

Pakistan's previous lowest T20 total was 125-9 at Australia in February. Tim Bresnan took 3-10, while England teammates Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann took two wickets each.

England captain Paul Collingwood made 21 and Eoin Morgan 18 not out in front of 5,821 people, just over a third of Sophia Gardens' capacity.

"It was irresponsible and immature the way we played," Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said.

"England are the world champions and we needed to be more responsible with better shot selection and show more pride. Our morale is very low but I am sure one win will change that."

England leveled the record jointly held by South Africa and Pakistan for consecutive wins in the game's shortest format.

"It is a special achievement," Collingwood said. "In this form of the game, it can be tough to win consistently, so to have that kind of win is a great effort from the boys, especially carrying the added pressure of being world champions."

Pakistan's tour is going from bad to worse. It has now lost five of its six internationals against England, having lost the test series 3-1 and 2-0 in the Twenty20 matches.

Pakistan also suffered its heaviest test defeat less than two weeks ago at Lord's.

Test captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and 18-year-old prodigy Mohammad Amir were suspended by the International Cricket Council last week for corruption-related charges that followed allegations of bowling no-balls for money.

There were more allegations in yesterday's British newspapers, and the negativity looks to be seriously affecting the team's performances.

"It's not easy, it's very, very hard. I just want one victory," Afridi said. "I made some plans as a captain, I knew Salman Butt was my opener and key player, and Asif and Amir, but everything has changed as a captain for me. But hopefully I will bring my team up."

England produced an efficient display after losing the toss. Pakistan slumped to 22-4 after Afridi, its most explosive batsman, was caught for 2 edging to point when trying to slog-pull a delivery from Stuart Broad.

The innings from Mohammed Hafeez emphasized his team's struggle, hitting 14 from 32 balls. Even the normally aggressive Abdul Razzaq labored for 11 from 20 deliveries.

"I'm not letting my team down like this, not in the one-dayers," Afridi said. "It will be a big challenge to compete, but we have some time. Me, my coach and the team we will sit together and talk."

The teams meet Friday at Durham to start a five-match 50-over series.

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