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Pakistan set to revisit Rose Bowl after 10 years


KARACHI: Pakistan will return to the Rose Bowl in Southampton after a yawning gap of 10 years when they face England in the opening fixture of the five-match One-day International series on Wednesday.

Formerly known as Ageas Bowl, the picturesque cricket ground — which accommodate 20,000 spectators with temporary seating from the original capacity of 6,500 — is situated on the outskirts of the port city in south coast of England and is the home venue of county Hampshire.

Rose Bowl, which hosted its first major match in 2001, is actually the second ground in Southampton to stage international games.

The first being the now defunct County Ground which hosted three neutral World Cup fixtures — Australia vs Zimbabwe in 1983, New Zealand vs West Indies and Zimbabwe vs Kenya, both in 1999.

Hampshire, who had been playing at the County Ground since 1885, finally moved to Rose Bowl at the start of the new millennium after making their last appearance the previous season at the old ground — which was sold and demolished to be replaced by a housing estate.

The forthcoming fixture will be the 20th One-day International and the 10th such game under lights to be played at the Rose Bowl.In the previous 19 matches, sides won 10 times batting first and lost eight with one game being rained-off.

England, overall, had mixed fortunes at Rose Bowl where they won six and lost seven of their 13 ODIs in sharp contrast to Australia who lost only one of their five matches while South Africa won both their fixtures at this venue with New Zealand winning two and their only other appearance was a abandoned game against the West Indies during the 2008 triangular series.

That match, according to ICC playing conditions, stands counted since the toss had taken place.

In the previous three matches — all held in the month of September in different years — Pakistan have played at the Rose Bowl, they lost twice and won just once.

The first they appeared here was during the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final when they lost to eventual champions West Indies by a big margin of seven wickets.

After opting to bat first, Pakistan were dismissed for only 131 in 38.2 overs with opener Yasir Hameed top-scoring with 39, while skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq made 21.

West Indies knocked off the runs in 28.1 overs with Ramnaresh Sarwan finishing on an 85-ball undefeated innings of 56 to claim the man-of-the-match award after speedster Shoaib Akhtar got of both openers, Chris Gayle (1) and Wavell Hinds (5) in a fiery opening burst.

The next time Pakistan returned to Rose Bowl was when they played the third fixture of the five-match bilateral series on the 2006 tour. In a tense finish in the day-night clash, Pakistan sealed a two-wicket win with seven balls to spare.

Put into bat, England collected a competitive 271-9 in their 50 overs. The major contributions came from captain Andrew Strauss (50 off 46 balls, eight fours), Paul Collingwood (61 off 62, five boundaries) and Jamie Dalrymple (62 off 78, five fours).

Seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan bagged 4-57 in 10 overs while Shoaib Akhtar took 2-59 and Abdul Razzaq 2-44.

Pakistan’s victory was set up by a brilliant 109-ball knock of 101 from their vice-captain Younis Khan, who struck 13 fours and one six in a man-of-the-match performance, while dominating a third-wicket partnership of 167 with Mohammad Yousuf (60 off 103, five boundaries).

Skipper Inzamam scored a rapid 44 off 33 deliveries with three fours and two sixes. Stuart Broad (3-57) and Jon Lewis (2-32) were the best of England bowlers.

Current England ODI captain Eoin Morgan stole the headlines when Pakistan played at the series-deciding fifth match at the Rose Bowl in 2010.

The left-hander smashed an unbeaten 107 (101 balls, eight fours and one six) after Strauss opted to bat first in the day/night tie.

Shoaib Akhtar was again at the forefront of Pakistan bowling with figures of 3-40 from his 10 overs as England reached 256-6.

But all his hard work was wasted as Pakistan were bundled out for only 135 in 37 overs after Kamran Akmal (41) and Mohammad Hafeez (29) began with an opening stand of 63 in the first 13 overs.

Shahid Afridi was a huge disappointment when the Pakistan captain was bowled first ball by Graeme Swann after the now retired off-spinner had dismissed Yousuf (20) in a similar fashion to end up with 3-26 while Broad captured 3-25.


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