England lost by four wickets against Pakistan on Wednesday in their final warn-up game before their ICC World Cup campaign begins against Australia on Saturday.
Joe Root and Gary Ballance were the stand-out performers with the bat, hitting 81 and 57 respectively. Root fell in the penultimate over of the innings as England finished on 250-8.
Misbah-Ul-Haq starred for Pakistan with the skipper finishing on 91 not out. His partnership with Umar Akmal, who hit 65, meant they always had more than a fighting chance and Shaid Afridi saw them home with seven balls to spare.
After the landslide victory over the West Indies on Monday, this was much more of a contest and just what England needed before they face the Aussies in Melbourne. Some key members of the squad such as James Taylor and Ian Bell were rested in preparation for the weekend clash with the hosts.
Moeen Ali failed to capitalise on his performance against the West Indies, scoring just four before edging to Younes Khan. Alex Hales, Ballance and Root brought some stability to the innings and after captain Eoin Morgan (0), Ravi Bopara (11) and Jos Buttler (13) departed without really troubling the scorers. Chris Jordan hit 31 not out to see England hit the 250 mark off the final ball.
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James Anderson and Stuart Broad are arguably England's most threatening attack, despite Chris Woakes' 5-19 on Monday, and they quickly dismissed Pakistan's openers. The pair finished with two wickets apiece.
Pakistan looked to be struggling at 78-4 until Misbah came to the crease, leading by example alongside Akmal. Jordan and James Tredwell, both battling for a bowling place, took one wicket apiece but it was not enough to push for victory.
England's opponents this weekend welcomed the return of their captain Michael Clarke from hamstring surgery as they thrashed the UAE by 188 runs in their final warm-up game.
Clarke hit 64 for the Baggy Greens, with opener Aaron Finch and Steve Smith contributing 61 and 59 respectively as they posted a daunting 304-8. UAE were then dismissed for 116 in just over 30 overs.
Despite Clarke successful comeback, it's likely that national selectors will limit his appearances until the Aussies face Bangladesh on February 21. The selectors will decide on Thursday whether Clarke has made the England game or not. With the warm-up games over it's now all eyes on Melbourne.
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