Gritty win over Pakistan wraps up England’s T20 preparations

SPINNER Danny Briggs insists England will begin their World Twenty20 title defence brimming with confidence after he starred in the champions’ third victory in eight days yesterday.

Briggs took 3-15 as England limited Pakistan to 96-9 in a 15-run win in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, where they are set to meet Afghanistan in their tournament opener tomorrow.

The final warm-up result is a further boost to Stuart Broad’s men, following Monday’s nine-run triumph over Australia and last week’s 28-run thwarting of South Africa at Edgbaston.

“It came out really nicely, which is pleasing and really good in our preparation. It’s good to go into a tournament with confidence, and I hope that can carry on,” said the slow left-armer. “Some of the lads struggled towards the end – it was hard to manoeuvre the ball around – but we knew we were always in the game, with any score on the board, and the way we bowled in the second half showed that.”

Luke Wright’s 38 off 36 balls was the highlight of England’s meagre 111 all out, after they chose to bat first on a surface more favourable to bowlers. Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal was chief tormentor, taking 4-14 and spearheading England’s loss of the last five wickets in eight balls.

Briggs and Samit Patel (1-21) put early dents in Pakistan’s attempts to chase their target, with Jade Dernbach (3-14) and Broad (2-12) completing the job.