Heartening half-centuries from Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen, and more wickets for Stuart Broad, eased England to a 67-run World Cup warm-up win over Pakistan.
Pietersen (66) and Collingwood (65) were the main contributors to England’s 273 all out, the former producing welcome evidence his move up the order may work in the sub-continent and the latter back to form before this tournament begins in earnest.
Broad continued his impressive return from injury with four top-order wickets to undermine Pakistan’s reply under lights, and Younus Khan’s hard-working 80 could not redress the balance – especially after Collingwood chipped in with figures of 3-48.
Pietersen’s 78-ball innings earlier had ended in the 27th over, leaving much work to do. It fell principally therefore to Collingwood to engineer a defendable total after England had been asked to bat first.
They lost Andrew Strauss in the third over of their first meeting with Pakistan since last summer ended in acrimony thanks to the infamous spot-fixing crisis.
In front of a capacity crowd of 16,000, it was veteran fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar who struck first, as Strauss posted his second single-figure score in succession, five.
Jonathan Trott joined Pietersen but could not get going, and when left-armer Junaid Khan (3-44) changed the angle by going round the wicket he clipped a bail after the No 3 missed as he aimed to leg.
Pietersen dominated a stand of 70 with Ian Bell and looked set for three figures until he went up the wicket to slow left-armer Abdur Rehman and failed to cover the spin.
Bell was stumped off Saeed Ajmal but Ravi Bopara struck the ball cleanly and put on 82 in only 12 overs and Collingwood found his touch to reach 50 in 60 balls.
After Bopara holed out at long-on, Collingwood and Matt Prior kept the tempo high until a late clatter of five wickets for 12 runs as Wahab Riaz finished with 3-52.
Broad (5-25) had Mohammad Hafeez neatly caught at first slip by Strauss, then saw off a pair of Akmals – Kamran pinned lbw on off-stump and Umar undone by low bounce to be bowled.
Younus responded with some typically sensible batting, for a 70-ball half-century.
But he needed support and in the absence of Shahid Afridi or Abdul Razzaq, both rested by Pakistan, it was not forthcoming.
Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan, back after his calf injury, bowled accurately and although James Anderson was a little rusty, especially with the new ball, Strauss had plenty of back-up options. Collingwood and Anderson bagged a wicket each, Asad Shafiq and Ahmad Shehzad missing big hits.
Then with approaching nine-an-over required, Misbah-ul-Haq was lbw to Collingwood.
Younus was left with too much to do and eventually fell in a vain cause to the returning Broad when he edged a wide ball and was well-caught behind by Prior.
The International Cricket Council and Mumbai cricket officials remain confident the Wankhede Stadium will stage the World Cup final as scheduled.
Doubt was cast on the stadium’s suitability to host the sport’s global showpiece on April 2 after Mumbai’s chief fire officer Uday Tatkare claimed his inspectors had found several faults which needed to be corrected before the Wankhede was given the all-clear.
Scoreboard and World Cup preview: Page 27.