Azhar bemoans Pakistan collapse


Pakistan captain Azhar Ali bemoaned the failings of the middle order after collapsing to a six-wicket defeat in the third one-day international on Tuesday.

The result saw England move into a 2-1 lead in the four-match series, but the tourists were gifted a succession of wickets in Sharjah, with three batsmen falling to run-outs and several others guilty of loose shots.

Azhar made 36 before himself being run out but, after tumbling from 132-2 to 208 all out, Pakistan were left facing a huge challenge in the field to rescue anything from the match.

England survived a mid-innings wobble of their own to see out a comfortable victory, with James Taylor (67) and Jos Buttler (49) carrying them over the line with 54 balls remaining.

"I think we had a very good start but in the middle we just lost it," Azhar said.

"We were going along very well for 270-280 but the run-outs and a few mistakes in the batting cost us the game. In the end we were 40-50 runs short.

Asked about his run-out, Azhar added: "I think we have to sort things out because I was very settled, he [Mohammad Hafeez] was very settled and it just disturbed the whole batting.

But Azhar was still able to take positives from the performance.

"Zafar Gohar had his debut and he bowled like a very experienced bowler and put England under pressure, he said of the young spinner, who took 2-54.

"It's very heartening to see the youngsters coming up."