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Pakistan get World Cup boost with second warm-up win

SYDNEY: Misbah-ul Haq played a captain's knock of 91 to guide Pakistan to a hard-fought five wicket win against England at Sydney cricket ground, getting the much-needed fillip ahead of the World Cup.

Joe Root's 85 and Gary Ballance's 57 formed the cornerstone of England's 250-8 in their 50 overs after Eoin Morgan won the toss and batted on a flat SCG pitch.

Pakistan, often vulnerable in chase, were sensible enough despite the loss of four early wickets as Misbah and Umar Akmal batted with resolve and authority to put Pakistan on the path of victory.

Misbah and Umar added 132 runs for the fifth wicket, which also lifted Pakistan from a precarious 78-4.

When Akmal was dismissed, caught behind off paceman Stuart Broad, Pakistan still needed 40 from 33 balls but Misbah in company of Sohaib Maqsood brought the target to within eight runs off 14 balls.

Misbah ensured the good chance was not spoiled by knocking off the runs in the penultimate over.

Pakistan had lost early wickets of Nasir Jamshed (one) and Ahmed Shehzad (five) before Younis Khan (25) and Haris Shoail (33) wasted their good starts.

It was left to Misbah and Umar who played sensibly and brought Pakistan within reach of making it two in two warm-up games. The Pakistani skipper hit five boundaries and two sixes in his pugnacious 99-ball stay and proved he is team's anchor in successful chase.

Shahid Afridi hit two boundaries as Pakistan chased down the target with seven balls to spare.

Pakistan had beaten Bangladesh in the first warm-up game by three wickets on Monday.

When England batted Root and Ballance steadied the innings after Moeen Ali (four) and Alex Hales were dismissed. Root's 89-ball knock was steady as he hit just four boundaries during his knock.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah derailed the innings with two wickets in one over, dismissing Ballance an skipper Eoin Morgan in the same over to finish with 3-45.

Paceman Sohail Khan, who limped off the field in the first warm-up game, bowled impressively with 2-47 and belied the impression that he was injured badly.