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Pakistan's visit to Edgbaston next summer will be their sixth ODI against England in Birmingham.

As world champions, England will be in confident mood, but Pakistan are always dangerous, never predictable and invariably exciting, as illustrated by the series so far.

As it stands, England lead by three wins to Pakistan’s two. Brian Halford reports.

1974: Pakistan won by 8 wickets

Pakistan’s first ODI visit to Edgbaston, in the Prudential Trophy, was scheduled for September 2nd, 1974. It rained all day.

On September 3rd, the weather brightened a bit and the batting skills of Zaheer Abbas shone like the sun.

The umpires, including the great Dicky Bird, reduced the match to 35 overs per side and, in difficult, damp conditions, England’s batsmen did not prosper. England were 28 for eight before a stand of 40 between Bob Taylor (26 not out) and Derek Underwood at least avert total embarrassment. They finished on 81 for nine.

Batting was an ordeal…for everyone except the gifted Zaheer. He liked Edgbaston (three years earlier he scored 274 in a Test match there) and stroked his way to the most elegant 57 not out from 81 balls as Pakistan cruised to 84 for two from 18 overs.

1987:  England won by 1 wicket

Thirteen years later, Dicky Bird was again on duty and this time the match was very different…a thrilling finish and an England win.

Pakistan batted first and recovered from 0 for 2 (courtesy of Greg Thomas) to reach 213 for 9, Neil Foster taking three for 29. England then hit some turbulence of their own to dip to 34 for three but skipper Mike Gatting (41) underpinned a partial recovery.

Another collapse left England staring at defeat at 167 for eight, but Foster now got stuck in with the bat. He dug in while Phillip de Freitas (33, 22 balls) counter-attacked and the pair added 42. De Freitas fell with five runs still needed but last man Thomas arrived to help Foster (14 not out) steer England to victory with three balls to spare to the delight of the big, noisy crowd. 

1996: England won by 107 runs

Having helped Warwickshire to the championship title in his first season with the club in 1995, Nick Knight felt very much at home at Edgbaston. He looked it here as his classy century set up an emphatic England victory.

Knight (113, 132 balls, 11 fours) and Alex Stewart (46) laid a strong platform with a century opening stand against a great Pakistan attack: Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed. Knight went on to complete his maiden ODI century as Ronnie Irani biffed 46 to lift England to 292 for eight.

It was a target that Pakistan never threatened as Darren Gough (three for 39) inflicted early damage and Robert Croft struck twice before ODI debutant Adam Hollioake rattled out the lower order with four for 23.

Former Bears skipper Dermot Reeve, the man-of-the-match adjudicator, gave the award deservedly to former Bears team mate Knight.

2001: Pakistan won by 108 runs (D/L)

Pakistan levelled up the series with an emphatic win of their own in the first day/nighter between the teams at Edgbaston.

The incomparable Inzamam-ul-Haf (79, 95 balls) and Saeed Anwar (77, 106) lifted their side to a meaty 273 for six against an attack of Darren Gough,  Alan Mullally, Mark Ealham, Dominic Cork, Michael Vaughan, Paul Collingwood and Ben Hollioake.

England made a reasonable start as Marcus Trescothick and Nick Knight took the score to 47 for one, but thereafter fell apart against a skilful Pakistan attack. Vaughan managed just five in his ODI debut and Knight, at number three, was left stranded on 59 not out from 115 balls.

2006: England won by 3 wickets

England have their noses back in front in the series after a thrilling, fluctuating game which had fans of both sides on the edges of their seats. As so often, a low-scoring match turned out to be an absolute cracker.

Pakistan’s batsmen found the going tough and only Younus Khan (47) lasted long against an attack led by Saj Mahmood (10-2-24-2) , Jon Lewis (10-1-25-1) and James Dalrymple (6-0-13-2).

The tourists finished on 154 for nine but then made early inroads into England’s batting. Andrew Strauss struck a fluent 33 and Kevin Pietersen  a beefy 34 but England found themselves in deep trouble at 118 for seven.

The situation called for calm heads…and that’s Michael Yardy (12 not out) and Mahmood (22 not out) supplied in a match-winning unbroken stand of 37 to take England to 155 for seven.

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