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England vs. Pakistan: The Rose Bowl Decider

England vs. Pakistan

If it were not for the controversy that has wholeheartedly destroyed the spirit of this series, tomorrow's Rose Bowl decider between England and Pakistan would surely be seen as a fitting finale to a classic series.

Heading into the fifth game the series is tied 2-2, with everything resting on the decider.

With England 2-0 up, and the entire series descending into a farce, the Pakistani team, bar politics on the side has done well to rebound.

One would think that despite the above, that tomorrow’s final match will surely be of the highest standard.

Following on from Ijaz Butt's childish actions relating to England prior to the fourth ODI, the tour has proved that Pakistan's cricketers have been more able than England in their quest to maintain focus amid some rather tense and exciting match ups.

While England have somewhat spiralled under the increasing pressure of a marred series, Pakistan have done surprisingly well to rise to the challenge through brilliant performances by the likes of Umar Gul and  stalwart Shoaib Akhtar who has defied age, and injury, with a string of high quality performances .

England in comparison has looked lethargic, and will undoubtedly be glad to see the backs of the Pakistani team at Heathrow.

That being said, England have to win this to restore some sense of sanity to a cricketing world that is calling for the banning of Pakistan altogether, pending a review of their ability to host contests not marred by betting controversy.

For a series that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, this decider will be a highly charged event, and hopefully some entertaining cricket.

England, you feel, will be equally compelled to rise to the occasion and wrap this one up in order to take momentum into what is very likely going to be the most important Ashes series in a long, long time

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