Pakistan v England: England overcome ICC side in Dubai
|Tour match, Dubai (ICC Global Cricket Academy), day three:|
|ICC Combined Associate & Affiliate XI 281 & 164-9 dec v England 185-8 dec & 261-7|
England overhauled a battling ICC Combined Associate and Affiliate XI side, winning by three wickets in an improved batting display in Dubai.
England, chasing 261, began well but Kevin Pietersen (1) was out soon after Andrew Strauss's (78) dismissal.
Ian Bell (39) and Jonathan Trott (35) steadied the ship before Steve Davies (37) hit the winning runs.
Earlier, Afghanistan's Mohammad Shahzad had scored 74 as the invitational side went from 90-5 to 164-9 declared.
The match, a warm-up for the three-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, will have given coach Andy Flower plenty to consider.
Even deprived of Afghan paceman Hamid Hassan, who was injured in the field during England's first innings, the ICC XI's attack continued to pose problems for his middle-order batsmen.
Only opener Alastair Cook scored more than 20 runs in the team's first innings and between them Pietersen and Eoin Morgan only just managed to reach that mark across their four innings.
The left-arm spin of Ireland's George Dockrell, called in to replace Hassan, proved the undoing of Pietersen, who got an inside edge to Dockrell's compatriot Boyd Rankin after being lured down the track and beaten in flight.
When Morgan was removed for three by Rankin via a splendid catch by wicketkeeper Shahzad, England looked vulnerable at 187-5, still 74 runs short of victory.
But the good work of Strauss, who hit 13 fours and a six en route to his score of 78, had provided enough of a platform as Davies and Stuart Broad shared a stand of 61 to guide England home.
Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi was the pick of the ICC side's bowlers as his off-break returned figures of 3-66 and the scalps of Trott, Bell and Broad.
Nabi's countryman Shahzad had done most to set England a decent target as the 23-year-old added another 40 runs to his overnight score of 34 before misjudging a big shot off Pietersen.
England take on a Pakistan Cricket Board XI on Wednesday before the start of the first test on Tuesday 17 January in Dubai.