The England team, with Brearley's exit in 1980, was never truly settled throughout the 1980s, which will probably be remembered as a low point for the team. While some of the great players like Botham, Gooch and Gower had fine careers, the team seldom succeeded in beating good opposition throughout the decade and did not score a home Test victory (except against minnows Sri Lanka) between September 1985 and July 1990.
The 1938–39 tour of South Africa saw another experiment with the deciding Test being a timeless Test that was played to a finish. England lead 1–0 going into the final timeless match at Durban. Despite the final Test being 'timeless', the game ended in a draw after 10 days as England had to catch the train to catch the boat home. A record 1,981 runs were scored, and the concept of timeless Tests was abandoned. England went on one final tour of the West Indies in 1939 before the Second World War, although a team for an MCC tour of India was selected more in hope than expectation of the matches being played.
Michael Vaughan took over, with players encouraged to express themselves. England won five consecutive Test series prior to facing Australia in the 2005 Ashes series, taking the team to second place in the ICC Test Championship table. During this period England defeated the West Indies home and away, New Zealand, and Bangladesh at home, and South Africa in South Africa. In June 2005, England played its first ever T20 international match, defeating Australia by 100 runs. Later that year, England defeated Australia 2–1 in a thrilling series to regain the Ashes for the first time in 16 years, having lost them in 1989. Following the 2005 Ashes win, the team suffered from a spate of serious injuries to key players such as Vaughan, Giles, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones. As a result, the team underwent an enforced period of transition. A 2–0 defeat in Pakistan was followed by two drawn away series with India and Sri Lanka.
The 1930 Ashes series saw a young Don Bradman dominate the tour, scoring 974 runs in his seven Test innings. He scored 254 at Lord's, 334 at Headingley and 232 at The Oval. Australia regained the Ashes winning the series 3–1. As a result of Bradman's prolific run-scoring the England captain Douglas Jardine chose to develop the already existing leg theory into fast leg theory, or bodyline, as a tactic to stop Bradman. Fast leg theory involved bowling fast balls directly at the batsman's body. The batsman would need to defend himself, and if he touched the ball with the bat, he risked being caught by one of a large number of fielders placed on the leg side.
In the final before a packed house at The Oval, India won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pakistan's batting lineup made India question their decision with opening batsman Fakhar Zaman scoring his maiden One Day International century (114 off 106 deliveries), with major contributions from Azhar Ali (59) and Mohammad Hafeez (57*) pushing Pakistan to a total of 338. India lost their top order quickly with Mohammad Amir getting the key wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. Resistance came in the form of Hardik Pandya, who scored a brisk 76. Hasan Ali, Pakistan's star find in this tournament took the final wicket finishing with figures of 3–19, leaving India 180 runs short of the target and handing Pakistan their first Champions Trophy. The margin of victory was the largest in an ICC tournament final.
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The 2012 edition of World T20 was held in Sri Lanka, where Pakistan grouped in Group D with New Zealand, and Bangladesh. They won comfortably against the two teams, and stood up as top of group D. In super eight contest, Pakistan first played against South Africa, where Pakistan won the match by just 2 wickets. next match was against India, which always given a much publicity by all over the fans. Pakistan bowled out for just 128 runs, where India reached the target with only 2 wickets given. Pakistan won their last Super eight match against Australia by 32 runs, where Saeed Ajmal performed well in the match by taking 3 wickets for 17 runs. Pakistan qualified for the semi-finals after superior net run rate than India.
The team is considered a strong but unpredictable team. Traditionally Pakistani cricket has been composed of talented players but is alleged to display limited discipline on occasion, making their performance inconsistent at times. In particular, the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is usually emotionally charged and can provide for intriguing contests, as talented teams and players from both sides of the border seek to elevate their game to new levels. Pakistan team contests with India in the Cricket World Cup have resulted in packed stadiums and highly charged atmospheres. The team is well supported at home and abroad, especially in the United Kingdom where British Pakistanis have formed a fan-club called the "Stani Army". Members of the club show up to matches across the country and are known to provide raucous support. The Stani Army also takes part in charity initiatives for underprivileged Pakistanis, including annual friendly cricket matches against British Indian members of the similar "Bharat Army".