Pak defeated England in 4th test , equal
ANDREW STRAUSS leads his England players into their final confrontation with Pakistan today knowing defeat will be the ultimate kick in the teeth.
A loss in the fifth one-day international at the Rose Bowl would bring a bucket-load of pain and anger and a sense of terrible injustice.
It is the match Strauss and his men dare not lose.
Imagine the misery... England are ++++ed into the match-fixing scandal and accused of taking a bung but Pakistan go home with the trophy and the loot.
England appeared to be cruising to a series triumph after seizing a 2-0 lead. But two brilliant Pakistan bowling performances at The Oval and Lord's have levelled things at 2-2.
Batsman Ian Bell revealed England are desperate to finish with a win.
And he is also convinced their fury at being dragged into the row will make them stronger in this winter's Ashes showdown with Australia.
Bell, who played his first game for England on Monday since breaking his foot on July 10, admitted: "We have to put in a massive performance at the Rose Bowl to try to secure the series win.
The guys just want to get the series over and done with and finish with a victory.
"It is a final for us and when the big games come along, England are often at our best - like when we won the World Twenty20 earlier this year. Let's hope that is the case here.
"We need to focus on the cricket now to make sure we get the best out of ourselves. We'll be ready to finish the summer on a high.
"Everything that has happened has brought the guys closer together.
"Hopefully that will help us this winter because the Australia tour will be tough and if we can get through things like this, we'll be stronger."
England would be haunted by pictures of Shahid Afridi and his team celebrating with the trophy - as well as them pocketing £35,000 for the NatWest series win, separate match victories and Man of the Match awards.
A string of incredible bust-ups in the wake of the match-fixing revelations has created a toxic atmosphere between the teams.
It boiled over during a brawl between England's Jonathan Trott and Pakistan's Wahab Riaz during warm-ups before the fourth one-dayer at Lord's on Monday.
The pair grabbed each other by the throat before being pulled apart by England batting coach and ex-skipper Graham Gooch.
Bell admits his pal Trott's passion for success sometimes turns to anger and frustration.
But he insisted that Warwickshire team-mate Trott, whose wife Abi will give birth to their first child any day now, was acting as though nothing had happened within minutes of the incident.
Bell said: "Trotty is a good friend and someone I've played a lot of cricket with.
"He is a cricket lover and is committed to both Warwickshire and England in everything he does. He is a positive character with a lot of belief in his ability and he's incredibly passionate.
"That comes out at times - he wears his heart on his sleeve.
"There have been issues with his temper coming out in the past but I was a little surprised he got into a confrontation like he did.
"I didn't see the incident because I was in the dressing room and when I saw Trotty he acted as if nothing had happened.
"Without a shadow of doubt this team would never leave someone to battle on their own and no England team I've been involved in would do that."
England's stars were furious after Pakistan chairman Ijaz Butt publicly accused them of throwing last Friday's one-day match at The Oval.
Bell added: "One thing to come out of this is how closely we have stuck together.
"The guys were pretty upset about what was said and our anger has brought us tighter.
"We knew a lot of people would come to Lord's and our responsibilities lay with them.
"That's why we decided to play on Monday - cricket supporters shouldn't be victimised.
"These are difficult situations for a cricketer and in meetings you expect to be talking about game plans, not corruption."
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove has reported a late surge in ticket sales and the county are now expecting a near-capacity crowd of 13,200 at the Rose Bowl.
As the match-fixing row rumbles on, Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting has insisted Pakistan should NOT be banned from international cricket.
Ponting said: "It wouldn't be wise to keep Pakistan out because it will have a bigger impact on other things.
"But the ICC should thoroughly investigate the allegations."
Ponting and his Australian side will play two Tests and three one-day internationals against India before the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane on November 25.
India top the ICC Test rankings with Australia fourth.
Ponting added: "We will play hard to beat India and try to be No 1 again."