A run-chase to cherish for England #ENGvPAK T20
A captain’s knock by Eoin Morgan, proving himself to be one of the best middle order batsmen in white ball cricket, took England to a five-wicket win, with five balls to spare, at the Emirates Old Trafford. Pakistan failed in their attempt to defend a very decent total of 195-4.
England 199/5 (19.1)
Pakistan 195/4 (20)
England won by 5 wickets
Morgan earlier chose to bat first on the same wicket that was used in the opening T20 in the series on Friday. Both teams were unchanged and looking forward to rain-free afternoon of cricket.
England opened, with the pace of Saqib Mahmood and off-spin of Moeen Ali, both born in Birmingham of Pakistani parentage. In the opposite camp, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman, looked in good shape and picked up 51 runs in the six-over batting powerplay. The two had hit seven boundaries and managed to rotate the strike too. Fakhar, the very next ball after clearing boundary for a massive six over mid-wicket, was caught off Adil Rasheed, having chipped in with 36 off 22 balls.
Placed at the top of T20 ICC ranking, Babar pulled first ball of the match to the boundary and continued to find the gap and was at his most eye-catching. Two consecutive fours off Rashid and his 14th fifty in T20i had come up off 37 balls with seven boundaries. Earlier he had also become the joint quickest in terms of 1500 runs in 40 T20I innings along with Aaron Finch and Virat Kohli. He was understandably furious of giving it away when pulling Rashid into the hands of wide mid-wicket with 56 off 44 balls.
The 39-year old Mohammed Hafeez, having missed out few pull attempts at the outset, got into his top gear with two cross-batted tennis-style smashes to the long-on fence before depositing Tom Curran for two sixes in the midwicket region. That particular over - No. 16 of the innings - was worth 23 runs for Pakistan. Hafeez’s rapid fifty was off just 26 balls and his innings and he was not finished yet and made 69 off 36 balls with five fours and 4 sixes. England bowlers had lost the plot and perhaps leaked 20 runs too many. Having reached 87-1 at the half way stage, Pakistan managed a competitive 195-4, at the close of their innings.
In the third over, Tom Banton, reversed sweep Imad Wasim for a six over fine leg - an amazing stroke. Him and Johnny Bairstow got England off to a perfect start with 50 coming in 4.4 overs. Mohammad Amir, the most experienced bowler of his side, had a strained hamstring and pulled out in his second over and was unlikely to return back. Amir was hit for 25 runs and England had motored along to 65-0 in the six overs of batting powerplay. In his first over wrist spinner Shadab Khan send back Bairstow (44 off 24 balls) and his partner Banton, in two successive deliveries and almost had Morgan trapped leg-before. A match changing over – No.7 of the innings.
At the end of the eight over, England’s run-rate went above ten-runs an over. At the half way stage with the two Middlesex left-handers – Dawid Malan and Morgan – having taken a good look at the bowlers had brought the score to 94-2. The sixth bowler to come on, Haris Rauf, only conceded five runs in the 11th over but in the next over from off-spinner Iftikhar Ahmed, England added 18 runs and the game seemed to being going their way. Morgan can up the tempo without any reckless shots and he was doing just that, keeping Pakistan under pressure.
Morgan reached his fifty off 27 balls with his fourth maximum and added three boundaries of Shaheen’s third over which went for 20 runs. This left England needing 34 of the last 5 overs. An Imad Wasim over featured two boundaries from Morgan which further eased the nerves before he holed out off Haris with 66 off 33 balls to his credit. An innings from a man in great form. Malan needed 35 balls for his fifty and was unbeaten on 54 and carried England home, in the final over.
England - Jonny Bairstow(wk), Tom Banton, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan(c), Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood
Pakistan - Babar Azam(c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Start Time: 14:15
Toss: England won the toss and decided to field
Venue: Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Officials: Martin Saggers, David Millns, Michael Burns, Alexander Wharf, Wayne Noon
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