Euro 2020 Special
 

Pakistan v England T20I Series Review: England Win Historic Series in Pakistan

England made a triumphant return to Pakistan after a 17 year absence, winning the seven match T20I series by four matches to three. It was a particularly sweet victory for England’s stand-in captain, Moeen Ali, filling the role with regular captain, Jos Buttler, injured and not fit enough to play any part on the tour, because of his Pakistani heritage.

Unprecedented security helped ensure that the tour passed without any serious incidents off the field, which may persuade other touring teams that Pakistan is now safe to visit.

 

First T20I

England made a winning start to the series, by beating the hosts by 6 wickets in Karachi. Pakistan, batting first, had made 158/7 from their 20 overs, a figure that England chased down with four balls and six wickets to spare. Alex Hales made a winning return to the side after three years in the international wilderness, top scoring for his side with 53.

 

Second T20I

Two days later in Karachi, Pakistan responded with an emphatic ten wicket victory. England seemed to have posted a competitive score of 199/5, with Ali leading the way for them with an unbeaten 55 off 23 balls. But, in a welcome return to form after recent struggles, the Pakistan captain Babar Azam showed his class scoring an unbeaten 110 off 66 balls, with Rizwan making an undefeated 88.

 

Third T20I

It was England’s turn to win convincingly the next day. Put into bat they piled on the runs, led by young Yorkshire batter, Harry Brook, who staked his claim to a starting place in their World Cup team by scoring an unbeaten 81 off just 35 balls.

Despite Shan Masood’s unbeaten 66, Pakistan were restricted to just 158/6 in their reply, with England’s bowlers led by Mark Wood, who took 3 – 25. The visitors had won by 63 runs.

 

Fourth T20I

The fourth match in the series in Karachi was the closest so far. England won the toss and decided to field first, but again Rizwan led from the front for his team, showing why he is currently the number one T20I batter in the world. He made 88 from 67 balls, and helped his side post a score of 166/4 from their 20 overs.

England made a poor start to their reply, slumping to 14/3, and then 113/6, but Liam Dawson, batting at number 8, threatened to turn things around for them, until he was dismissed in the 19th over for 34. The last two wickets fell in five balls as England were dismissed for 163, giving Pakistan a three run victory.

 

Fifth T20I

The action shifted to Lahore for the last three matches in the series, but the change did nothing to affect the form of Rizwan, who again top scored for his side, making a145 out of a total of 145 all out. Wood again starred with the ball, returning figures of 3 – 20.

However, despite a captain’s knock of 51 not out by Ali, the best that England could muster in reply was 139/7, and they were beaten by 5 runs.

 

Sixth T20I

That made the sixth match in the series a must win game for them, but, in the end, they showed few signs of nerves in levelling the series. They put the home side into bat, and, despite Babar making an unbeaten 87 off 59 balls, managed to keep their score down to 169/6.

And they chased down that figure without hardly breaking sweat, in large part due to opener Phil Salt, who 88 not out of just 41 balls including 3 sixes. With Hales, Dawid Malan and Ben Duckett all providing useful support, England were able to reach their target with more than five overs in hand.

 

Seventh T20I

The fate of the series all came down to the decider in Lahore, but it was a night of disappointment for the home fans. Put into bat, England had scored a very challenging 209/3 from their allotted overs, led by Malan’s 78 not out of just 59 balls.

Pakistan lost both openers cheaply, and never really recovered after that, despite 56 from Shan Masood. The required run rate kept edging up and with wickets falling at regular intervals, the result was never in doubt. The home side struggled to 142/8, but were well beaten in the end by 67 runs.

 

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