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Pakistan post their highest T20 score
Liam Livingstone makes 42-ball century, England's fastest
Shaheen takes three for 30 as England fall 31 runs short
England lost a pulsating opening Twenty20 against Pakistan by 31 runs but found a new star in Liam Livingstone who powered his way into Eoin Morgan’s World Cup plans with a brilliant hundred.
England experimented with their team and Livingstone grabbed his chance, striking the quickest ever Twenty20 century by an England player - off 42 balls - and produced a performance reminiscent of fellow Cumbrian allrounder Ben Stokes.
Tall and imposing, Livingstone hit the ball with awesome power, smoking six fours and eight sixes as his shot making matched his electric shock of dyed blond Phil Foden style hair. He hit towering sixes down the ground that sailed through the night air and would not look out of place at Sandwich this weekend. He brought up his hundred with a six over long on off leggie Shadab Khan but was out the next ball for 103, leaving England 183 for seven needing 50 off 21 balls as they valiantly chased Pakistan’s mammoth score.
“It was an incredible knock. The biggest compliment I could pay him is our changing room has watched some incredible knocks from Roy or Buttler or Ali and that knock was as good as any of them. He was incredible,” said Morgan.
With Pakistan making 232 for six, the third highest score ever conceded by England, it was a chase that needed everything to go right, and even on a Trent Bridge belter it was too much. Pakistan’s talented pace attack were backed up by boundary fielders who took every chance as they won with four balls to spare; England 201 all out in the final over. Shaheen Shah Afridi, a bowler, was man of the match for 330 and must have felt like a shipwreck survivor after a night of carnage.
Trent Bridge was bathed in glorious sunshine and a 17,000 full house created an electrifying vibe that both teams lived up to hitting 27 sixes in total.
England left out three first choice players - Jos Buttler, Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan - as Morgan gave a chance to last week’s covid locums Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson and Lewis Gregory, who did so well plugging the gaps.
This is an important series as Morgan assesses the final pieces of the puzzle before picking his Twenty20 World Cup squad and watching Mahmood at the death and Parkinson and Gregory hit in the middle overs was useful, although on a night like this it’s unlikely anyone else would have done much better.
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan took their time at first as England bowled well in the powerplay conceding just 49 and it took until the 13th over for the first six, swept by Rizwan off Parkinson.
The 150 run opening stand was the highest ever in England in T20 internationals and it laid the groundwork for Pakistan to plunder at the death.
Rizwan relied on the slog sweep, top edging one into his chops at one stage, while Babar oozed class in his 49 ball 85, hitting eight fours and three sixes.
Gregory took the first wicket, Rizwan gloving a slow bouncer behind, but at 155 for one going into the last five overs, Pakistan were a runaway train. Sohaib Mahmood belted two glorious sixes and Mohammad Hafeez applied some killer punches in a 10 ball 24. Babar was caught behind off Willey, who was the pick of the quicks, after Bairstow keeping wicket referred a clear nick that was turned down.
England needed a decent start but Dawid Malan was out in the second over, the giant left-armer Shaheen Shah Afridi diving low to take a return catch from a front of the hand slower ball.
Pakistan opened with left arm spinner Imad Wasim, opponents sensing an England weakness, but Jason Roy dumped him over the ropes three times in his second over, setting himself and swinging hard.
Powerplay wickets were crucial, because England had to keep taking risks. At 69 for three from six overs they were hanging in, needing a barnstormer from someone.
Livingstone supplied it. He sprinted to 34 off 12 balls, and raced to fifty off 17 balls, another England record, striking cleanly all around the ground. Roy was caught at deep point, and Morgan holed out to long on but Gregory did his best to give Livingstone the strike and he uppercut Afridi for six to move into the 80s.
He reached 90 off only 39 balls and clonked Rauf for six down the ground to bring three figures close. He lost Gregory but reached his hundred gloriously, lofting Shadab high over long on, pausing to point to the three lions on his shirt in celebration.
He fell next ball trying the same shot, and the total was just too much for tailenders to finish off despite Willey’s best efforts but after such an entertaining night, England fans went home happy.
Eoin Morgan takes the positives
When you look at the chase, only one of us got going in Liam Livingstone... it's a hell of a line-up in our changing room but it was Pakistan's day.
There were a lot of positives, this ground replicates Sharjah where we might play World Cup games.
We play a lot of cricket at Trent Bridge, we know it's high-scoring, but it's good to be under pressure to find out more about the team. Liam, an incredible knock, over the last six years as a group we've watched incredible knocks from Buttler, Roy, Ali, that was as good as any of them.
We have a lot of talent up and down the country and that's indicative of the guys who haven't had much of a chance so far.
Pakistan win by 31 runs
What a special bowler he is, Shaheen who ends with three for 30.
Superb innings from Livingstone of bludgeoning power. No one else could chip into their partnerships, however, and the mountain was just too high to climb.
Parkinson b Shaheen 0 Castled by a leg-stump yorker. FOW 201 all out
OVER 19 ENG 201/9 (Parkinson 0 Mahmood 0) Target 233
Haris Rauf begins with a wide. Eng need 36 off 12.
Willey switch hits hoicks the ball for four through third man. 32 off 11.
Rauf responds with the slower ball and Willey is foxed by it, only poking it to point. 32 off 10.
Another slower ball confounds Willey's timing and dobs through to Rizwan. 32 off nine.
Wicket. 32 off eight.
Mahmood, on strike after they crossed, swings and misses at a slower ball. 32 off seven.
Mahmood is beaten by the yorker. No run. 32 off six. Four sixes and two fours will do it.
Willey c Shadab b Rauf 16 Great running catch at wide long on. Would have gone for six had he been a second later setting off after it to pouch it 30cm inside the rope. FOW 201/9
OVER 18: ENG 196/8 (Willey 12 Mahmood 0) Target 233
Numbers eight and nine start Hasnain's final over with a single apiece. No room to swing their arms at all. Willey ramps four over fine leg then farms the strike with a shovel round the corner.
England need 37 off 12.
Curran run out 1 High full toss spliced to cover and he takes evasive action when Shadab's throw looks as if it's going to hit him which meant he delayed getting his bat down. Was it a no ball? Not according to the square leg umpire. Of course you can be run out off a no ball but the team would still get the free hit. FOW 191/8
OVER 17: ENG 189/7 (Willey 6 Curran 0) Target 233
Wicket, six (smashed over long on to raise Livingstone's record-breaking 42-ball century), wicket start the over.
Willey, on strike, swings hard at the googly and misses, then larrups a six over cow corner on one knee before ending the over dragging a cross-bat hoick into the pitch.
England need 44 off 18.
Livingstone c Shaheen b Shadab 103 Having brought up England's fastest T20 century off 42 balls, Livingstone had to keep going and launched a drive down to long-on off the toe of the bat as he mistimed his swipe. FOW 183/7
Gregory c Shaheen b Shadab 10 Down on one knee to launch a premeditated assault on the leg-spinner's final over he chips the drive down long-on's throat. FOW 177/6
OVER 16: ENG 177/5 (Livingstone 97 Gregory 10) Target 233
Haris Rauf, who has taken two good catches but was ill-served by fielders when bowling, returns to the attack. Livingstone goes for his wristy, shovelly drive, plays inside the line and thick edges it for four over the keeper for four. The next ball is collared on the pull at knee height but great fielding from Shadab saves the boundary and they run two. Rauf lands his yorker which Livingstone jabs out of the blockhole and hustles a second.
Only two singles off the next two balls as Rauf shows his BBL class with yorkers.
Speaking of class, Livingstone exploits the one mistake of the over at the death, tonking the sixth ball off a good length for six over cow corner when Rauf misses his yorker.
Livingstone has 97 off 41 balls.
England need 56 off 24 balls.
OVER 15: ENG 161/5 (Livingstone 82 Gregory 9) Target 233
Shaheen, Pakistan's best bowler, returns. He starts with a full toss slanting across Livingstone who swings and misses it. Not the next one, though, which is a similar ball as he strives for the wide yorker. This one is slapped over cover for six! This angle is opening up the shortest boundary but a third full toss in succession is only bunted down the ground for a single.
Make that four as this one wobbles away from Gregory as he wafts at it. Speed saves him.
Gregory slices the next ball high into the floodlights and Maqsood stops the four rather than run in to take the catch. He says he lost sight of it. England run a single and Livingstone chisels out the last-ball yorker for another.
Livingstone has 82 off 36.
England need 72 off 30.
OVER 14: ENG 152/5 (Livingstone 74 Gregory 8) Target 233
Hasnain is swinging it and using it perceptively to stop England matching an already eye-watering rate. Yorkers, wider balls, inswinging ones aimed at the feet mean six runs off five balls but Livingstone then manages to use those writs to shovel a low full toss through midwicket for four.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 16, 2021
England need 81 from 36 balls.
OVER 13: ENG 142/5 (Livingstone 66 Gregory 4) Target 233
Babar brings Shadab back into the attack even though Livingstone is on strike and the Lancashire batsman clatters a cut for a single. Gregory gets off the mark with a flick through midwicket for two. The Somerset dasher uses his feet to chip one down the ground, more edge than meat. Shadab pushes it wider to Livingstone, and is called wide twice in three balls. Livingstone reverse slogs a single over the keeper with an ugly stroke. Gregory works a single into the onside and England look under the cosh now.
OVER 12: ENG 134/5 (Livingstone 66 Gregory 0) Target 233
Welcome to the party ... Morgan with that high backlift climbs into Imad and gets enough bat on it to clear midwicket. That ball travelled more horizontally than it did vertically. He must have been a gatecrasher as far as Pakistan are concerned because they've know slung him out with Rauf taking a good catch under the floodlights.
England need 99 off 48.
Morgan c Rauf b Imad 16 Having cleared midwicket ... but no' but just earlier in the over, he now holes out at deep backward square as he tried to accelerate. FOW 133/5
OVER 11: ENG 125/4 (Livingstone 64 Morgan 9) Target 233
Good over from Haris Rauf, keeping the batsmen quiet with yorkers, pace and swing. Four singles and a leg-bye. Morgan is going to have to come to the party soon.
No bat but it was missing leg stump.
Livingstone lbw b Rauf
OVER 10: ENG 120/4 (Livingstone 63 Morgan 6) Target 233
Imad returns. The left-arm spinner uses drift and swing more than turn. Livingstone thumps the first through cover for four, clearing that front leg to allow him to throw his shoulders through the line. Job done as far as the rate is concerned, they are happy to hustle four singles and a two off the next five balls.
Amazing that they've raced to 120 at halfway and yet there's still so much further to go.
OVER 9: ENG 110/4 (Livingstone 57 Morgan 2) Target 233
Morgan moves across his crease to tap a single down to long on off Shadab. Livingstone plays an extraordinary shot for six, breaking his supple wrists through the line to scud it low over mid-on. He raises his 50 off 17 balls, England's quickest in T20 history, with a swivel pull for four and celebrates his achievement with another six, opening his stance and his shoulders to thrash it low over mid-off.
Livingstone has remarkable power allied to a diamond nerve, quicksilver hands and Swiss timing.
OVER 8: ENG 92/4 (Livingstone 40 Morgan 1) Target 233
Livingstone winds up to scythe four off Hasnain over point, then slaps a drive for two through cover. A thick edge earns him a single, putting his captain on strike, who can't beat the infield off the next two balls before finally getting off the mark by bat-padding a length ball down to fine leg for one.
OVER 7: ENG 83/4 (Livingstone 33 Morgan 0) Target 233
Six more from Livingstone ... off Shadab's first ball, a pie. He swivels on the long hop googly and carts it over midwicket into the crowd. Is there something wrong with his grip? Is his hand too sweaty and the sanitiser applied every time it goes into the crwod making it too soggy to grip. One says this because he drags the next one down too and Livingstone launches it back into the stand at cow corner. He has 32 off 10 when he takes a single off the next ball, smoked down the ground but Shadab then chips in with a wicket, the currency that is pushing Pakistan to the threshold of victory however strong England's misnomered 'tail' might be.
Roy c Babar b Shadab 32 Closes the face a bit early on the googly and it flies off the leading edge to cover. FOW 82/4
OVER 6: ENG 69/3 (Roy 32 Livingstone 19) Target 233
Enter Haris Rauf who must have wished he was fielding off his own bolwing when Hasnain allows the ball through his hands at third man and into the crowd for six. Livingstone was beaten for pace but the thick edge took the ball that was supposed to be heading to midwicket on a diversion in the opposite direction.
He exploits the 'life' given to hum by Hasnain by thumping the next two balls for a four and a six, collaring both with pulls, the first a slower ball, the second at full pace.
OVER 5: ENG 50/3 (Roy 31 Livingstone 1) Target 233
Hasnain is called up. Right arm over, quick, hit the deck bowler with a good wrist. He dismisses Moeen and when Roy taps a single down to long on, he serves up a dot ball to Livingstone who gets away with a steer down to third man.
Moeen c Rauf b Hasnain 1 Superb catch running back at midwicket when Moeen top edged a pull. He leapt to snaffle it and collided with Shadab coming in the other direction but both seem to have hit each other with the well-upholstered parts of their bodies and get up laughing and uninjured. FOW 48/3
OVER 4: ENG 48/2 (Roy 30 Moeen 1) Target 233
Gorgeous shot from Bairstow starts Shaheen's second over, almost check-driving the slower ball over mid-on for six. Shaheen, understandably, reverts to pace bags a dot ball and then a wicket by cramping Bairstow on the pull.
Having crossed Roy takes a single to cover and Moeen, at last batting in his proper position, dabs a single to get off the mark to third man. Roy has to keep his pedal to the metal with this target and ends the over by climbing into a length ball angled across him and flogs it through cover for four.
Roy has 30 off 10 balls.
Moeen in at four. This is something many of us have long called for so he can take down spin through the middle. The smart thing for Pakistan to do now is give him no spin and attack him with heavy lengths & short balls. Cat and mouse. #ENGvPAK
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) July 16, 2021
Bairstow c Imad b Shaheen 11 Shaheen puts the pace back on, banged it in and Bairstow tried to fetch it at waist height and top edged it square leg running across. FOW 42/2
OVER 3: ENG 36/1 (Roy 25 Bairstow 5) Target 233
Imad will have a second over and Roy smashes the first ball out of the ground, stand and deliver style, over the bowler's head. On comes the third umpire with his briefcase of replacement balls.
Eventually Roy pulls Imad for a single down to long on, Bairstow punches a single through cover and then Roy goes berserk smiting the fifth ball over mid-on for six and into the second tier. The sixth ball is sent on a mission to Mars, swiping it after clearing his front leg over midwicket for six more.
OVER 2: ENG 16/1 (Roy 6 Bairstow 4) Target 233
Serious wheels from Shaheen, 90 mph plus after starting with five wides. He showcases pace on, knuckle balls, swing and varying his angle of delivery. After bagging Malan, they think they've got Bairstow throwing his hands at a drive and nicking off. But they don't review despite the seeming sincerity of their conviction that he hit it ... which he didn't. Shaheen ends the over with a bouncer that Bairstow tucks into greedily, pulling it witheringly for four.
Malan c & b Shaheen 1 Closed the face on a cut too early and carted it back up the pitch. Shaheen has plenty of ground to get there and pushes off his left leg in his followthrough to dive and scoop it off the grass. cutting his knuckles on the turf so badly he needs a plaster. FOW 12/1
OVER 1: ENG 7/0 (Malan 1 Roy 6) Target 233
The left-arm spinner opens the attack from round the wicket to the left-hander Malan who swings and misses at the first then chips the second to mid-off. Shaheen picked it up on the bounce though it looked like a fair catch at full speed and the Pakistan fielder immediately said he didn't know whether he had caught it cleanly or not.
Malan pierces the covers for a single, Roy drives straight to mid-off's feet for no run then gets off the mark with a back-foot hoick down the ground for two followed by a boundary 90 degrees away from where he was aiming. He was looking for cow corner but top edged the sweep over fine leg for four.
Imad will open the bowling.
The pitch is a road, the boundaries are ridiculously small on one side of the ground, Babar is the No1 ranked white-ball batsman in the world, Rizwan, Fakhar and Hafeez would be millionaire IPL batsmen but for the prejudice of the Indian government so 232, Pakistan's highest T20 total, is hardly a disgrace for England. And they have every prospect of making a good fist of the chase.
The key to climbing a summit as high as this one? Don't look up ...
Willey took one for 39, Saqib one for 46, Tom Curran two for 47 and Lewis Gregory one for 25. The spinners bowled six overs between them and were wicketless for 71 runs.
OVER 20: PAK 232/6 (Azam 5)
Saqib takes a wicket with his first ball. Azam Khan, son of Moin, crossed with Fakhar so takes strike on his international debut and pummels a drive for four. Saqib sprays a yorker outside the wide line and will have to bowl it again.
They run two leg byes when Azam wears the yorker on his big toe and the debutant fails to tuck into a full toss, slapping it for a single.
Imad walks over to the offside and scoops two. Moeen sprinted in 15 yards from the fine leg biundary but can't pouch it with a headlong dive. Would have been a heck of a catch. They run two.
One ball to come ... and England run out Imad.
Imad Wasim run out 3 Trying to turn the last ball of the innings into two was a kamikaze mission and Imad surrendered his wicket for a five per cent chance of an extra run but could not beat Roy's throw. FOW 232/6
Fakhar c Roy b Mahmood 26 Cloths a drive to mid-on off what looked very much like a gimme ball in the slot. FOW 221/5
OVER 19: PAK 221/4 (Fakhar 26)
Curran begins with a legside full toss as he went for the slower ball. Hafeez steers it with a flick of the wrists over deep backward square for six. The yorker keeps him quiet next ball but when Curran goes for it again and serves up an offside full toss that Hafeez slams over long off for six more. The yorker earns a second dot of the over.
Curran goes at full pelt for the fifth ball, trying to break the pattern of full toss-yorker-full toss- yorker (six-dot-six-dot) and indeed he does when Hafeez square drives for four but then ... the yorker again proves its enduring worth, knocking back leg stump.
Hafeez b Curran 24 Third yorker of the over does the trick. FOW 221/4
OVER 18: PAK 205/3 (Fakhar 26 Hafeez 8)
Fakhar's mission is to take Saqib down ... and take him down town, beginning in imperious fashion by smacking the attempted yorker which landed too soon over long on for six.
Fakhar thunders a drive down to long on for two, punches a single to cover and Hafeez slackens his bottom hand to drive square for a single.
Saqib tests Fakhar with another cutter and the left-hander slog sweeps it fine for six. That must be the biggest hit of the match.
Saqib tries the bouncer and Fakhar pulls it for six, off the top edge but no one cares about execution in this format. Only outcome counts. Twenty-two off the over.
OVER 17: PAK 183/3 (Fakhar 5 Hafeez 7)
Enter Hafeez, that master of wit and repartee. Willey continues with his skilful cutters, slower balls, judicious bouncer and use of the angles. Three runs and a wicket come off the first four balls, Hafeez popping a single off his hip then Fakhar control pulls a single down to square leg.
Had been a brilliant over in Hundred fashion but in this format there's a sixth ball and Hafeez waits for it and pulls the slower bouncer over 10 rows back at deep backward square.
Babar c Bairstow b Willey 85 The umpired didn't hear the edge in the Trent Bridge din but there was a little tickle as he chased the ball that Willey pushed further outside off than the batsman wanted. FOW 175/3
Babar c Bairstow b Willey
OVER 16: PAK 173/2 (Babar 83 Zaman 4)
Tom Curran returns and begins with a slower ball, right in Maqsood's arc and he murders it over midwicket for six. Curran tries the same length but at full pace, Maqsood clears his front leg and luanches it over cover for six more. Curran holds his nerve and pushes it on to the wide line, but on the legal side and Maqsood can only chop it to point for a single.
Maqsood is through the pull too quickly and Curran records a dot ball, a wicket with his next but the left hander Zaman begins with a deft dab for four.
Maqsood c Willey b Curran 19 Nailed the pull, fetching it from outside off but because he had to reach for it and roll his wrists late, he couldn't cuff it into the ground or launch it, arrowing it towards the midwicket sweeper who took a great catch with asbestos hands and looking into the sun. FOW 169/2
OVER 15: PAK 155/1 (Babar 83 Maqsood 5)
I said it looked like a 230 pitch/field. Stuart Broad says 190 is par at TB but these square boundaries at 57 yards are too short for international cricket really.
Gregory returns and resumes his cutters, Babar reads it and lamps the first ball over long on for six. Babar drills a single through cover, Rizwan mullers a full toss that slipped out of Gregory's hand, thumping it for four but, after a mid-pitch conflab, falls next ball to the revised strategy.
Enter Maqsood, the six-hitting Goliath of the PSL, and he slashes outside off, edging it close to the keeper. Bairstow dives to his right and is truck hard on the end of a finger. A chance, in truth, but a difficult one. Bairstow is both hurt and the ball flies off his glove for four.
Rizwan c Bairstow b Gregory 63 Limbo danced under the slower-ball biuncer to uppercut as it followed him into the legside and he feathered a top edge through to the keeper. FOW 150/1
OVER 14: PAK 139/0 (Rizwan 59 Babar 76)
Rizwan takes a big stride over to off stump and sweeps powerfully for four, prods a single off his legs and Babar then charges Parkinson, adjusts when it's fired at his feet and works it down the ground for two.
You can't dissuade Babar from taking to the dance floor. Down he comes again and smites a steepling six over midwicket then harpoons a cover drive for four.
Eighteeen off each of his final two overs for Parkinson who finishes with 4-0-47-0.
OVER 13: PAK 121/0 (Rizwan 54 Babar 63)
Eoin Morgan brings back David Willey. Rizwan brings up his fifty with a cross-bat swipe through midwicket off a shorter ball then plays a much classier flick off his toes for two more. Willey serves up a full toss that Rizwan picks up late and shovels through mid-on for a single. Babar steps way to leg and Willey follows him, cramping him for room so he can only jab a single off his hip and Rizwan alse takes a single when hoicking a yorker down to fine leg as he thought about trying to scoop it but bailed out.
OVER 12: PAK 111/0 (Rizwan 46 Babar 62)
There it goes. Babar drops to one knee and slog sweeps Parkinson for six. Decent length but he middled it and there was no stopping it. After Babar bunts a single down the ground, Rizwan follows his captain into the stands for a shell of a six, hit hard, flat and relatively low over square leg. Two twos and two singles make it 18 off the over.
OVER 11: PAK 93/0 (Rizwan 39 Babar 51)
Morgan perseveres with Livingstone and Rizwan plays a lovely dab down to third man for four, cutting it so fine he might have been using a cheesewire. Babar brings up his fifty off 35 balls with a whisk for two through midwicket, taking the second because Jason Roy had to run in 30 yards from the sweeper position on the rope.
Rizwan steps into the onside and Howitzers a four over cover.
OVER 10: PAK 80/0 (Rizwan 30 Babar 47)
Parkinson hauls it back England's way by defending the boundaries as the batsmen work him for singles into the onside. Willey makes a fine diving stop at midwicket to save four, they run two and Parkinson closes out the over with a pair of dot balls by watching Rizwan's feet and following him.
OVER 9: PAK 75/0 (Rizwan 29 Babar 43)
Interesting choice from Morgan who invites Livingstone - who has also dyed his hair in the manner of Yazz and the Plastic Population (ask your father) - to have a bowl. Three off his first four balls as Rizwan swings and misses but then connects, sweeping the leg-spinner on leg and middle over fine leg for four.
Rizwan ends the over with another four, a slog sweep through midwicket that races to the boundary.
And in one bound Rizwan was free.
OVER 8: PAK 64/0 (Rizwan 21 Babar 40)
Parkinson has a huge task in defending that tiny boundary at square leg and midwicket and it's mission accomplished in his first over as the Pakistan openers take him for six singles.
OVER 7: PAK 58/0 (Rizwan 18 Babar 37)
Gregory wraps his fingers across the seam, gives it a big rip and Rizwan pulls the cutter for a single. Babar tries the same stroke to another cutter bowled back of a length and into the pitch. The appeal sticks in Gregory's throat as it was obviously too high.
A third leg-cutter in succession is cuffed by Babar, fine for four. Two singles and a two - a rare thing but the pace of the ball, whisked rather than clobbered through midwicket, bought him the time.
Matt Parkinson to come on.
OVER 6: PAK 49/0 (Rizwan 14 Babar 32)
Babar racks up another streaky four off a thick edge as he drive and then late cuts for a single. Rizwan skips down the pitch and has a big yahoo at the ball, missing it entirely though disturbing the air all around the leather.
That's the opening Powerplay done.
Here comes Lewis Gregory.
OVER 5: PAK 43/0 (Rizwan 13 Babar 27)
Saqib has a dart from the End and he starts with a good line and one superb yorker, yielding four singles. There's not enough grass to allow the batsmen to run twos.
Beuatiful bowling, an adjective that isn't diminished by a jammy four off the fifth ball. Babar was aiming for extra-cover, it tailed in and he inside-edged it in a Chinese/French cut style, beating short fine leg.
That wicket is a belter! 56m boundary on one side,good luck to the bowlers. #ENGvPAK
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) July 16, 2021
Good point: though as Richie would always say, 'It's a pitch, mate.'
OVER 4: PAK 33/0 (Rizwan 11 Babar 20)
Tom Curran replaces Saqib, looking ever more like he ought to be in Platoon with his bandanna. The first ball beats Babar as it jags away and, after they take a single into the onside, Curran hits Rizwan who went down on one knee trying to scoop him over fine leg. It strikes him on the clavicle. After treatment he gets back up and Curran tries the slower ball, which Rizwan top edges over short fine leg for four.
OVER 3: PAK 26/0 (Rizwan 6 Babar 18)
After a wide, swinging down the legside and a stolen leg-bye which may have gone for buzzers had Curran not been backing up, Babar drives four through cover, the ball right under his nose. Oh hello!. He's in the mood now, walks down and smashes Willey through wide mid-on for four more, picking the inswinger.
He stays at home next ball for the first return, whipping a leg-glance from his crease for four. Short boundaries and a slick outfield provide plutocratic dividends for every well-timed stroke.
Willey pins him with the last ball and says he thought it might be high when the umpire turns down his appeal. Morgan reviews it nonetheless and should have listened to his team-mate. It pitched in line but would have climbed over leg stump.
OVER 2: PAK 11/0 (Rizwan 6 Babar 5)
After an age, the people behind the bowler's arm finally sit down and we can resume.
Rizwan drives all around one that nips back, beating him on the inside edge. Rizwan rocks on to the back foot to drive to cover who stops the single but not the next stroke which is too wide from Saqib and is thrashed through point off the front foot for four. A thick edge down to third man allows Rizwan to stroll to the non-striker's.
Babar can't beat the infield when Saqib serves up a wide pie. Reprieve for the bowler. Just the single for Babar with a flick to square leg.
57% of David Willey’s T20 bowling has been in the Powerplay, and he dominates, taking a wicket every 19.3 balls. In T20 history, no bowler has a better strike rate in this phase (min 1500 deliveries). #ENGvPAK
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) July 16, 2021
OVER 1: PAK 5/0 (Rizwan 1 Babar 4)
David Willey begins with a couple of dot balls. Rizwan drops the first into the offside. Babar wants a single but Rizwan rightly sends him back. The second keeps low and swings away as Rizwan follows it with his hands but doesn't come close to nicking it.
Rizwan thick edges a drive for a single wide of fourth slip down to third man. Babar does nick the next one and it does appear to carry to Malan, diving low to his right at slip. It went in and out of his cupped hands as they grazed the ground. Willey swings the next back into Pakistan's captain and he edges his drive, bisecting slip and keeper and scuttling for four.
Good over. Healthy dose of streak for Pakistan against the swinging ball.
Saqib will share new ball duties,
Out come England
In their red and blue shirts. Flames are spurted into the air. Tiny boundary square of the wicket. It ought to be a 230 ground.
David Willey will open the bowling.
When did Jason Roy dye his hair?
Or more pertinently ... why?
He looks more like KP than ever with that barnet.
Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain.
England Roy, Malan, Bairstow (w/k), Livingstone, Moeen, Morgan (capt), Gregory, T Curran, Willey, Mahmood, Parkinson.
Eoin Morgan has won the toss
And has put Pakistan in to bat.
World T20 draw
Was made today for the tournament which will now be staged in Oman and the UAE. England are in Group A with Australia, South Africa and West Indies plus two qualifiers. It starts on Oct 17 and the final is on Nov 17. Each side will play five group games and the top two from each group will qualify for the semi-finals.
Mahmood and Gregory earn World Cup audition
By Scyld Berry
It is the last-chance dressing-room for England’s T20 cricketers when they take on Pakistan in three internationals, with the best players back in contention after being forced to isolate during the ODI series.
England have to announce their provisional squad for the T20 World Cup in September, and there is no other home series before then. A player might be injured when they play warm-up T20 internationals in Bangladesh and Pakistan ahead of the World Cup, but essentially the dice will be cast by the end of next week.
“The priority in this series will be to give guys an opportunity,” Eoin Morgan said. “I think roles will be the same but there will be rotation throughout the squad.”
Morgan cited Saqib Mahmood and Lewis Gregory as notable additions to his T20 squad after their outstanding performances in the ODI series against Pakistan. “They’ve done themselves the world of good,” Morgan said.
It might be too late for Gregory. To participate in the T20 World Cup he would have to displace Ben Stokes, who has been stood down after captaining England to a brilliantly executed 3-0 victory in the ODIs. “He dug us out of a huge hole by coming back the way he did,” Morgan acknowledged, “but his finger hasn’t come along as he and his medical team would have liked.”
It might not be too late for Saqib, the player of the ODI series against Pakistan, and full of confidence after being given the new ball by Stokes. England could do with another wicket-taker in the T20 powerplays of the next World Cup. Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes can take care of two overs each, and Sam Curran another, but there is a vacancy for someone to take a wicket in the sixth of those overs.
Or, what would really augment Morgan's armoury, would be for Saqib to bowl two of the first six overs and thereby free up Archer to bowl the last three overs from one end.
It seems a little strange that Phil Salt has not been given a chance to make a late run for England’s T20 squad after his hitting in the ODIs badly ruffled Pakistan’s new-ball bowlers. A top order of Salt, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow would not concede many dot-balls.
But Liam Livingstone has been given another chance to stake his claim ahead of Dawid Malan as a batsman who can bowl two overs of spin - legbreaks to righthanders and offbreaks to lefthanders. In the T20 series against Sri Lanka Livingstone was a useful card for Morgan to introduce, after the Powerplay, because he could keep Adil Rashid back for four of the last five overs from one end.
Pakistan in the ODI series were as feeble as Sri Lanka had been in both of their white-ball series, but they will not be keen to go home without a single victory.
Or maybe it is not so much a question of Pakistan and Sri Lanka being ordinary as England’s first and second elevens being extraordinary in white-ball cricket. The visiting batsmen and fielders have been so pedantic by comparison with England now, but not with the England of six years ago and more.
Morgan, forced to watch England playing on television for once while isolating during the ODIs against Pakistan, said it was “hugely satisfying” to watch the new generation play the same fearless brand of cricket that Morgan’s men had espoused. From Salt rubbing it into Pakistan’s new-ball bowlers, and the match-winning partnership between Gregory and James Vince, to Saqib operating with up to four slips, England attacked as they had never dreamed of attacking before the 2015 50-over World Cup. “Everyone in the group (those isolating and watching on TV) were proud,” Morgan said, and so they should have been.
Possible England XI J Roy, J Buttler (wkt), J Bairstow, E Morgan (capt), L Livingstone, M Ali, L Gregory, D Willey, C Jordan, A Rashid, S Mahmood.