England v Pakistan NatWest IT20 - Emirates Old Trafford
Pakistan ease to comfortable victory at Emirates Old Trafford
Pakistan produced a dominant display to win this one-off NatWest International T20 in comfortable style by nine wickets and with 31 balls to spare.
Despite a good start England’s innings never took off once openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy were parted, with Pakistan producing an outstanding bowling and fielding display to restrict the England innings to a below par 135-7.
The visitors’ openers then made light work of chasing their 136-run target.
Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bat with England playing the same eleven that featured in the World T20 Final against West Indies in Kolkata last April.
Following a quiet first over from Imad Wasim that saw just two singles scored, Alex Hales and Jason Roy cut loose, bringing up their 50 partnership off 37 balls with some typically powerful shots.
Roy drove Sohail Tanvir for the first six of the evening midway through the third over before falling lbw for 21 to left arm spinner Imad after missing a reverse sweep to leave England on 56-1 in the 7th over.
Two wickets in two balls followed to give Pakistan the early advantage, Hales playing all around a pitched up delivery from Imad to be bowled for 37, before Joe Root steered the next delivery from Hasan Ali to Shoaib Malik at third man after making 6 with the total on 67-3 after one ball of the 10th over.
Jos Buttler, playing in his 50th T20 match for England, struck a couple of nice boundaries in his 16 off 15 balls but was fourth out when he drove a 96.3mph delivery from Wahab Riaz to sub fielder Amad Butt at deep cover with England now struggling on 93-4 after 13.1 overs.
The Pakistan attack made a great job of tying England down with Imad Wasim bowling his four overs for 2-17, and they forced home their advantage during the remaining overs.
Ben Stokes went cheaply for 4 after pulling Hasan to Babar Azam at deep mid-wicket and skipper Morgan followed for 14 after edging behind to Sarfraz off Wahab to leave England on 110-6 after 15.5 overs.
In fact England failed to score a boundary between the end of 10th over and the third ball of the 18th over when David Willey pulled Hasan to mid-wicket as the home side stuttered to a final total of 135-7, Willey caught at deep mid-off by Shoaib off Wahab for 12 in the final over.
Wahab finished with 3-18 from his four overs and was named Man of the Match.
By contrast, the Pakistan innings was an explosive affair with openers Sharjeel Khan, who has signed to play T20 for Leicestershire next season, and Khalid Latif hitting the England attack all around Emirates Old Trafford.
Eight boundaries were taken from the first 17 deliveries from Willey and Chris Jordan to set the tone of the innings and the 50 partnership arrived from just 28 balls.
Sharjeel then pulled Stokes for six over backward square leg before twice striking Adil Rashid into the stands at long-on, the second six bringing up the batsman’s fifty from 30 balls.
It was one-way traffic and the game had gone away from England long before the 100 partnership arrived three balls into the 11th over.
Sharjeel departed for 59 after top edging a big hit off Rashid that was caught by Moeen, but Latif saw Pakistan to their target, reaching his own fifty with a six off Moeen to finish on 59 not out.
Babar Azam cut Liam Plunkett for four in the 15th over to seal a convincing and deserved victory.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh
England at Emirates Old Trafford in 2017
England return to international cricket at Emirates Old Trafford in 2017 for another explosive affair in Manchester. The Three Lions will face a stern test next summer with South Africa and the West Indies both coming to town for a much anticipated summer of cricket.
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