Rizwan and Bowlers Star In Another Cracker of A Game
Pakistan looked 10 to 15 runs short at the end of their batting innings, but they still managed to get over the line.
Pakistani Top Order Struggled to Make Use of Powerplay
Woakes and Willey started with tidy line and length as Babar and Rizwan struggled to get on a move. Next up, Wood came in to bowl the 3rd over and proved too good for Babar as the latter pulled a 150 kph delivery straight into the hands of square leg.
Shan came in to join Rizwan, but the struggle continued on a slow pitch and a soggy field. Shan played a nothing shot and lost his wicket in the 6th over, and Pakistan was reduced to 42 for 2 after the powerplay.
Short Ball Ploy Made Life for Pakistani Batters
Quite unexpectedly, the Lahore pitch produced a steep bounce, and Pakistani batters looked in all sorts of troubles against short-pitch bowling. Just like Babar, Haider also fell to a bouncer from Wood as Pakistan posted 66 for 3 in 10 overs.
Rizwan tried to break the shackles after the halfway stage by hitting a six and a boundary in the next 7 balls. However, Iftikhar also got out in the 12th over by cutting a short ball straight to Malan at the point.
The Usual Middle Order Struggle
Asif Ali was sent in at #6 to put pressure back on England by getting some quick runs. But, after hitting a boundary to Wood, he exposed his stumps to a 151 kph yorker which made a mess of them. Nawaz was the next one to go, courtesy of his absolute madness.
He was run out while running casually, and Pakistan was in deep, deep trouble. Things turned from bad to worse as Shadab also lost his wicket being run out.
Rizwan – the lone warrior – kept fighting hard and brought up another half-century of just 37 deliveries. However, he kept losing partners as the 8th wicket fell at the end of the 16th over. The score was 118 for 8 with 24 deliveries still left in the 1st innings. He kept fighting before falling in the 18th over for a top-quality knock of 63 runs.
Pakistan crumbled to 145, all out in 19 overs, to set England an apparently below-par target to chase.
Pakistani Bowlers Dominate Another Batting Powerplay
In reply, English top order wobble continued as Nawaz sent Hales back in the 1st over. Then, Hales got caught at the square leg boundary of a short ball from Haris Rauf. So, England was 2 down for 19 in the 4th over.
Ben Duckett arrived at the crease and started his innings on a high. He played a couple of gorgeous off drives of Haris Rauf to keep the scorecard moving. However, his stay at the crease didn’t last long as Waseem got him caught by Shan Masood in the next over.
David Malan didn’t look troubled by the stuff happening on the other end. He was 25* off 21 as England closed the powerplay at 42 for 3 – the exact score as it was for Pakistan – with an extra wicket lost.
Shadab and Iftikahr Spun A Web
After the fielding restrictions were lifted, the spinners tightened the screws and made the batters earn every run. Shadab troubled Brooks with his flippers and finally trapped him in front with a sharp googly to give Pakistan a crucial breakthrough. The skipper arrived at the crease as England were 58 for 4 at the halfway stage.
The slowness of the track made things harder for England as well set Malan also departed in the 12th over.
Pacers Holding Their Nerves To Seal Another Close Win
Sam Curran arrived at the crease and showed some intent, but the debutant Amir Jamal got his wicket on the 2nd delivery of his spell. Another thriller was on the cards as England required 58 of the final 5 overs with just 4 wickets left.
The next 2 overs added 18 runs, leaving Moeen and England 40 to get off the last 3. The next 2 overs went for 25 runs, and England needed 15 off the last 6 with Moeen still there.
The debutant Aamer Jamal was given the final over and exhibited an exceptional display of wide yorkers to win the game for Pakistan. The English skipper was stranded on 51*(37) as Pakistan celebrated winning another thriller.
After winning 2 consecutive matches, Pakistan now leads this T20I series by 3–2. Two games are still left in this series, and the next one will be played at the same venue and at the same time on Friday.