Masterful Morgan leads England to victory in record chase against Pakistan

Published August 30, 2020
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, reacts after hitting a boundary during the second Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan  at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30. — AP
England's captain Eoin Morgan, left, reacts after hitting a boundary during the second Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30. — AP
Mohammad Hafeez plays a shot before he is caught by England's captain Eoin Morgan during the second Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30. — AP
Mohammad Hafeez plays a shot before he is caught by England's captain Eoin Morgan during the second Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30. — AP

England captain Eoin Morgan belted a blistering half-century as England chased down a record target at Old Trafford to beat Pakistan by five wickets in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday.

Pakistan posted 195 for four in their 20 overs on a flat wicket, but the home side completed their victory with five balls to spare and a take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Morgan blasted 66 from 33 balls to secure the win in what is the highest chase in any form of 20-over cricket at Old Trafford.

Jonny Bairstow (44 from 24 balls) and Tom Banton (20 from 16 balls) got their side off to a fast start with an opening stand of 66 in 38 deliveries, but when they fell in consecutive balls to spinner Shadab Khan (3-34), the home side appeared to wobble.

But Morgan and Dawid Malan (54 not out in 36 balls) led the counter-attack and accelerated as their third-wicket partnership grew, finishing with 112 in 62 balls before the skipper was caught in the deep with the side still needing 18 runs to win.

Pakistan also got their runs at the top of the order as opener Babar Azam smashed 56 from 44 balls in an opening stand of 72 with Fakhar Zaman (36 from 22 balls).

Number three Mohammad Hafeez carried on that momentum with a blistering assault on the home bowlers, who struggled to find the right length and too often dropped too short, exposing the square boundaries.

Hafeez struck four sixes in his 69 from 36 balls before offering a simple catch to Morgan at cover.

The pick of the England bowlers was leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who recorded figures of 2-32 as he picked up the wickets of both openers.

The third and final match in the series will be at the same venue on Tuesday. The first match was abandoned due to rain.

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