KARACHI: Twenty-four hours later, Pakistan were blown away. Faced with a bigger, more daunting target, they couldn’t muster a response.
Only Shan Masood offered any semblance of resistance, his 66 not out sparing Pakistan a bigger margin of defeat.
This will lead to more questions over the fragility of Pakistan’s middle order.
A record stand between captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan had helped Pakistan level the seven-match series against England at 1-1 on Thursday night.
When the duo fell quickly on Friday, this was a chance for the middle order to rise to the ocassion. Apart from Shan, no one made most of the chance on offer as Pakistan succumbed to a 63-run loss in the third Twenty20 International.
This time, there was an eerie silence at the National Stadium. Packed to the brim for the third game in a row, the home fans first saw their bowlers hit to all parts of the ground — explosive unbeaten half-centuries by Hary Brook (81) and Ben Duckett (70) powering England to 221-3 — before looking on as their batters fell like dominoes.
“We didn’t bowl well and once we had 222 to chase we needed a good start but losing four wickets inside six overs wasn’t ideal,” said Babar. “We need to fix that in the next game.”
England skipper Moeen Ali, meanwhile, hailed a “brilliant win”.
“We were ruthless with the bat and the way Brook and Duckett batted they showed they are two very good young players and then the bowling was outstanding,” he said.
The fit-again England fast bowler Mark Wood (3-24) was unrelenting and once he sent Babar — who hit a memorable ton a day earlier — back to pavilion early on, Pakistan never looked like hitting back.
In contrast, England had gone off to a flying start thanks to Will Jacks, whose 40 off 22 deliveries was laced with eight fours. After losing his opening partner Phil Salt early, before also seeing Dawid Malan fall, Jacks became England’s third batter to be dismissed when he was undone by Usman Qadir’s googly.
He’d nevertheless set the tone for an onslaught by Brook and Duckett. England were 89-3 at the halfway stage of their innings but Brook danced down the wicket twice to launch two towering sixes off Usman in the 11th before Duckett swept for two more boundaries off Mohamamd Nawaz in the next over, the slow left-armer’s last.
Two more boundaries followed in the 13th over bowled by Usman and Pakistan’s hopes that the duo would relent with the reintroduction of pace in the 14th were quickly dashed as Brook hooked Haris Rauf for a massive six.
Duckett showed it wasn’t only playing spin that he was so good at, when he exposed his off stump and scooped Mohammad Hasnain for his first boundary off a fast bowler.
It was then Shahnawaz Dahani’s turn to face the fire and the pacer conceded 16 runs as Brook used his pace to guide the ball past the wicket-keeper and then through gully for two boundaries. The right-hander then smashed Dahani for a huge six over mid-wicket before squeezing a yorker for another four through the offside to bring up his maiden T20I 50 in 24 balls.
Duckett too registered his first international 50 in the following over, bringing it up in 31 balls before taking on Hasnain for his first six and following it with another boundary.
Dahani conceded 19 runs in his last over to register the second most expensive figures by a Pakistani in T20Is, leaking 62 runs in four overs.Duckett and Brook’s partnership of 139 off 69 balls was the highest by a fourth wicket pair for England.
Pakistan had to start off like they did in the previous game to match the mammoth score, the highest ever scored against them.
Babar looked like he was in the mood when he smashed Wood through the covers for his first boundary, but ended up finding Reece Topley at third man to depart after scoring only eight runs.
Rizwan then missed a slower one by Topley — the left-armer playing his first match of the series — and saw his stumps dislodged after scoring eight.
Wood returned to surprise Haider Ali, who came in at three, surprising the right-hander with a bouncer and creating a catching opportunity at square-leg which Adil Rashid grabbed with both hands.
The dismissal saw Shan walk on to the crease just before Iftikhar Ahmed miscued a hit off Sam Curran to go off.
Khushdil Shah (29) joined Shan as the stands started to empty but the departing fans missed a decent effort by the duo after Pakistan were 29-4 by the end of the powerplay.
The pair scored 42 runs in the next four overs to take Pakistan to 75-4 by the tenth over.
However, after Khushdil found Brook at long-on off Adil Rashid in the 12th, any hopes there were for Pakistan were all but over. Shan did bring up his maiden T20 half-century off 28 balls in the 16th over, but by then it was too late for the hosts.
P. Salt c Nawaz b Hasnain 8
W. Jacks c Nawaz b Usman 40
D. Malan c Haider b Usman 14
B. Duckett not out 70
H. Brook not out 81
EXTRAS (LB-2, W-6) 8
TOTAL (for three wickets, 20 overs) 221
DID NOT BAT: Moeen Ali, S. Curran, L. Dawson, Adil Rashid, M. Wood, R. Topley
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-18 (Salt), 2-61 (Malan), 3-82 (Jacks)
BOWLING: Hasnain 4- 0-36-1 (2w), Nawaz 4-0-34-0, Dahani 4- 0-62-0 (2w), Haris 4-0-39 (1w) Usman 4-0-48-2
Babar Azam c Topley b Wood 8
Mohammad Rizwan b Topley 8
Haider Ali c Rashid b Wood 3
Shan Masood not out 66
Mohammad Nawaz c Brook b Rashid 19
Iftikhar Ahmed c Topley b Curran 6
Khushdil Shah c Brook b Rashid 29
Usman Qadir run out Moeen 0
Haris Rauf c Curran b Wood 4
Mohammad Hasnain not out 2
EXTRAS (LB-5, NB-1, W-3) 9
TOTAL (for eight wickets, 20 overs) 157
DID NOT BAT: S. Dahani
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-17 (Babar), 2-21 (Rizwan), 3-21 (Haider), 4-28 (Iftikhar), 5-90 (Khushdil), 6-142 (Nawaz), 7-143 (Usman), 8-149 (Haris)
BOWLING: Dawson 1-0-7-0, Topley 4-0-22-1, Wood 4-0-25-3 (1w), Curran 4-0-37-1 (2w), Rashid 4-0-32-2, Moeen 3-0-30-0 (1nb)
RESULT: England won the match by 63 runs.
SERIES: England lead the seven match series 2-1.
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Harry Brook.
Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022