Pakistan edge England in thriller to level series

Published September 26, 2022
KARACHI: Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan cuts during his 88-run knock in the fourth T20 International against England at the National Stadium on Sunday.
—Tahir Jamal/White Star
KARACHI: Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan cuts during his 88-run knock in the fourth T20 International against England at the National Stadium on Sunday. —Tahir Jamal/White Star

KARACHI: In a match that saw momentum swing wildly from one team to another and back throughout, it was Pakistan who were smiling in the end.

At the National Stadium here, when Shan Masood was completing his dive to dislodge the stumps at the bowler’s end, things felt like going into slow motion, before the capacity crowd at the venue erupted into unbridled celebration as the bails flickered.

Pakistan had won, England falling short of three runs with as many balls to go. The hosts had restored their pride and levelled the seven-match series 2-2 before it shifts to Lahore.

England’s job was to chase just 167 runs — which on another day of the series should have been a paltry one — after Pakistan’s struggled to find their feet following a solid start by openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

The middle-order problems prevailed. Those problems could have been the talking point again, had Liam Dawson finished the job he started so well.

The all-rounder, arriving at the crease in the 15th over, with England needing 51 off 30, smashed pacer Mohammad Hasnain for 24 runs in the 18th over, which featured a straight six, a boundary past point, a no ball, a four off the free hit and two more boundaries over third man and through the leg-side.

It looked over for Pakistan and the members of the crowd gradually started to walk out with England needing just nine in the remaining two overs.

Dawson smashed Haris Rauf for another boundary on the second delivery of the penultimate over before finding substitute Mohammad Haris on the edge of the ring. The bails flew again next ball, as Haris cleaned up Olly Stone.

England needed just four off the final over but there was always danger with the hosts one wicket away from a loss. And it came in the most unpredictable ways as far as Pakistan are concerned with Shan’s extraordinary fielding effort, giving Babar’s men a much needed win.

Pakistan couldn’t have even thought of being in such a position deep into the match had it not been for early England wickets. The visitors lost openers Phil Salt and Alex Hales and Will Jacks by the end of the second over, which saw Hasnain dismiss the latter two.

ENGLAND captain Moeen Ali is cleaned up by Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz during the fourth T20.—AFP
ENGLAND captain Moeen Ali is cleaned up by Pakistan spinner Mohammad Nawaz during the fourth T20.—AFP

Early dismissals meant England’s heroes from the previous match Ben Duckett and Harry Brook were on the crease before they are normally expected to.

Duckett hit five boundaries against Mohammad Wasim Jr and Hasnain between the third and the fifth over. Brook was dropped by Mohammad Nawaz at cover off Haris while playing at four and by the end of the powerplay, England were 50-3.

Nawaz, however, returned to make up for his mistake in the 10th over, trapping Duckett lbw at 33 off 24 before the dismissal was confirmed by a DRS.

The left-arm spinner though came under fire again when he conceded 19 runs in the 10th over, which saw Brook clear the cover boundary and the arriving England captain Moeen Ali sweeping for a four and launching for his first six, taking his team to 82-4 halfway through the innings.

Moeen hit three more boundaries in the next four overs before Nawaz castled him at 29 off 20, with England needing 59 in the remaining six.

It was Brook’s dismissal in the 15th off Wasim, after the right-hander had scored 34 off 29, that brought Pakistan back in the game.

The next over, which was a show of perfect yorkers by Hasnain saw England manage only six runs before Willey scooped Haris for two fours and lost his stumps, thanks to another yorker, allowing Dawson to take over.

Earlier, after being put in to bat, Pakistan openers Babar and Rizwan took what looked like a risk-free approach to give the side a decent start.

Rizwan got the hosts off and running when he swept slow left-armer Dawson for Pakistan’s first boundary before punishing wayward deliveries by pacer Topley through both sides of the wicket and guiding debutant Stone through the gap between England wicket-keeper Salt and the third-man fielder.

Babar scored his first boundary in the fifth over, cutting Dawson past point.Pakistan were 52-0 by the last over of the powerplay, which saw Rizwan play a beautiful straight drive off a low full toss by Stone.

Following the Pakistan captain’s departure, when he found Duckett at midwicket off Dawson in the 12th over, Rizwan and the incoming Shan failed to capitalise on the solid start and found it hard to play strokes.

The duo did put up a 52-run partnership, but that came in 40 balls in the crucial period between the 12th and the 19th over, hitting just three boundaries between them.

Rizwan finally lost his wicket in the final over of the innings after hitting nine fours and six in his 88 of 67 balls before a Asif Ali’s three-ball 13, which featured two massive sixes off Topley, took Pakistan to 166.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN:

Mohammad Rizwan c Hales b Topley 88

Babar Azam c Duckett b Dawson 36

Shan Masood lbw b Willey 21

Khushdil Shah c Moeen b Topley 2

Asif Ali not out 13

Mohammad Nawaz not out 1

EXTRAS (LB-3, NB-1, W-1) 5

TOTAL (for four wickets, 20 overs) 166

DID NOT BAT: Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Wasim

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-97 (Babar), 2-149 (Shan), 3-152 (Khushdil), 4-152 (Rizwan)

BOWLING: Dawson 4-0-32-1, Topley

4-0-37-2, Stone 4-0-36-0 (1nb), Rashid 4-0-27-0, Willey 4-0-31-1 (1w)

ENGLAND:

P. Salt c Wasim b Nawaz 8

A. Hales c Usman b Hasnain 5

W. Jacks b Hasnain 0

B. Duckett lbw b Nawaz 33

H. Brook c Hasnain b Wasim 34

Moeen Ali b Nawaz 29

D. Willey not out 1

L. Dawson c sub b Haris 34

Adil Rashid not out 3

O. Stone b Haris 0

R. Topley run out (Shan) 0

EXTRAS (LB-3, W-2, NB-1) 6

TOTAL (all out, 19.2 overs) 163

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-8 (Salt), 2-13 (Hales), 3-14 (Jacks), 4-57 (Duckett), 5-106 (Moeen), 6-113 (Brook), 7-130 (Willey), 8-162 (Dawson), 9-162 (Stone)

BOWLING: Nawaz 4-0-35-3 (1w), Hasnain 4-0-40-2 (1nb), Wasim 3.2-0-30-1 (1w), Haris 4-0-32-3, Iftikhar 4-0-23-0

RESULT: Pakistan won by three runs.

SERIES: The seven match series is tied 2-2.

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Haris Rauf.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022

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