Pakistan Vs England 4th T20I 2022: How One Of The Most Thrilling T20I 2022 Ever Went Down
England is touring Pakistan for seven T20Is which seemed like a series too long, but critics won’t have to worry about its length if both sides continue to pull off such contests.
A game that was done and dusted for Pakistan came back in England’s lap before the hosts took charge again and won a last-over thriller by three runs to send the jam-packed Karachi crowd in a frenzy.
In pursuit of 167, England was bundled out for 164. The teams are now 2-2 and will head over to Lahore for the three remaining games.
Pakistan Cricket Team Openers Turn Up Again
It has become a routine to see captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan put up 50+ run partnerships for Pakistan.
They have been opening together in T20Is for a couple of years or so, but have already managed to cross the 2,000-run mark, making them the only pair to do so.
They have 14 partnerships of 50 or more, one more than KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma’s.
They set a solid platform for the Men in Green on Sunday as well where they scored 82 runs in the first 10 overs. It has been observed that Rizwan and Babar both complement each other when the other is struggling to hit the boundary cushions.
Usually, Rizwan takes charge in powerplay overs while Babar takes his time and the roles reverse in the middle overs where the Pakistan captain makes up for it with a flurry of boundaries on both sides of the ground while Rizwan pushes for hard doubles.
England Cricket Team's Bowlers Tighten Screws Around Rizwan
Rizwan was the top scorer on either side with a sensational 88, scoring nine fours and a six.
However, he has again been scrutinized by the fans for not playing at a great strike rate. Rizwan’s temperament in the game changed after Babar departed for 36.
He was unable to find gaps and a strike rate of 131 for a batter who faced 67 balls was perhaps a tad low. Rizwan scored only 38 runs in the last 29 balls he faced.
While he was applauded for bringing up his 19th T20I fifty, Rizwan may have to work on his strike rate in the middle overs.
England’s spinners and pacers worked their way around the wicketkeeper-batsman, keeping him in check and not bowling in his arc.
Pakistan had nine wickets in hand in the second half of the first inning, but the lack of boundaries irked the fans, who wanted him and Shan Masood to either go big or go home.
Brain-Fade Move From Pakistan Camp
With only nine balls left in the first inning, the cricket fans were stunned to see Khushdil Shah walk in. Shah has been out of form since the Asia Cup, unable to play the game-changing knocks he has been expected to replicate from his performances in the domestic circuit.
He hasn’t quite got going in front of quality bowling lineups yet and didn’t trouble the England bowlers on Sunday too. Reece Topley got him caught in the 30-yard circle to his skipper Moeen Ali.
After Shah was gone for 2 (3), Asif Ali walked in and smoked two huge sixes to Topley. He went back into the crease and judged the left-arm quick’s slower ball to perfection to send a mammoth six into the National Stadium crowd brimming with the Karachi crowd.
His 13* off 3 had the fans question the decision of the Pakistan team’s management to send him after Shah.
England Cricket Have A New Middle Order Duo In Town
Ben Duckett and Harry Brook are giving some serious headaches to England’s selectors with their incredible performances against Babar Azam’s men in this series.
Both young guns have turned up in almost every T20I so far, toying with Pakistan’s spinners and the pace cartel.
One of the batters may have to take the bench with Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone back into the side, but for now, they’re here to entertain.
Duckett has been sensational when it comes to sweeping Mohammad Nawaz and Usman Qadir particularly. No matter what length you bowl at him, he will either sweep fine, reverse sweep or in the worst case; resort to the switch hit to make you ponder your length.
Brooks has been more offensive against the pacers in particular. He likes to play lofted drives down the ground, using his timing more than his wrists or power to send the ball into the crowd for sixes.
While Brooks has been picked for the England team that will play the T20 World Cup in Australia next month, it is unsure if he will get to feature in the A-team despite a series of key performances against Babar Azam’s side.
Liam Dawson Plays A Blinder
Dawson’s 34 off 17 was the best knock on either side in terms of strike rate and the situation of the game, but just insufficient to take his team home. With 33 needed in the last three overs, he struck six and four fours off Mohammad Hasnain’s final over.
He then hit a four in the penultimate over before Haris Rauf got him caught on the very next ball.
Like Brook, Dawson has made hay of his experience playing in the Pakistan Super League. He is familiar with what length to bowl and how to go about scoring runs in such conditions.
Haris Rauf Too Good For The England Cricket Team’s Tail
With 24 runs conceded in the 18th over, Rauf was put in to defend nine runs in 12 balls. He ended up dismissing Dawson and debutant Olly Stone while leaving five runs for the final over.
For his 3/32, the Lahore Qalandars quick was named Player of the Match.
Rauf is one of the only bowlers in the international arena to bowl at 150km/h or higher. What makes him a potent weapon for Pakistan are his disguised slower balls which batters are usually unable to pick.
Even England quick Mark Wood is a fan of Rauf’s slower balls and is keen on learning the skill from the PSL star.
"He's someone that's my height, my pace, skiddy" Wood said before the 4th T20I. "And he has an excellent slower ball. His arm speed for his slower ball is very good and that's something I'm not good at and would like to get better at. Maybe I'll chat to him and see if he's willing to share some secrets."
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