Here’s How England Cricket Outplayed Pakistan Cricket To Level T20I Series
Moeen Ali's men chased down the 170-run target with 5.3 overs in hand after the England cricket openers gave them momentum from the beginning.
Comparatively, Pakistan cricket had a slower start to their inning where they lost debutant Mohammad Haris in only the second over.
Pakistan Cricketer Babar's Efforts Go In Vain
With Muhammad Rizwan benched in this game for the first time for apparently giving Haris a chance, it was Babar Azam who stood up to the ranks.
He has been under the radar for a while despite scoring his second T20I ton in the same series, but his 87 not out spoke volumes of his class.
Starting slowly in the powerplay as he usually does, the Pakistan cricket skipper rotated the strike and settled for a few runs as wickets kept tumbling from the other end.
Later, he formed small partnerships with Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz where he smacked a good few boundaries in quick successions, including two big sixes in the final over to Reece Topley.
Although his knock went in vain as the hosts lost the game by a big margin, the Pakistan camp will be happy to see him cracking shots on both sides of the ground before the World Cup kicks off in Australia next month.
England Cricket Sam Curran Schools The Batters
When almost every England cricket bowler was being taken to the cleaners in the first inning, Curran looked like he was bowling on a different wicket.
He was bamboozling the Pakistan cricket batters with variations and also kept changing his length to keep them at bay.
Even Babar was visibly having a hard time having a go at the 24-year-old Englishman.
He was the most economical bowler (6.5) on either side, finishing his quota with stunning figures of 2/26. He dismissed Haider Ali and Iftikhar in the contest.
How Many More Respites For Haider And Shan?
In the six games, Shan Masood and Haider Ali haven't lived up to expectations. Masood managed to get a half-century in the third T20I in the losing cause but Haider hasn't even come close to a fifty yet.
They're both being played at number 3 and 4, interchanging their places to see who fits which position the best. The left-handed batter was dismissed on a second-ball duck while Haider returned to the hut on 18 despite looking like a million dollars for the 14 balls he faced.
Masood was added to the team on the back of a sensational Vitality Blast and County stint this year. He has been touted to solve Pakistan's woes in the middle order, but he may not be able to retain his spot if he continues to throw his wickes the way he has been.
He is known for being a textbook player, but he has often been dismissed in this series while trying to pull something extraordinary off, something he isn't known for as he goes about playing reverse sweeps and scoops only to get caught or trapped on the pads.
This could be Haider's last chance as well. Unlike Masood who takes his time on the crease, Haider has a knack for going big from the get-go.
While this has worked for him in the domestic circuit, it hasn't gotten him positive results in the international circuit.
Pakistan Cricketer Iftikhar Chips In Again
Iftikhar Ahmed played a handy 31-run cameo and formed a decent pairing with Babar on the wicket to propel the hosts to 169/6.
As a middle-order batsman, he did his job to perfection. He dominated Adil Rashid, smacking two sixes off the leg spinner, one of the two is a 101m blow.
>In the last contest, he proved how handy he can be with the bowl as well. He kept Moeen Ali, David Malan, and Ben Duckett at bay with his off-spin.
With a heavy heave and Misbah-Esque batting stance, Iftikhar has so much to offer to the middle order. It seems like it is a matter of being in the right space for the 32-year-old all-rounder.
He is unfazed by pacey deliveries and reads the spin well too. If he can deliver a spell or two alongside Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, he can be a T20 royalty for the country.
England Cricket Rub Salt In Pakistan Cricket's Wounds
Salt played perhaps the best international knock of his career last night. He earned the Player Of The Matcha award for his unbeaten inning of 88* off 41.
Salt and Alex Hales wasted no time from the first over, punishing the Pakistan batters on good balls too. It seemed like the wicket that was playing a bit of a trick in the first inning became a belter in the second half.
Salt made the most of the conditions to bring up his half-century in only 19 balls, and kept the charge going even after Nawaz dismissed Hales in the powerplay.
The Pakistan bowlers seemed like they were never in the contest with the sort of clinical blows Salt was pulling off one after another. He smacked a total of three sixes and a whopping 14 fours.
After Hales departed for 27, Malan chipped in and scored a fiery 28 before Shadab got him too. Duckett also got a 16-ball 26* to finish the contest in 15.3 overs and set up the final with the series tied 3-3 now.
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