PAKISTAN: England won the first Twenty20 international match by six wickets on Tuesday in Karachi, concluding their 17-year absence from Pakistan with a spectacular triumph.
An underwhelming 159-run goal was chased down by England in 19.2 overs thanks to an opening batsman named Alex Hales’ 40-ball 53.
As a result of a negative recreational drug test, Hales was banned in April 2019. With the victory, England now leads the seven-match series 1-0.
Mohammad Rizwan, the Pakistani opener, hit 68 in 46 balls to help the hosts reach 158-7 in their 20 overs at the packed National stadium after the hosts got to bat first.
To support the country’s flood victims, Pakistan’s players donned a special uniform on which their names and numbers were shown as though they were submerged in water.
As a sign of respect for Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away earlier this month, England displayed the black armbands.
After Jonny Bairstow’s injury prevented him from playing, Hales was called back from exile. With Harry Brook, who finished on 42 not out, Hales added 55 runs for the fourth wicket while smashing seven boundaries. One of seven England players to compete in the Pakistan Super League this season, Brook hit seven boundaries in a solid 25-ball inning.
Other contributors from England included Phil Salt (ten), Dawid Malan (20), and Ben Duckett (21).
Jos Buttler, the tour’s injured captain, was replaced by Moeen Ali, who lauded his bowlers for bringing Pakistan back from 87-1 after ten overs. “It’s an outstanding performance,” Ali added.
“We played incredibly well to recover the game. Many thanks to the bowlers who gave our hitters a good starting point. It made a difference when those vital wickets fell around the 10th over. The new batsmen had it tough against that wicket. Luke Wood and Adil Rashid did a fantastic job.”
Azam claimed that his team lost momentum in the second half of the innings. “The first power play we executed was excellent,” Azam stated. “After 10 overs, there was a change in momentum, which England, especially Rashid, deserves credit for,” Rizwan once again held up Pakistan’s inning.
Rizwan, who had the highest run total in the Asia Cup earlier this month (281), contributed 85 runs for the first wicket with captain Babar Azam after England won the toss and elected to field (31).
In spite of Iftikhar Ahmed’s 17-ball 28, which included three sixes, Pakistan only scored 71 runs in the final ten overs while losing six wickets. Rookie Shan Masood failed with just seven runs, while Haider Ali scored 11. Luke Wood, a pacer making his England debut, finished with 3-24, while Adil Rashid, a spinner, grabbed 2-27.
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