England beat Pakistan in a winning streak with their latest victory at bustling Old Trafford
IThe night of the party was at Old Trafford Emirates as England thrilledly won the final to clinch the series 2-1.
A full house of 21,000 shed their power after several months of being denied top-level cricket and both teams made a great game to rise to the occasion with England chasing a 155th goal by three wickets with two balls to spare after Adeel Rashid’s best four-for-35 run they had put them in charge. From before.
Eoin Morgan played a decisive hand with 21 of 12 balls in a desperate final where England fell to the white ball of the summer with a fourth series win of four and 10 wins from 12 potential matches (one defeat and one zero).
England were down six points and needing 16 from their last two games when David Malan threw and suddenly the pressure came back. Liam Livingston’s first shot with a sweet six lifted the tension but came out with the next with a win in sight. The goal was less than six goals from the final which should have been a comfortable jog for the streak but Morgan was caught off the second ball causing some consternation. Chris Jordan, who has always been great, paired up with David Wylie to claim victory.
England spent half of their summer at the Emirates Old Trafford last year in closed ground. This occasion couldn’t be more different with a sense of freedom in the air. The huge party pavilion was buzzing with trumpets all night long, and the crowd of 21,000 people produced a great atmosphere. It was spoiled a bit by a couple of hyperactive pitch invaders who were not welcomed by players fearful of contracting the virus. The Pakistani players waved the second angrily to move away from the team.
Many in the stands were delighted to see the Pakistani bat first, loud cheers saluting Babar Azam’s decision in the lottery. England opted for the extra mix with Eoin Morgan returning to replace Matt Parkinson at home with this one closest to the first-choice XI chosen in the entire series.
All wickets have fallen into the spin, no matter if they run out, but speed, or lack thereof, still has a role to play; Jordan played a great final over that cost of just five runs as his speed ranged from 65 mph to 90 mph.
Moin didn’t throw a bad ball, signaled Morgan who had recently kicked him, and his numbers didn’t do him justice. Throwing the best ball of the day he spit and turned sharply into Muhammed Radwan’s ribs, stunned batsman and Gus Butler behind logs.
Benefiting from his companion’s superb performance, Rashid cleaned up where the Pakistani batsmen could not move forward. Rashid backed away and forced players to risk the deep confines of squares, even sinking the wicket with a downward pull that might have lasted six players on smaller grounds.