England vs Pakistan: The hosts win thrilling T20 Series win at Old Trafford
|Pakistan 154-6 (20°): Radwan 76 * (57); Rashid 4-35|
|England 155-7 (19.4 up): Roy 64 (36), Hafeez 3-28|
|England won 3 wickets|
England overcame great wobbles to defeat Pakistan in an impressive Twenty20 final at Emirates Old Trafford and win the group 2-1.
Chasing 155 on choppy dry ground, England needed 61 out of nine overs with eight wickets in hand after 64 Jason Roy.
However, with the Pakistani spinners applying a vice-like grip and Dawid Malan struggling to score freely, the equation came out to 39 of four sums before Captain Ewen Morgan regained control.
In a thrilling penultimate finish, Malan’s throw by Muhammad Hafeez, only Liam Livingston hit his first for six and was caught off the next ball, leaving six players wanted from the final.
Although Morgan needed four, Chris Jordan made England cross the line with two balls to spare.
The English spinners were in the lead earlier, and confined Pakistan to 154-6. Mohamed Radwan managed to pass the rounds for 76 did not come out, but the tourists were restricted by Adel Rashid’s 4-35 victory.
The hosts ended their summer on the white ball with just one defeat in 12 matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and have now moved on to a five-Test series with India which begins on August 4.
Ahead, English cricket is taking a step into the unknown with the inaugural season of The Hundred, which begins on Wednesday with the opening match of the women’s competition.
Oval Invincibles vs Manchester Originals kicks off at 18:30 GMT and it’s now Live on BBC Two.
England underwent a dramatic scrutiny
This was a perfect preparation for the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman from October.
Although the deafening atmosphere will likely be very different from what England will experience in that tournament, winning a high-stakes match by completing a tense chase on a rotating court against a skilled attack is a test of success.
From a position they were walking in, England was engulfed in tension by some questionable strokes and the mind of the Pakistani bowlers.
Captain Morgan seemed to have won the match when he pushed Sixty Six of Hassan Ali to 18th, but the very experienced Hafeez pushed Pakistan back into it.
Malan was trying to make room, and rising star Livingston threw his first ball over the middle of the wicket, then cut into a short third man.
Morgan skipped a first-ball miss from Hassan’s last and ran twice, then got caught, only for the unnerving Jordan to take the required four runs from the next two runs.
The gazelles are holding Pakistan again
England win 45 times The second game at Headingley on Sunday was designed in part by the spinners, and they repeated the dose at Old Trafford.
Just as at Leeds, England sent out 11 spins, with Livingston filling the role of spinner Matt Parkinson, who was left on his grounds.
They were once again led by the trustworthy Rashid, who brought back his top character in the international T20, while Moin Ali waived just 19 times from four overs.
Rizwan made the majority of his passes through the side of the leg, but after adding 40 in his first five overtakes with Captain Babar Azam, Pakistan slowed down once Babar was turned away by a cheerful googly Rashid.
At one point, England had 12 more bowls over 11, with Pakistan managing 85 throws for losing five wickets.
Hasan gave some impetus upon death when England got back on pace, bringing Pakistan to a total that was nearly adequate.
England stumble after stunned Roy
Circumstances and a Pakistan team brimming with spinning options have always had the potential to present England’s pursuit problems – the normally devastating Gus Butler gave 21 of 22 balls an indication of their batting difficulties.
However, England were sailing as Roy hit the side of a shin and crashed from a point to his highest T20 result internationally since February last year.
Following his dismissal – which mixed up on spinner Osman Kadir for a long time – Jonny Bairstow was unnecessarily caught sneaking up on the left arm of slow Imad Waseem and Moin as they hacked Hafeez.
Malan managed 31 of 33 deliveries, but at least gave a card to Morgan, whose only 21 of 12 balls ensured England were out of chaos.
“This win means a lot of money” – what they said
England captain Ewen Morgan: “This win means a huge amount. It was the worst possible stadium for the way we play, and we won on a small, slow and spinning podium, so I’m very proud.
“I really don’t think the ball will spin like that in the UAE, but we are ready for whatever surfaces it spins.”
Player of the match Jason Roy: “I just went out and tried to have a little fun. I was frustrated when I came out but the boys were good enough to make us cross the line.
“We play amazing cricket on level ground and get millions of kicks. For us to perform on a ground like this is very rewarding. Today it will give us a lot of confidence.”
English bowler James Anderson on their chances in the T20 World Cup: “They got a very good chance. The quality they have in their squad is as good, if not better, than anyone else in the world.
“They’ve got the skills and the players to be able to perform in all conditions. They have players who know how to win trophies now.”
Pakistan national team captain Babar Azam: “We had 10 to 15 short rounds today. Our fight let us down, but we fought, our players fought well and I saw the fight from them was good.
“We need to do a better job against the spinners. We didn’t play as best we could. Some days we have good days and some days we have bad days.”