England fall behind as a T20 series at Pakistan level with an exciting ending

England came out of a roller coaster ride on the wrong side as Pakistan defeated the Twenty20 series with a thrilling three-round win in game four in Karachi.

The tourists were about to screw up their pursuit of a modest 167 target when Liam Dawson made a brilliant late intervention to make them firm favourites. With a top score of just 10 in T20 internationals, he finished eighth and beat Mohammad Hasnain in the 18th over 24, leaving just nine balls out of 12.

But it was Haris Rauf’s turn to turn things around, catching Dawson for 34 with five still needed and then smashing debutant Olly Stone’s stump for a golden duck.

With just one wicket left to get over the line, England lost their cool. Adil Rashid and Reece Topley headed off in a crazy singles that saw the latter fall out, game over and the series tied 2-2.

Tourists will fret not only about the messy ending, but also about the earlier lack of composure when struggling to chase a meager sum.

Mohammad Rizwan had led the way with a hand that proved a match-winner, carving out a hard-working 88 as Pakistan went 166 to four, but none of the England players could match his diligence.

Ben Duckett and Harry Brook continued impressive trips with 33 and 34 middle order taps respectively, but the highest order failed and there was still too much to do despite Dawson’s efforts. Phil Salt was a man in a hurry, getting the two-boundary chase off the first three balls to a lively start, only to be intercepted by the fourth.

This brought Alex Hales and Will Jacks together, but the two were rounded up in Hasnain’s first over. Hales was caught superbly by Usman Qadir but Jacks bagged a duck after slipping one into the middle stump.

At 14 to 3, England had dug a hole. Duckett started the rebuild, swishing four fours in five deliveries, but his good work would have been forgotten had Brook gone cheap a few seconds later. Instead, he was horribly knocked down on four by Mohammad Nawaz after offering Rauf a gimme.

Duckett was still poised to take his favorite sweep shot with the game, but as long as Brook and Moeen Ali were together, there was a chance.

When they hit 19 from the 10th over and both threw Nawaz into the crowd for six, the equation was now in their favor with 85 balls from 60. However, neither Brook nor Moeen could take it deep and when David Willey was cleaned up by Rauf the momentum was with Pakistan.

With 33 required from the last three overs, Dawson made his move – hitting six over extra covers and expertly manipulating the field with boundaries from each of the next four balls. He deserved to be there at the end, but an under-hit pull shot cost him and his side as late drama unfolded.

(Getty Images)

Pakistan’s batting performance has been inconsistent and oddly quick, losing just one wicket in the first 18 overs and three more in the last 10 balls. Of the three sixes they managed, two came late in the innings in a three-ball burst from Asif Ali. But since Rizwan kept room for all but four balls in the middle, it was enough to get the job done.

He dominated an opening 97 with Babar Azam holed after just 28 of 71 legal deliveries against Dawson, and kept the scoreboard moving when the middle order failed to fire.

England were missing the 97mph rockets that the rested Mark Wood had delivered two days earlier and Stone was a decent replacement but no more.

Rashid’s accuracy was her trump card, with his four overs costing just 27, and Topley won two wickets including Rizwan.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/england-pakistan-result-t20-series-score-b2174973.html England fall behind as a T20 series at Pakistan level with an exciting ending

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