Moeen Ali admits his ‘gamble’ fell short as Pakistani master class ranks T20 series

England captain Moeen Ali insisted a one-off ‘gamble’ on his own off-spin was the defining moment after a masterclass win from Pakistan duo Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

The home side sensationally chased a goal of 200 at Karachi’s National Stadium when Babar’s unbeaten 110 and 88 not out of Rizwan got them over the line without losing a single wicket.

The pair were exemplary as they made a daunting chase look straightforward, but despite bowling just six deliveries in the innings, Moeen tried to take the blame on his team’s behalf.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam plays a shot during the second T20 (Anjum Naveed/AP)

(AP)

He brought in for the 13th over and leaked 21 runs, including three sixes, as Pakistan moved into a dominant position.

“The momentum changed when I turned. That really gave them faith and after that they were almost unstoppable,” he said after the home side were 1-1 after two games.

“I felt like I was in control most of the time. I really feel like I lost the game for us. That was a gamble on my part.

“I wanted to try and get a wicket, almost buy a wicket. Obviously it didn’t work out and then Pakistan really won the game.”

By the time Moeen came on Alex Hales Rizwan had already dropped Liam Dawson to 23, another moment that proved crucial to the result.

“We obviously made a big catch. You can’t afford to drop them and you can’t afford to throw them an off-spinner at such a big time,” he added.

Moeen paid tribute to the Pakistani hit heroes, who both started the series in the top 3 in the world rankings, and hit back at some of the criticism they also faced from their own fans.

They were berated by local pundits for not scoring fast enough at the recent Asian Cup, but could hardly have imagined a more perfect answer.

“They played really, really well tonight. I know they get paid a lot for their batting averages, but I think their batting averages are very good anyway and they are brilliant players.

“Sometimes the media pressures players even when they are doing well. They were brilliant and today was their day.”

England don’t have long to lick their wounds with back-to-back games meaning the third of seven games will take place on Friday night, with changes in bowling offense likely.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/moeen-ali-babar-azam-pakistan-t20-england-b2173383.html Moeen Ali admits his ‘gamble’ fell short as Pakistani master class ranks T20 series

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