Karachi : Unbeaten half-centuries from Ben Duckett and Harry Brook and a three-wicket haul by pacer Mark Wood guided England to a 63-run win over Pakistan in the third T20I of the seven-match series in Karachi on Friday.
With this victory, England once again has an upper hand over the hosts with a 2-1 lead in the series. In the first innings, England posted a massive 221/3 in their quota of 20 overs.
Brook hit an unbeaten 81 off 35 balls with eight fours and five sixes while Duckett hit an unbeaten 70 off 42 balls with eight fours and a six. Spinner Usman Qadir was the leading bowler for Pakistan with 2/48.
Chasing 222, Pakistan never really looked threatening, losing wickets at regular intervals. Only Shan Masood (65*) and Khushdil Shah (29) could contribute some decent knocks for their side. Pakistan finished at 158/8 in 20 overs, losing the match by 63 runs. Wood (3/24) was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors.
Chasing 222, Pakistan's trajectory was opposite as compared to the previous match where they chased 200+ score without losing a wicket. Mohammad Rizwan (8) and skipper Babar Azam (8) could not replicate their heroics as Reece Topley and Wood got rid of them, reducing the hosts to 2/21.
Visitors continued to inflict pain on hosts' and their fans with some brilliant pace bowling during powerplay, choking their run flow. Wood removed Haider Ali (3), while Sam Curran delivered a menacing short ball to dismiss Iftikhar Ahmed (6), reducing Pakistan to 4/28.
At the end of the powerplay, Pakistan was struggling at 29/4, with Khushdil Shah (1*) and Shan Masood (1*) at the crease. The hosts needed a big partnership to drive themselves out of this trouble.
Khushdil and Shan did exactly that, choosing the aerial route to lessen the required run rate. They brought up their fifty-run stand. Khushdil was trapped by spinner Adil Rashid after being caught by Brook at long-off. This 62-run stand came to an end and so did hopes of Pakistan winning the game. Half of their side was now back in the pavilion for just 90 runs in 11.5 overs.
With 132 runs needed in 49 balls, Pakistan had to score faster. Though Shan tried his best along with his new partner Mohammad Nawaz, they just could not keep up with the required run rate. They did develop a 52-run stand, which was broken by the duo of Rashid and Brook once again. Nawaz was dismissed for 19 off 21 and the hosts were 142/6 in 18 overs.
Pakistan finished their innings at 158/8, with Shan (65* off 40 balls) and Mohammad Hasnain (6*) at the crease. Qadir was run out for a golden duck, while Wood got his third wicket of the match by dismissing Haris Rauf (4).
The hosts lost the match by 63 runs. Wood (3/24) stood out for England with his brilliant performance. Rashid's spin played a perfect supporting role as he took 2/32. Curran and Topley took one wicket each.
Earlier, put to bat first by Pakistan, England lost opener Phil Salt for just 8 off 6 balls after being dismissed by Hasnain.
Then the debutant Will Jacks was joined by Dawid Malan and the duo kept the scoreboard moving. At the end of the powerplay in six overs, things were moving smoothly for England. They were at 57/1, with Malan (10*) and Jacks (36*)
A googly from Qadir ended the 43-run stand between them. Malan was sent back for 14 off 15 balls after being tempted to smash the ball over cow corner, only to give it straight into the hands of Haider Ali.
Jacks had a brief 21-run stand with Duckett, before the former was dismissed for a well-made 40 off just 22 balls, decorated with eight fours. England was 82/3 at this point in 8.3 overs.
Harry Brook was the next batter on the crease. He and Duckett launched an all-out attack on Pakistani bowlers, sparing no one. They brought up their maiden half-centuries in T20I cricket. Their stand of 139 runs in just 69 balls helped England reach 221/3 in their 20 overs.
Qadir's spin did a decent job for Pakistan as he took 2/48 in four overs. Hasnain also took 1/36 in his four overs.