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England win the T20 series in a thrilling decider

lewis gregory

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England v Pakistan T20 Series 2-1

England were looking for a stern test before the T20 World Cup in the UAE and boy did they get it! What a series that came down to the wire on the final match at Old Trafford. Pakistan were put into bat first and posted 154, a relatively average score for and one that England fans would hope the home team would chase relatively comfortably. Jason Roy and Josh Buttler came out strong with the former scoring another T20 50 for England but poor contributions from Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow left it going to the final over.

England’s batting depth once again proved to be decisive as Eoin Morgan, Livingstone a winning shot from Chris Jordan secured the win in front of a capacity and jubilant crowd at Old Trafford.

1st and 2nd T20 | England v Pakistan – The series levelled at Headingley, after Pakistan poured on the runs in game 1.

Pakistan opened the series with a monster score of 232 to take the victory against a chasing England side that couldn’t quite compete, despite Liam Livingstone scoring a century off 42, becoming the fastest in England T20 history. The outstanding opening partnership of 150 for Azam and Rizwan made it almost impossible for England to win and a much needed performance by Pakistan after their dismal ODI showing.

England levelled the series at Headingley with one of the major talking points was Liam Livingstone’s 6 that flew over the top stand and onto the Leeds Rhino’s rugby league pitch. A comfortable win for the home side with Mahmood, Rashid and Ali taking the majority of the Pakistan wickets.

England v Pakistan ODI Series 3-0

England produced an incredible performance with stand in captain Ben Stokes and a completely changed side due to a covid outbreak in the camp, by beating a strong Pakistan 3-0 in a home ODI series. Debuts were handed out to a number of aspiring first team regulars who staked a claim for selection in the future.

1st ODI | England v Pakistan – England won by 9 wickets with 169 balls remaining

A crushing defeat for Pakistan was widely unexpected due to the changes forced on England and one name in the new-look bowling attack stood out and delivered. Saqib Mahmood, playing in his 5th ODI international was aggressive from the off, taking four wickets from 10 overs at a loss of 42. The Pakistan order was all out in the 35th order, plodding a long to a score of 141 that a few club team and Sunday league teams would fancy chasing in this format.

In response, Phil Salt on debut could only muster 7 runs as an England opener, but Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley powered through comfortably to wrap this one up a lot earlier that fans at Cardiff would have liked. It could only improve here really for Pakistan whilst England’s supposed squad depth was applauded.

2nd ODI | England v Pakistan – England won by 52 runs

Although rain threatened throughout the day, the loyal fans at Lord’s saw a brilliant performance by England under pressure with Hasan Ali’s five-for not enough to get the visitors over the line. Pakistan wanted to chase this game and managed to take England for just 247 runs. Ali took the key wickets of Stokes and Malan, with Zak Crawley taking the quickest possible walk to and from the stands in cricket, getting the golden duck off Shah Afridi.

James Vince and Lewis Gregory top scored for England but Pakistan would have fancied their chances against the depleted bowling line up. England however took wickets at key times, with Lewis Gregory capping a fine all round showing with three wickets and Matt Parkinson took the key wicket of Saud Shakeel who was fully settled and scoring well from 56 off 77.

That secured the series for England but it was the third and final game, to secure the ODI whitewash that really was a joyful sight for cricket fans.

3rd ODI | England v Pakistan – England won by 3 wickets with 12 balls remaining

An incredible batting performances by both sides saw this game go down to the wire and England were faced with a record chase at Edgbaston. Pakistan posted a formidable 331/9 with stunning knocks from Babar Azam (156), Mohammed Rizwan (74) and Imam-ul-Haq (56) to put them as clear favourites going into the second innings.  Brydon Carse was making his debut in this series and he took 5 wickets, including Azam and Rizwan to give the hosts a punchers chance in this one.

Malan’s second duck in succession was not what the doctor ordered but contributions from Crawley and Salt were backed up by England 2nd ODI top scorer James Vince, who got his first England century in Birmingham. Supported by Lewis Gregory once more, the two Englishmen got ahead of the run rate and force England into a winning position that was finished off by Carse and Overton. An incredible chase by a team known for just that.

England v India Test Series

The final series and arguably the highlight for England this summer is the 5 match test series against India, one of the toughest match ups in world cricket. After losing in India in the winter, England will be desperate to perfect their line up ahead of the Ashes so expect full strength sides and competitive games throughout.

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