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England Demolish Top-Ranked Pakistan

Morgan’s England Demolish Top-Ranked Pakistan In Only T20I

Morgan’s England trounced an under-prepared Pakistan side in the only T20 of the tour at Cardiff. They used the conditions to their advantage, despite Pakistan fielding their full-strength side except for Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan. The Greenshirts were also hit by the absence of a wrist-spinner as Imad Wasim went for 6 runs per over. In contrast to Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi who went for more than 8 per over.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed elected to bat first

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed elected to bat first with five changes in the team since their last international outing in November. He brought debutants Mohammad Husnain for Waqas Maqsood and Imam ul Haq for Mohammad Hafeez. Haris Sohail came in for Shoaib Malik, Shaheen Shah Afridi for Usman Shinwari and Hasan Ali for Shadab Khan. Both the openers went for 7 runs – Fakhar Zaman to a great catch and Imam ul Haq to impatience – after which Babar Azam and Haris Sohail added 103 runs for the third wicket.

Babar Azam top scored with 65 runs against England

Babar Azam top scored with 65 runs while Haris Sohail’s 50 helped Pakistan cross 130 in the 15th over. The lower middle-order then panicked and despite a 16-run last over, Pakistan just managed 173 for the loss of six wickets when they were set for over 185. The runouts of Babar Azam and Asif Ali hit the Pakistan team hard as they were the only two batsmen who could have given the score some respectability; Sarfraz Ahmed’s decision to keep himself out was also baffling considering he needs to get accustomed to the conditions and must make use of all opportunities that come his way.

Eoin Morgan played a captain’s knock

England, on the other hand, had a better outing losing three wickets while chasing 174. Eoin Morgan played a captain’s knock. He remained unbeaten at 57 runs off 29 balls, while Joe Root was unlucky to miss his 50 by three runs, mainly because of an incorrect decision by the umpire. Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali took a wicket each. However, they went for 35 and 42 runs respectively in their 4 overs; Faheem Ashraf ended the match with 43 runs off 3.2 overs. The only two economical bowlers were Imad Wasim (1/24) and Mohammad Hasnain (0/29) who disturbed the hosts with sensible bowling.

Pakistan’s fielding was the biggest contributor in the team’s loss as the players looked lethargic in the field; they let the ball pass by in the outfield and were bad in picking the ball as well. The management will have to take note of these mistakes and get them rectified in the upcoming ODI series ahead of the World Cup otherwise the once mighty Pakistan will become a laughing stock in the mega event starting at the end of this month.

Omair Alavi

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