The seven-match T20I series between Pakistan and England has turned out to be an exciting affair so far. The series is tied at 3-3 at present as England registered a comprehensive victory in the sixth match after suffering a narrow six-run defeat in the fifth T20I. Here, we shall take a look at how the last two matches went for both the teams and what to expect from them in the final battle.
5th T20i: Mohammad Rizwan Stars, Moeen Ali’s Heroics Go in Vain
The fifth match of the series turned out to be a low scoring thriller. Pakistan got bowled out for 145 as none of their batters except Mohammad Rizwan could make substantial contributions. Rizwan scored 63 off 46 deliveries batting at the top of the order whereas the next best score by a Pakistani batter in that innings was 15 by Iftikhar Ahmed.
England were expected to chase the target down easily but the reality turned out to be different. Pakistan reduced them to 85/6 in the 15th over of the innings and it looked like an impossible task to complete the chase for England with more than 60 runs to get in just about five overs remaining. But Moeen Ali stepped up and played a brilliant unbeaten knock of 51 off just 37 deliveries. His innings consisted of two fours and four sixes, but even that didn’t turn out to be enough as England fell short of the target by just six runs.
6th T20i: Phil Salt’s Whirlwind Knock Overshadows Babar Azam’s Classy Innings
Pakistan put on a much better batting show in the next match, with skipper Babar Azam leading from the front. He remained unbeaten on 87 off 59 deliveries to power Pakistan to a competitive total of 169/6. Middle-order batter Iftikhar Ahmed also played a good supporting role as he scored 31 off 21 deliveries. The hosts were expected to defend this total comfortably but they got completely destroyed by Phil Salt’s whirlwind knock.
The English opener stepped on the gas right from the very first over of the innings and made his way to a 19-ball fifty. Salt ultimately remained unbeaten on 88 off 41 deliveries to complete England’s chase with 33 balls remaining in the innings. The likes of Alex Hales, Dawid Malan and Ben Duckett also played good supporting roles as they scored 27, 26 and 26* respectively. Wrist-spinner Shadab Khan was the only one to get in Pakistan’s wickets column, with figures of 2/34 to his name in his four overs.
What’s in Store for the Seventh T20i?
The final match of the series is expected to be another thrilling clash. These six matches have been very competitive already and the fans have been thoroughly entertained. Something similar is expected once again but England will have the edge in this contest as they have momentum in their favour.