PAK vs ENG: Pakistan look to level series in second T20I today

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PAK vs ENG: England beat Pakistan by six wickets in the opening T20I on Tuesday

KARACHI: Host Pakistan lock horns with England in the second T20I match of the series here at the National Stadium Karachi on Thursday (today).

The match will kick off at 07:30 PM (PST).

England, who are touring Pakistan for the first time in 17 years, have a 0-1 lead in the seven-match T20I series as they won the opening match by six wickets on Tuesday.

As England chased a modest 159-run target in 19.2 overs in the opening of a seven-match T20I series, opener Alex Hales scored a 40-ball 53, his first international score in three years due to a failed recreational drug test.

After the victory, stand-in England captain Moeen Ali said the pairing between veteran Alex Hales and rookie Harry Brook was fun and demonstrated why they are so highly regarded at home.

“Brilliant performance, they got off to a great start, but we pulled things back in the middle overs, the bowlers were excellent. On a tough surface, I thought the batters did well. Rashid and Wood`s debut was outstanding and was a good all-around performance from the bowling unit. We were smart with the chase, Alex Hales, batting after such a long time, he was nervous but showed why he’s one of the best in the country. Brook showed why he’s rated so highly back home, their partnership was wonderful to watch,” said Ali in a post-match conference.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan pleaded with cricket fans to overlook the errors and the defeat while the team experimented with fresh lineups.

In his post-match interview with the media, he stated that mistakes would undoubtedly be made, but the squad was making improvements to better capitalise on them for the forthcoming T29 World Cup, which will begin in Australia next month.

“By the grace of God, I and the skipper [Babar Azam] are performing well for quite some time, leaving a little room for our middle order to display their batting acumen,” he said. The power-hitters, across the world, can’t be expected to consistently hit 60 runs in every match, he said.

To give a flying start to Pakistan, Rizwan scored 68 runs, while Babar bagged 31 runs. However, Pakistan’s middle-order couldn’t build on the strong foundation as they managed to post only 158 runs on the scoreboard.

Pakistan might need to tweak their batting order a bit as there were many calls from many former cricketers including ex-English skipper Nasser Hussain to send Shan Masood a bit earlier as he needs some time to set at the crease and play his natural brand of cricket.

Possible playing XIs:

PAK vs ENG: England beat Pakistan by six wickets in the opening T20I on Tuesday