Morgan and Malan star as England beat Pakistan with record run chase

By Sports Desk August 30, 2020

Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan struck brilliant half-centuries as England made their highest Twenty20 International total against Pakistan to win a thriller by five wickets and take a 1-0 series lead.

Mohammad Hafeez (69 off 34 balls) and Babar Azam (56 from 44) took Pakistan up to an imposing 195-4 in the second match of the series at Old Trafford, two days after the opener was abandoned due to rain.

Jonny Bairstow laid the platform for England with a rapid 44, but they were 66-2 in the seventh over with Shadab Khan on a hat-trick after dismissing the wicketkeeper-batsman and Tom Banton.

Morgan blasted 66 off 33 balls in a third-wicked stand of 112 with Malan (54 not out), who hit the winning runs off the first ball of the last over to complete their third-highest successful T20 chase.

Babar and Fakhar Zaman (36) got the tourists off to a flyer after Morgan put them in, but Adil Rashid (2-32) ended an opening stand of 72 in the ninth over when the left-hander was taken by Banton.

The captain crunched Rashid for his seventh boundary wide of extra cover to reach a 37-ball half-century and Hafeez reached 2,000 T20I runs landmark by hooking Mahmood over the ropes.

Babar fell tamely to Rashid, but Hafeez took centre stage, imperiously launching Tom Curran for two sixes in a 16th over that cost 23 before departing in the last over of a brilliant innings for Pakistan.

Bairstow struck two sixes as England raced to 50 off 29 balls in a great start to the run chase, but his swashbuckling 24-ball knock ended when he top-edged Shadab to Imad Wasim.

Banton (20) was trapped in front off the next ball and Morgan survived a big lbw later in that brilliant over, an umpire's call verdict that Pakistan were left to rue along with the loss of Mohammad Amir to a hamstring injury.

Morgan and Malan cashed in on a great track to take England well on their way to victory, the captain facing just 27 balls to make his 13th T20I half-century.

The powerful Morgan cleared the ropes four times and although he was sent on his way by Haris Rauf in the 17th over, the composed Malan sealed it with a four after Sam Billings put England on the verge of victory with a couple of sublime boundaries.

 

Hafeez makes up for lost time, more brilliance from Babar 

All-rounder Hafeez had not batted in a competitive match since featuring in the Pakistan Super League in March, but the veteran made up for lost time.

Hafeez turns 40 in October, but showed he has plenty of cricket left in him yet as he took the England attack to all parts, including drives and swats down the ground for four as he made a 12th T20 half-century for his country.

Babar timed the ball majestically from the start, showing how he rose to the top of the rankings in another high quality innings after making two half-centuries in the Test series loss to England.

 

Morgan and Malan masterclass

England needed a rebuilt when Shadab saw the back of both openers with, Banton - who scored a blistering half-century on Friday - foxed by a top spinner to follow Bairstow into the pavilion.

Experienced left-handers Morgan and Malan showed they were just the men for the job, the skipper taking the role of chief aggressor with some stunning clean striking.

Malan showed what great touch he is in when he creamed Shaheen Afridi for a sixth four of a classy knock to give England a series lead with one match to play at the same venue on Tuesday.

Related items

  • 'He's looking like the Brathwaite of old'- Windies skipper Holder encouraged by opener's form heading into Test series 'He's looking like the Brathwaite of old'- Windies skipper Holder encouraged by opener's form heading into Test series

    West Indies captain Jason Holder believes opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite could be on the verge of rediscovering his best form, ahead of the start of the series against New Zealand.

    The 28-year-old had shown great promise alongside Shai Hope at the top of the order, scoring 134 and 95 when the West Indies successfully chased down 322 for a memorable win at Headingley in 2017.

    Brathwaite then suffered a dip in form, averaging 25.33 in his last 20 Tests ahead of the England series this year.  His struggles included poor showings against India and Afghanistan.  The player did show a flicker of returning to form during the team’s last Test tour against England where he scored two half-centuries.  Brathwaite reached 65 in the first and got 75 in the second but, however, also had other innings scores of 4, 12, 1, and 19 to average 21.

    The opener though, looked good in the team’s warm-up matches against New Zealand A, where he scored 246 in the second warm-up match.  The performance has encouraged the West Indies captain.

    “It’s good to see our opening batsmen, including Kraigg, getting some scores.  I thought he shaped up really well in England, he good a few half-centuries, got a few starts and he’s starting to look like the Kraigg Brathwaite of old,” Holder told CWI media.

    “He’s obviously been a banker for us over the years, he’s had a lean patch over the last couple of years but to see him coming back into stride the way he has.  I was remarking to one of the coaches that the innings I saw in Queenstown, the double hundred, was one of the most fluent innings I have seen from him.  It reminded me of a Test match innings he played in Hobart where he got 97 in the second innings that was one of the most fluent innings I’ve ever seen from Kraigg but this one was similar,” he added.

    “For me, his balance looks really good and he is striking the ball really well.  So, let’s hope he can continue in that vein and get us off to some really good starts.”  

  • Ambrose questions Andre Russell's commitment to West Indies cricket Ambrose questions Andre Russell's commitment to West Indies cricket

    Andre Russell has been lighting up the Lankan Premier League with both bat and ball delighting his many fans around the world.

  • Malan reaches ICC rankings record with match-winning 99 Malan reaches ICC rankings record with match-winning 99

    Dawid Malan set a new benchmark in the ICC's Twenty20 International Player Rankings after his match-winning display for England against South Africa.

    England secured a series sweep of the Proteas on Tuesday as Malan made an unbeaten 99 in a nine-wicket victory with 14 balls to spare.

    A world-record second-wicket partnership of 167 with Jos Buttler (67 not out) should have seen Malan rewarded with a second T20I century, only for a miscalculation to see the in-form batsman take a decisive single that left him short.

    Regardless, his efforts were sufficient to make history.

    This sterling display saw the world number one T20I batsman move to a record 915 points, becoming the first player to pass 900 – the previous high hit by Australia's Aaron Finch in 2018.

    Malan is 44 points clear of second-placed Babar Azam, the man he overtook at the summit in September.

    England are now on top of the team rankings too, edging ahead of Australia on decimal points.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.