A new England squad took the opening Twenty20 international by six wickets in Karachi on Tuesday, capping their return to Pakistan after 17 years with a memorable victory. Opener Alex Hales celebrated his return to the England squad with a 40-ball 53 to anchor England’s pursuit on a modest goal of 159 runs in 19.2 overs. Hales was banned in April 2019 after a failed recreational drug test. The win gives England a 1-0 lead in the run of seven games. Pakistani opener Mohammad Rizwan scored 46-ball 68 to help the hosts to 158-7 in their 20 overs after England sent them off to bat in a national stadium of capacity.
Pakistan’s players wore special kit with their names and numbers depicted underwater to show solidarity with the flood victims in the country.
England’s players wore black armbands in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II who died earlier this month.
Hales, recalled from exile after injury ruled out Jonny Bairstow, broke seven boundaries and added 55 for the fourth wicket with Harry Brook finishing 42 not out.
Brook, one of seven English players to appear in this year’s Pakistan Super League, broke seven boundaries in a solid 25-ball punch.
Ben Duckett (21), Dawid Malan (20) and Phil Salt (ten) were other England contributors.
Moeen Ali, who replaces injured tour skipper Jos Buttler, praised his bowlers for pulling Pakistan back from 87-1 after ten overs.
“It’s a brilliant achievement,” said Ali. “We pulled back the game really well. Kudos to the bowlers who put it down beautifully for our batters. Those crucial wickets around the 10th left made all the difference.
“It wasn’t an easy wicket for the new batters. Luke Wood and Adil Rashid were excellent.”
Azam said his side lost momentum in the bottom of the innings.
“The way we played the first power play was amazing,” Azam said. “After 10 overs there was a wave of momentum, which you have to praise England for, especially Rashid.”
The innings of Pakistan were once again in the hands of Rizwan.
Rizwan, the best go-getter in the Asian Cup earlier this month with 281, knocked six boundaries and two sixes to take 85 for the first wicket with skipper Babar Azam (31) after England won the toss and fielded.
Iftikhar Ahmed hit three sixes in his 17-ball 28, but Pakistan only managed 71 runs in the last ten overs and lost six wickets.
Debutant Shan Masood failed by just seven points, while Haider Ali scored 11.
England debutant paceman Luke Wood finished 3-24, while spinner Adil Rashid took 2-27.
The remaining matches are in Karachi (September 22, 23, 25) and in Lahore (September 28, 30 and October 2).
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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