Pakistan’s two-month-long tour of England finally came to an end as the England vs Pakistan T20I series finished 1-1, with the first match being rained out. In the third and final T20I in the series, Pakistan managed to hold their nerves and defend a bullish total of 190 at Old Trafford, Manchester, to finish the tour on a positive note.
Pakistan have played some good cricket on this tour but have fallen just a little short in terms of getting over the line. This win in the third match of the T20I series can prove to be the catalyst for them to build towards a brighter future. Here are the top takeaways from the England vs Pakistan T20I series.
BANTON ANNOUNCES HIMSELF
The 21-year-old Tom Banton had a breakthrough series in which he announced himself to the world stage. A tall, inventive batsman, he showed his class in this series and ended up as the second-highest run-getter. Banton already has experienced life in various T20 leagues across the world and has been relatively successful. With this international outing, he surely will be earmarked by his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders as a candidate to fill the fourth foreign player slot in the playing eleven. Just one advice everyone would be giving Banton is to think twice next time before running Captain Morgan out, especially when he is hitting the ball so effortlessly.
MORGAN STRIKING IT BEAUTIFULLY
Eoin Morgan looked like he was in the form of his life with the way he was hitting the ball all over the park. He was the player of the match in the second T20I when England easily chased 196 with almost an entire over to spare. His innings of 66 off 33 balls set the chase up beautifully. Dawid Malan, then, had to put the finishing touches to take the lead in the England vs Pakistan T20I series. In the third match as well, Morgan had teed off to a quick start with 10 off just 5 balls but unfortunately, was run-out due to a mix up between Tom Banton and him. Can’t wait for Morgan to put on the Knight Riders jersey and show his class in the IPL.
HAFEEZ AGING LIKE FINE WINE
Who says T20 is only a young man’s game? Mohammad Hafeez’s last two years in T20I cricket has completely defied that theory. He has emerged as a mainstay in the T20 line-up for Pakistan. In the last two years, Hafeez has Bradman-esque stats in T20Is as he averages 96.40 and strikes at 146.95. He has scored three consecutive fifties now and has four fifties in the past five innings. He is striking the ball as good as he has done over his long career and was deservedly adjudged as the Player of the Series. At 39, Hafeez would be unhappy that he’ll have to wait another year for the World T20I, but pretty sure he’ll be good enough come October 2021.
DECENT START FOR BABAR’S REIGN IN WHITE-BALL CRICKET
A new era of Pakistan cricket began as Babar Azam had his first go with the captaincy in the England vs Pakistan T20I series. Babar has been named as the white-ball captain for Pakistan and hopes to lead the team to a successful World T20I in 2021. Captaincy has started on a positive note for the world number one batsman in T20Is. He has a lot of experienced candidates in his team and was seen constantly taking advice from the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz and Sarfaraz Ahmed. He needs to make his own decisions on the field and rely on the experience of these aforementioned players to come in handy when required. It’s a work in progress for Babar but he has had a decent start to life as a Pakistan captain.
Read: England vs Pakistan: Top Takeaways from the Test Series
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