After three back to back washouts matches, finally, we got to see a full game in England. Pakistan posted a high run-scoring challenge for the hosts, England. But Morgan and his men were up for this challenge.
It was a run feast for the viewers who watched the 2nd T20 International match between Pakistan and England on their television sets. The home team won the toss and opted to bowl in this encounter. England thought of restricting the visitors to a decent score.
Batting first, Pakistan started their innings with a good opening partnership which set the tone for the rest of the innings. Pakistani captain. Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman shared an opening stand of 72 runs from 8.3 overs.
Zaman was the first one to go after he contributed decently with 36 runs. Fakhar was out to England’s spin bowler Adil Rashid. But Pakistan’s innings progressed further as Azam and Mohd Hafeez kept things going for the tourist.
Skipper Azam scored his half-century in this match. Azam is the number one batsman in the ICC T20 International rankings. This innings showed why he called the number 1 batter from Pakistan’s team. Azam played a captain’s knock, and he scored 56 runs to his name.
After Adil Rashid dismissed Azam, the former Pakistani captain and the highest T20 scorer, Shoaib Mallik and Mohd Hafeez made sure that Pakistan will go past the 150 run mark without any further hiccups.
Hafeez was the one who was the aggressor in this small partnership as Mallik struggled to hit boundaries when it was required. Mallik struck just one four in the 11 balls he faced in this innings and finally, he was out after he scored only 14 runs.
Then, it was Mohd Hafeez who carried the innings for the visiting side. Hafeez took the score to a defendable one along with Iftikhar Ahmed, who was not out till the end. Hafeez was the last man to be out in the final over.
Due to Mohd Hafeez’s score of 69 runs, Pakistan managed to score a decent total of 195 for the loss of 5 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Iftikhar Ahmed was not out on eight runs, and Shadab Khan was unbeaten on 0 runs.
England bowlers didn’t expect this onslaught from the visitors. All of their six bowlers were expensive. But from that, Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers from England. Rashid picked up two wickets, and with him, Tom Curran and Chris Jordan picked up one wicket each to their names.
England innings too started with a brilliant opening stand from Bairstow and Banton. The openers kept the hosts in the game and match up to the required run rate. Bairstow who failed to make a mark in the 1st T20 International match stepped up and gave some vital runs at the top order.
Banton couldn’t repeat his heroics. Still, he played an essential part in this match. The opening pair of Banton and Bairstow added 66 runs in 6.2 overs. England was in the driver’s seat as they didn’t lose any wickets in the powerplay overs.
But things changed as Shadab Khan removed both the England openers on the score of 66 runs and in the span of two balls. Suddenly, the hosts found themselves under pressure when Skipper Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan walked to the batting crease.
Pakistan again let the match slip away from their hands, the bowlers didn’t apply enough pressure on the two new batsmen, and the fielders also allowed Morgan and Malan to take the easy single and twos which allowed England to gain the lost momentum back.
Morgan and Malan took England close to the target with a century stand. The partnership between the two middle-order batsmen of England was 112 runs. This was the match-turning partnership that helped England to go past the total posted by Pakistan.
Morgan was the first one to complete his half-century. He wanted to finish off the game in style for the home team. But he was dismissed on 66 when England required just 18 runs to win the second match of this three-match T20I series.
Pakistan again found themselves back in the contest when they picked up the wicket of Moeen Ali for just one run. Sam Billings played a crucial knock, even though he scored only ten runs. But he took the score in just touching distance for England. But Billings too couldn’t finish the game.
The winning moment came through Dawid Malan’s bat. Malan anchored the innings well and scored his 7th T20 International half-century for England. Dawid held his nerve although the three quick wickets fell around him. He scored unbeaten 54 runs and took his team 1-0 up in this series.
Pakistan struck twice in the match. But both the times, the bowlers failed to keep the pressure on England. Shadab Khan was the one who gave them the early breakthrough. But the other bowlers didn’t respond well to their captain’s call.
Shadab Khan picked up three wickets to his name, and Haris Rauf was also the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan. He was the one who kept the fight on from the visitor’s side. Rauf picked up two wickets to his name in this losing cause.
England scored 199 runs in reply to 194 runs target set by Pakistan. England won the second match by five wickets and led the three-match T20 International series 1-0. The man of the match award was given to England’s Skipper Eoin Morgan for his outstanding knock of 66 runs.
The third and the final match of this series between Pakistan and England will be played on September 1st, 2020 at Emirates Old Trafford ground in Manchester.
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