England beat Pakistan by three wickets in a dramatic third IT20 at Emirates Old Trafford to seal a 2-1 series win; Adil Rashid takes IT20-best figures of 4-35 before Jason Roy thumps 64 from 36 balls as the hosts chase down 155 with two balls to spare
By Sam Drury at Emirates Old Trafford
Last Updated: 20/07/21 10:56pm
England secured a 2-1 series victory over Pakistan with a nail-biting three-wicket win in a thriller at Emirates Old Trafford.
Having been set 155 to win, Jason Roy smashed 64 from 36 balls to set the hosts on their way but he fell in the 11th over and with the pitch becoming increasingly tough to bat on, Pakistan’s spinners took hold, wickets fell and the tension built before England crept over the line with two balls to spare.
Despite facing only two balls, player of the series Liam Livingstone made a telling contribution for the third game running, coming in with 12 needed from eight balls, he hammered his first ball for six.
He was caught next ball but with just six needed from the final over, England were able to survive the loss of Eoin Morgan second ball and a pair of twos from Chris Jordan finished the job.
Adil Rashid was England’s star with the ball, taking IT20-best figures of 4-35, while Pakistan’s innings was built on a second half-century of the series from Mohammad Rizwan (76no from 57).
England must now wait until the autumn for their next white-ball action when they face Pakistan again in preparation for the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
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Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Pakistan took their usual approach of controlled aggression while trying to minimise risk in the powerplay, with Rizwan launching David Willey over long on for six in the third over.
Babar Azam (11) had not managed to get himself going through and frustration eventually got the better of him in the sixth over as he came charging down the pitch, missed a Rashid googly with a wild hack and was stumped by a distance.
Rashid was brought back at the other end and struck twice in the ninth over, Sohaib Maqsood (13) thumping the ball straight to Roy at long on before Mohammad Hafeez (1) pulled a long hop to Jonny Bairstow at deep square leg.
Much like in the second T20 at Emerald Headingley, England’s spinners managed to get on top of Pakistan in the middle overs with Moeen Ali (1-19) particularly miserly, preventing any boundaries being scored from his four overs, and claiming the wicket of Fakhar Zaman (24), lbw, in his last.
Rizwan had gone to his eighth IT20 fifty from 38 balls and was keeping Pakistan going with some timely boundaries but lacked the support at the other end.
Rashid ended his spell with the wicket of Shadab Khan (2) before Imad Wasim (3) was run out coming back for a third that would have been straightforward but for some lazy running.
Hasan Ali (15no from 9) gave Rizwan some assistance late on but a superb final over from Chris Jordan cost just five to keep the tourists to a competitive, but gettable, total.
England’s reply followed a similar pattern with Roy flying out of the traps, hitting four boundaries off Shaheen Afridi in the second over, but Jos Buttler was having a rare day where his timing was off.
He had a life on 15 when Maqsood misjudged a chance after Buttler (21) skied one into the overs but he departed later in the Shadab over, another shot sent skywards and Babar was safely underneath it at long off.
As in the Pakistan innings, the spinners were making life extremely difficult for the batsmen. Roy was the exception though, crashing the ball to the boundary nine times and clearing it once on his way to a 30-ball fifty, his sixth in IT20s.
Usman Qadir, brought in for his first appearance of the series, was swept for two more fours by Roy, only for the England opener to change his plan and try to hit the legspinner back over his head, resulting in a straightforward catch for Fakhar at long-off.
With Roy gone, the boundaries dried up with Bairstow (5) and Ali (1) dismissed as they tried to rectify the situation and England found themselves stuck at 112-4 after 15 overs.
Hafeez’s part-time off-spin had been utilised for the first time in the series to allow Pakistan to stick solely with spin from the end of the powerplay until the 18th over, by which stage Morgan and Dawid Malan had brought England to within 19 of victory.
Hasan Ali managed four dot balls in the over as he varied his pace brilliantly but Morgan launched the other two, including the last ball, over the legside for six to bolster his side’s chances.
Hafeez was entrusted with the penultimate over and when he bowled Malan (31), England were still 12 shy with eight balls remaining – far from simple given the conditions.
Livingstone saw it differently, getting down on one knee and clobbering his first ball high over deep midwicket for a huge six to put England firmly in control.
That was his last contribution of the series as he fell next ball trying to finish the job with another maximum, instead handing Hafeez (3-28) his third wicket.
With Morgan on strike, England remained clear favourites but when the captain completely miscued the first ball, sending it high into the Manchester night, it seemed another twist was in the offing, only for Hasan Ali to shell a steepling catch off his own bowling.
Morgan did hole out next ball with England still four from victory but Jordan kept his cool, twice nudging the ball into the legside and scampering back for two to seal a dramatic win in front of a raucous crowd, a fitting end to an enthralling series.
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