Having broken with tradition by including Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson from Yorkshire as twins at Headingley, England saw the pair take control of the match with a defining spell that broke Pakistan’s persecution.
Between them, the duo allowed just 55 runs and took three wickets of eight controlled overs, backed by breaks from Moeen Ali that accounted for two other hitters.
Tourists eventually were stranded at 155-9, well below England’s 200. Jos Buttler played a decisive hand in the early innings, with the leading scorer at 59 after returning as captain in place of the rested Eoin Morgan.
The first T20 international at Leeds began with an action-packed opening lap, Jason Roy crushing Imad Wasim by six-four before spiraling into the third man.
Imad capitalized on picking up Dawid Malan from Yorkshire for one on the sweep, leaving Buttler and Moeen with some rebuilding work ahead of them.
They were instantly excited about the task, scoring 19 apiece in the fifth and sixth overs.
Buttler took Mohammad Hasnain over the shoulder for an outrageous six, before landing a couple of more traditional punches between third man and cover. Not to be left behind, Moeen pounced on Haris Rauf, deftly opening the gaps to pocket four limits in the blink of an eye.
A 66-2 total in the power play represented a strong comeback and Moeen kept the crowd receivers in business with a big spot from Shadab Khan.
He eventually fell by 36 of just 16 balls, blowing Hasnain up halfway, but Buttler’s consistent scoring and the arrival of Liam Livingstone kept the pace red-hot.
After scoring the fastest century in English history at Trent Bridge, Livingstone hit his fourth shot of six before he and Buttler took turns throwing Imad into the stands in 13th.
Pakistan needed windows to stop the march and Hasnain grabbed a key when Buttler drilled straight halfway. Jonny Bairstow came and went cheaply on his field and Livingstone ran smoothly for 38 seconds after throwing Rauf destructively onto the newly developed football bleacher. The bottom order made another 35 of the last four overs, but lost Tom Curran, Rashid, Chris Jordan and Parkinson to the cause.
The persecution began steadily, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan slashed 50 with controlled flashes of aggression. Babar, as always, was the scalp prize and it was Saqib Mahmood who claimed it.
Dragging his length back and taking a step after being hit at the top, he saw an attempt to drive plugged in half.
An unexpected sighting of Moeen’s detour in the sixth cost England 14 and when he was quickly traded for Rashid, the Yorkshire man struck on the first try.
Throwing it up and swinging it past the outer edge of Sohaib Maqsood, he allowed Buttler to lunge for a punch.
Rashid and Parkinson proceeded to throttle the race pace, killing the pace when their first six overs allowed a stingy 35.
Rashid soon had his second wicket with a brilliant one-handed catch, Rizwan breaking a full pitch too close to the local boy’s following.
The errors kept coming, Fakhar Zaman overcoming Rashid’s googly in the face of a slip and Mohammad Hafeez passing Parkinson just before Bairstow’s irruption. With the increased pressure, Moeen charged.
First, Hafeez picked Bairstow on the second try, then Fakhar cleaned himself up on the charge. With two wickets and only three runs awarded, Moeen’s second visit had effectively settled the result.
Parkinson got a well deserved wicket when he duped Azam Khan for the second hit from Buttler that Mahmood attacked on the tail, firing Shaheen and raising Rauf to inflate his figures to 3-33.
Commenting on Sky Sports, England test pitcher Stuart Broad offered an incredulous account of the hit.
“I’ve seen it 20 times on Twitter, it’s crazy! What golf club would you need to pass it over that bleacher?
“I haven’t seen a bigger six: the height, the elevation, the distance,” he told onlookers.
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This notice was published: 2021-07-18 22:29:12