Salt's unbeaten 88 guides England to series-levelling win against Pakistan

Authored by
Sat, 01/10/2022
Image
Salt's unbeaten 88 guides England to series-levelling win against Pakistan
Image Credit
IANS

On Friday, England defeated Pakistan by an eight-wicket margin with 33 balls remaining in the sixth round of their seven-match T20I series after Phil Salt hammered an unbeaten 88 at a strike rate of 214.63.

The victory enabled the group, commanded by interim captain Moeen Ali, to tie the series 3-3 and convert Sunday's game into a championship match before the two teams fly for Australia to complete their preparations for the ICC T20 World Cup, which starts on October 16.

Although Salt, who was competing with regular skipper Jos Buttler for the opening spot, had struggled throughout the series, he looked in fantastic shape on Friday as England easily surpassed the inning total of 170.

With Salt on 26 (10 balls) and Alex Hales smashing 23 runs off just eight balls, the England openers were superb in the powerplay, destroying the Pakistan bowlers all over the park and having amassed 50 by the conclusion of the third over.

When Shadab Khan entered the game in the fourth over, the run chase appeared to be in for a complete 180-degree turn when the leg-spinner removed Hales on the fifth ball of the over, which resulted in only five runs being scored. However, Salt was unstoppable at the other end and dismissed Mohammad Nawaz for three fours and a six in the fifth over.

As England ended the powerplay at 82 for one, Malan then hit two boundaries off Mohammad Wasim Jr. in the sixth over, one off the edge and the other with a gorgeous drive through the covers, per PCB.

After hitting Aamir Jamal, the star of the previous T20I, for a four through covers on the previous ball, Salt's attack continued as he reached 50 in just 19 balls on the second delivery of the seventh over. On the opposite end, Malan supported Salt as he resumed his assault. With England only 42 runs from the target, Malan was bowled by Shadab in the tenth over.

Ben Duckett, who had a fantastic series with the bat but struggled in the most recent game, made sure England's run rate didn't fall off by scoring 26 not out from just 16. In his unbeaten 41-ball innings, Salt had 13 fours and three sixes to his name.

Earlier, Pakistan recorded a decent 169/6 thanks to an unbeaten 87 at a strike rate of 147 from Babar Azam, after a poor start to their innings that saw debutant Mohammad Haris and Shan Masood out by 3.2 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 169/6 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 87 not out, Iftikhar Ahmed 31; Sam Curran 2/26, David Willey 2/32) lost to England 170/2 in 14.3 overs (Phil Salt 88 not out, Alex Hales 27, Dawid Malan 26, Ben Duckett 26 not out; Shadab Khan 2/32) by eight wickets.