After a three-hour bonanza of power hitting in the opening match at Trent Bridge, England and Pakistan will move to Headingley for the second T20I of the three-match series, on 18 July.
Two days ago, both sides were involved in a run-fest in front of 17,000 spectators. A total of 433 runs were plundered, and in the end, Pakistan justified their reputation of being predictably unpredictable, with a 31-run win.
After being asked to bat, Pakistan racked up 232/6 – their highest total in T20Is – thanks to Babar Azam’s 49-ball 85, Mohammad Rizwan’s 63, and breezy cameos from Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez. Liam Livingstone’s (103 from 43) record-obliterating hundred kept England in the chase, but after his departure, they were eventually bowled out for 201 in the last over.
During the pre-match press conference, England stand-in coach Paul Collingwood confirmed that Jos Buttler will return to the line-up after recovering his calf injury. He will replace Moeen Ali, who made little impact in their last encounter.
Desperate to level the series, England may also recall both Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan for Matt Parkinson and Tom Curran. Remember, they last lost a home T20I series back in July 2018, against India.
Pakistan were outclassed by a second-string English side in the ODIs. They came back strongly to slam their critics by winning against a nearly full-strength England, the top-ranked T20I side as per the ICC. It happened because of their valiant batting effort, and they are unlikely to flirt with their winning combination. Mohammad Hasnain, who was particularly impressive in the first match, will be again in focus.
Another high-scoring contest is expected to be on the cards in the second match at Headingley, where the average team total in the Vitality T20 Blast is 192.
- Jason Roy and Buttler will open the England innings. We all know what often happens when these two start off proceedings.
- After an ordinary outing in the ODIs, Shaheen Shah Afridi returned 3-30 in 3.2 overs in the first T20I. He has been Pakistan’s genuine wicket-taking option for a while now.
- Babar has found his form from the third ODI. He scored 158, and then 85 in his last two games. He is on a roll now, we are likely to witness more eye-soothing shots from him in the remaining two matches.
- Livingstone has arguably booked his place in the 15-member England roster for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the last match. He was excellent in the Sri Lanka T20Is as well. He was the missing link that England was looking for in the middle order.
Head to Head
England have played Pakistan 19 times in T20Is. They have won 12, lost six. They have met 10 times in the UK.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Lewis Gregory, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shoaib Maqsood, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf.
England to win the contest and level the series.
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