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Brook and Duckett sparkle before Wood fires England to big win

England 221 for 3 (Brook 81*, Duckett 70*) beat Pakistan 158 for 8 (Masood 65*, Wooden 3-24) by 63 runs

England landed all of the telling blows in one other pulsating contest in Karachi, driving on the again of a century stand between Harry Brook and Ben Duckett earlier than a searing return to nationwide colors from Mark Wooden helped torpedo the Pakistan reply. A complete of 221 for 3 was the best conceded by Pakistan in T20Is, the 63-run margin of defeat their heaviest towards England.

Brook and Duckett each notched maiden T20I fifties throughout a report fourth-wicket stand for England within the format, the pair belying their relative inexperience at this stage so as to add 139 from simply 69 deliveries. Brook’s type was notably scintillating, as he carved eight fours and 5 sixes to complete not out on 81 from simply 35 deliveries – a strike price of 231.42. Duckett produced his finest innings in an England shirt with an unbeaten 70 from 42.

Having reeled in 200 whereas barely breaking sweat the evening earlier than, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan had been the important thing males for Pakistan as they tried what would have been a report chase. However Wooden and Reece Topley, two of England’s three adjustments to the XI, eliminated each openers for single-figure scores and Pakistan shortly careened out of rivalry at 28 for 4 within the ultimate over of the powerplay.

Shan Masood and Khushdil Shah placed on 62 for the fifth wicket to forestall the scoreline turning into a rout, Masood occurring to report a maiden T20I half-century of his personal, however Adil Rashid struck twice and Wooden completed with 3 for twenty-four as England regained the sequence lead with a thumping win.

Wooden fires the defence
Though England piled up the runs after being inserted, one other raucous crowd watched on expectantly as Babar and Rizwan walked out collectively, barely 24 hours on from the report, unbroken 203-run opening stand that had levelled the sequence. However hopes of an encore had been shortly scotched, as England’s reshaped assault ripped out the cream of Pakistan’s batting.

The primary reduce was the deepest, as Wooden instantly set about cranking up the tempo to ranges none of his compatriots can match. His fourth supply was again of a size within the channel exterior off, encouraging Babar to open up the shoulders – however with 147kph/91mph of warmth on the ball, Pakistan’s batting bellwether might solely handle a thick edge that soared all the way down to deep third, the place Topley calmly held a head-high catch. Silence descended on the Nationwide Stadium as Babar trudged off.

Topley then eliminated Rizwan within the subsequent over with a slower supply that pinged leg stump, and Wooden had his second a ball later as Haider Ali spliced one other rocket to sq. leg. Wooden’s final senior look in any format got here in the course of the Antigua Check in March, his summer season wrecked by two elbow operations; however any doubts that he might nonetheless be a potent weapon on the T20 World Cup had been instantly dispelled by a spell by which he was clocked at 156.2kph/97mph, the worth of his further gasoline not often extra specific.

England’s new-look engine room
Coming into this sequence, it was far sure that each Brook and Duckett would play within the center order. The latter just isn’t in England’s T20 World Cup squad and hadn’t been capped in any format since 2019, whereas Brook benefited from the absence of Liam Livingstone and Ben Stokes in Pakistan so as to add to his 4 earlier appearances. Each confirmed glimpses of what they had been able to within the first two T20Is, earlier than kicking issues up a notch right here.

They got here collectively within the ninth over, after Will Jacks’ sparky debut innings of 40 off 22 ended with a catch within the deep. As within the second T20I, Duckett caught carefully to his temporary of attempting to take down spin in the course of the center overs, bringing out an assortment of sweeps and paddles – each orthodox and reverse – whereas Brook relied on a extra textbook method to provide an array of eye-catching pictures.

His fifth and seventh balls, bowled by Usman Qadir, had been despatched over the ropes, the primary straight down the bottom and the subsequent over further cowl because the bowler tossed it up vast of the stumps. Haris Rauf, a someday team-mate with Yorkshire and Lahore Qalanders, for whom Brook scored the second-fastest PSL hundred earlier this yr, was hooked brusquely for six, as England started to trace at ten an over with loads of time left within the innings. Shahnawaz Dahani’s third over went for 16 as Brook raced to a 24-ball fifty.

Duckett notched his personal half-century, from 31 balls, within the subsequent and Rauf briefly stopped Brook in his tracks with a bouncer that lodged within the grille of his helmet. However they had been off once more, as Duckett swatted Mohammad Hasnain over deep sq. leg and Brook showcased each energy and precision, drilling Dahani for a straight six after which deftly steering a follow-up yorker vast of the keeper. Dahani completed with 0 for 62, the second most-expensive evaluation by a Pakistan bowler in T20Is.

Masood massages the margin
With Babar and Rizwan ensconced on the prime of the order, Masood has needed to take his likelihood wherever he can discover a house. The 32-year-old made 7 off 7 batting at No. 4 on debut within the first T20I, and appeared ill-suited to the calls for of attempting to nail down a spot in Pakistan’s ever-changing middle-order roster, the place the openers’ methodical run-plundering usually requires those that come after to tee off immediately.

It could have are available in a misplaced trigger, however Masood’s efficiency on this event instructed he has the wherewithal to outlive. He performed freely towards England’s two spinners, twice dumping Rashid over the ropes and going to a 28-ball fifty with one other six off Moeen Ali, outscoring each of his companions, Khushdil and Mohammad Nawaz, throughout consecutive 50-plus stands that lifted Pakistan away from ignominy. And maybe his canniest transfer was ensuring to solely face three balls from Wooden.

Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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