Pakistan edge England in thriller to share honours in T20 series


akis­tan concluded their tour of England on a high note when they edged England by five runs to share honours in the three-match Twenty20 International at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

It was Pakistan’s only win on the tour after they got beaten 1-0 in the three-Test series.

Set to chase 191, England finished at 185-8, a total built on a blistering 33-ball 61 from Moeen Ali, who had a lucky escape on seven as Sarfaraz Ahmed — playing his first international since October last year when he was dumped as Pakistan captain — missed an easy stumping off Imad Wasim.

But Sarfaraz, who had replaced the impressive Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps, was a relieved man when Wahab Riaz deceived Moeen with a well-disguised slower ball in the penultimate.

Wahab, who like Safaraz played his first game of the series, ended with excellent figures of 2-26. Fellow left-arm quick Shaheen Shah Afridi took 2-28.

Earlier, Pakistan posted 190-4 thanks to brilliant batting by veteran Mohammad Hafeez and teenage debutant Haider Ali after England opted to bowl first.

There was a 20-year age gap between the 39-year-old Hafeez and the 19-year-old Haider, but it was hard to notice the difference as they shared a stand of exactly 100 in 61 balls after coming together at 32-2.

Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman (1) and captain Babar Azam (21) before Haider (54 off 33 balls, five fours and two sixes) became the first Pakistan player to mark his T20 International debut with a half-century before being bowled by Chris Jordan. Hafeez equalled his best score in T20 Internationals as he finished on an undefeated 86 from 52 balls with the aid of six sixes and four fours.

Hafeez’s knock followed his 69 in England’s five-wicket win in the second T20 at Old Trafford on Sunday and was his fourth half-century in his last five T20 international innings.