Pakistan tour of England 2020; England vs Pakistan 1st T20I; England 131 for 6 (Banton 71, Imad 2-31) v Pakistan – Match abandoned
Pakistan’s tryst with bad weather continued at the Emirates Old Trafford on Friday as persistent showers forced the 1st T20I against England to be called off.
Babar Azam’s men were largely successful in containing the run flow and seemed to be on the way to keeping Eoin Morgan’s England down to a manageable total when rain returned to play spoiler. England were 131/6 with five balls left to bowl in the 17th over when the covers were wheeled out.
Pakistan opened the bowling with slow left-armer Imad Wasim after asking England to bat first. The gambit came off in the first over itself as explosive England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow offered a return catch to the 31-year-old.
However, his opening partner Tom Banton took on the Pakistan attack and, in the company of southpaw Dawid Malan, took England to 74 in the 10th over before the latter was run out for 23.
Banton hit a Shadab Khan delivery towards point and Malan set off for a single without waiting for a call from the striker’s end. It was a clear case of misjudgment as the ball was hit straight to the fielder and there was no run in it.
Malan was too far gone when Mohammad Hafeez lobbed the ball to the leg-spinning all-rounder who whipped the bails off.
Skipper Morgan joined Banton at the crease and the pair pushed England along to 109 before Banton fell to Shadab. However, that wasn’t before the Somerset right-hander stroked a fluent 71 off 42 balls, striking 4 fours and 5 sixes.
England suffered a mid-innings collapse thereafter as Morgan and all-rounder Moeen Ali were sent packing within four balls of each other. While the skipper fell leg-before to part-timer Iftikhar Ahmed for 14, the off-spinning all-rounder fell to Shadab for 8.
Moeen edged a Shadab delivery while trying to run it down to the third man boundary. The catch lobbed off Mohammad Rizwan’s palm and popped out in front before the stumper lunged forward and pouched it at the second attempt.
Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory, who joined Sam Billings in the middle at the fall of the England skipper and Moeen, was soon undone by Imad. He ran down the pitch to the slow left-armer, who fired it wide outside off-stump.
Gregory missed it and Rizwan effected a smart piece of stumping to send him on his way.
Billings, who was England’s only hope at that stage to push the score beyond 170, looked to open out in the company of fast bowling all-rounder Chris Jordan when showers brought a halt to the proceedings.
Pakistan were left to curse their luck as, with six wickets in their kitty, they were in with a good chance to keep England down to 150. Though England has enough variety in its bowling arsenal to defend modest scores, Pakistan would have fancied chasing down any target under 150 on a flat deck.
England, too, would have fancied opening the series with a win as any score around 160 or more would have been enough to give their bowlers some scoreboard comfort and Pakistan batters worries.