England and Pakistan set for series-deciding T20 International at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s decision to follow conventional wisdom after winning the toss may have cost them the initiative in the series.
England put a big total on the board, and the Pakistan top order could not handle the pressure batting second.
England vs Pakistan | 20 July 2021 | Old Trafford, Manchester | 19:30
To Win Match
A quickfire partnership between Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali set England up for success in the second T20I, and the series will now be decided in Manchester.
Butler’s return to form as an opener is great news for England as they build towards the world cup and try to win this series against Pakistan.
Tom Curran put the squeeze on the Pakistan top order, which allowed Saqib Mahmood to make inroads into the tourists batting while Chris Jordan had a rare off-day and only bowled one over.
Fortunately, England have plenty of options to complete their overs and can afford a few wayward overs here or there,.
Pakistan couldn’t keep England under pressure with the ball in hand despite being able to take regular wickets in the second T20I.
When it was their turn to bat however, they would get bogged down in the middle overs and very soon the panic set in. As one of the best sides at defending a total, they should be open to electing to bat first as this plays to their strengths and hides some of their weaknesses.
Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam made a solid start, but the loss of their wickets meant there was no significant middle over acceleration, and they weren’t able to keep pace with the rate required.
The silver lining for Pakistan is that Mohammad Hasnain looks dangerous with the ball in hand, while Shaheen Afridi continues to develop into an accomplished leader of the attack.
Verdict: England 46/100
The hosts should snatch the series.