Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan put on a blistering stand of 150 in 15 overs to help Pakistan beat England by 31 runs in the first Twenty20 match at Trent Bridge on Friday. In Pakistan’s record score of 232-6, captain Azam smashed 85 from 49 balls and Rizwan 63 from 41.
Only Liam Livingstone’s career-best 103 kept England’s chances alive after losing four wickets in the first seven overs. However, he was out in the 17th over, and England was shortly all out for 201 with four balls to spare.
— The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) July 16, 2021
England’s senior players returned from their self-imposed isolation, but they were unable to repeat their second string’s dominance against Pakistan in the one-day international series.
While England’s top guns were unable to play in the One-Day Internationals due to a coronavirus outbreak, a ragtag team of county players and fringe internationals thrashed Pakistan 3-0. Only four members of the B side were kept after isolation, and none of them was able to make a significant contribution.
Pakistan bounced back from their ODI humiliation, despite having to bat first. Sohaib Maqsood (19 from 7), Fakhar Zaman (26 from 8), and Mohamad Hafeez (24 from 10) helped Babar and Rizwan easily surpass their previous best T20 score of 205 in 2018 and last April.
England’s pursuit was hampered early on when openers Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali were dismissed for 1s with 42-ball century, the fastest by an Englishman in T20s, came with his ninth six — more than the rest of the side combined — but he was out next ball for 183-7 in the 17th over to a boundary catch by Shaheen Shah Afridi, and England was doomed. Livingstone was one of five boundary catches, two of which were taken by Afridi, who also had 3-30 to his name, including a caught and bowled.
The second T20I match will take place on Sunday in Leeds.