Roy blasts 64 as England edge Pakistan in thriller

By Sports Desk July 20, 2021

England snuck to a nerve-jangling three-wicket win over Pakistan with two balls left to clinch a high-quality T20I series 2-1 at Old Trafford.

As was the case in the host's series-levelling victory at Headingley on Sunday, sweltering conditions and a dry surface played into the hands of the spinners, with Adil Rashid (4-35) again the England attack.

Moeen Ali returned a miserly 1-19 from his four overs as the England seamers went wicketless and Mohammad Rizwan carried his bat for a 57-ball 76 within 154-6.

Jason Roy went six, four and out in Leeds but produced something more substantial here, with 12 fours and a six before perishing on the slog sweep at Usman Qadir for 64 off 36 deliveries.

Jos Buttler (21) and Jonny Bairstow (five) also skewed slow bowling skywards and Eoin Morgan (21) joined an out-of-sorts Dawid Malan with the score 112-4 after 15 overs, Moeen having been cleaned up by Mohammad Hafeez (3-28).

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam went back to pace in a pivotal 18th over and Morgan flogged him for a pair of sixes, although Hasan Ali had the last laugh, having the England captain caught at mid-on with four balls remaining.

Malan's dogged 31 had been ended by Hafeez and Liam Livingstone had gone six and out by that stage, meaning a pair of scampered twos from all-rounder Chris Jordan were required to finish the job.

 

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    England had been due to play two warm-up matches ahead of the men's T20 World Cup, with the women's team also set to play a double-header in the shortest format, followed by three one-day fixtures. 

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    A statement released on Monday explained that "the mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff" remained the governing body's highest priority. 

    The statement read: "The ECB has a longstanding commitment to tour Pakistan as part of the Men's Future Tours Programme in 2022. 

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    "There is the added complexity for our men's T20 squad. We believe that touring under these conditions will not be ideal preparation for the ICC men's T20 World Cup, where performing well remains a top priority for 2021. 

    "We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country. Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship. 

    "We are sincerely sorry for the impact this will have on cricket in Pakistan and emphasise an ongoing commitment to our main touring plans there for 2022." 

    Pakistan did not host international cricket for six years following the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. 

    Friday's decision by New Zealand Cricket to pull out of the ODI and T20I series just hours before the start of the opening match was met with disappointment from the Pakistan Cricket Board. 

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    "Disappointed with England, pulling out of their commitment and failing a member of their cricket fraternity when it needed it most," he posted on Twitter.  

    "Survive we will inshallah. A wake-up call for Pakistan team to become the best team in the world for teams to line up to play them without making excuses."

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    Kohli accumulated 198 runs across the first seven games of the 2021 IPL season. In total, he has played 199 matches in the competition, averaging 37.97 with a high score of 113.

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