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Pakistan, England raring to go as T20Is begin today

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The much-anticipated moment is finally upon us, as Pakistan will host England for the first time in 17 years when the two sides meet for the first of the seven historic T20 Internationals on Tuesday. 

Since the arrival of Jos Buttler’s side in Karachi on Thursday, the discourse has revolved around the historic nature of England’s visit, but when the first ball is bowled and two of the most exciting T20I sides get in action, cricket will take the front seat. 

 

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“Thrilled and excited for this series”

Pakistan and England are raring to go as the seven-match T20I series commences tomorrow 🇵🇰🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

🗒️ https://t.co/iCQLu4sK1R#PAKvENG | #UKSePK pic.twitter.com/3Kq9PuZ7Kv

— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) September 19, 2022

 

England have had an upper hand in the format in head-to-head contests, winning 14 of the 21 matches, and losing on only six occasions. They have had four days of practice at the National Stadium, and after familiarising themselves with the conditions, they will look to stretch their dominance in this series. 

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“Everyone is raring to go,” England captain Jos Buttler told PCB Digital on the eve of the first T20I. “Preparations have been good and the guys are excited to be practising at this venue. Everyone is looking ahead at the first game.” 

This England squad is well familiar with the conditions because of their multiple visits to the country, especially to Karachi and Lahore, for HBL Pakistan Super League editions since 2017. Exactly half of the 20-player squad has been in Pakistan before and have let the other half know what will be on offer at National Stadium, Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. 

Moeen Ali will take the captaincy as Buttler – who is nursing a calf injury, sustained in the recent The Hundred – is expected to be available for the last few matches. 

England squad:  Jos Buttler (Captain), Moeen Ali (Vice-Captain), Adil Rashid, Alex Hales, Ben Duckett, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Dawid Malan, Harry Brook, Jordan Cox, Liam Dawson, Luke Wood, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, Richard Gleeson, Sam Curran, Tom Helm and Will Jacks 

The Tuesday match will be Pakistan’s only second of the format in the country this year. They played Australia in a solitary T20I during their historic visit to Lahore in April. Pakistan, however, enter this series at the back of a decent ACC Men’s T20 Asia Cup in which they ended up as runners-up after losing to Sri Lanka in the final. 

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They sealed thrillers against India and Afghanistan and have won nine out of their last 13 matches – something that underscores Babar Azam men’s consistency and ability to pull off remarkable wins under pressure. 

Pakistan have the services of two of the most successful batters at the top of the order in Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam. The two have been outstanding since the start of 2021 with Rizwan scoring 1,630 runs – the most in the period – at 67.91 per dismissal and Babar behind him with 1,073 at 33.53. They are two of the only three batters to score more than a thousand runs in the format in the last 21 months (the third being West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran). 

“Playing at home provides a great opportunity for the youngsters to express themselves and it boosts morale when your fans back you,” Babar said to PCB Digital. “I am thrilled and excited for this series. It is an important one for us as it leads us into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. We are all very excited and eager to get going.” 

The Pakistan Cricket Board has pledged all the gate receipts from the first T20I to Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund to help the victims of the devastating floods that have submerged one-third of the country. 

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Aamir Jamal, Abrar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood and Usman Qadir. 

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SCHEDULE OF MATCHES: 

Pakistan v England T20Is (matches to start at 1930 PKT): 

20 September – 1st T20I, Karachi 

22 September – 2nd T20I, Karachi 

23 September – 3rd T20I, Karachi 

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25 September – 4th T20I, Karachi 

28 September – 5th T20I, Lahore 

30 September – 6th T20I, Lahore 

2 October – 7th T20I, Lahore 



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Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan shatter record books with huge stand

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The duo of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam is arguably the best T20 cricket has ever seen and they once again achieved the unachievable with their epic partnership in the second T20I against England at the National Stadium in Karachi.

While chasing 200, the skipper scored 110 off 66 balls, while Rizwan made 88 off 51 balls. En route to a magnificent stand, the duo broke their own records and claimed one another. 

Here are all the key stats from the Men in Green’s record-breaking chase against England

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Highest successful chase without losing a wicket

Pakistan chased a 200-run target, the highest successful chase in T20 history, without losing a wicket. The previous highest was 184 by Kolkata Knight Riders against Gujarat Lions in 2017, while the previous best in T20Is was 169 by New Zealand against Pakistan in 2016.

First team to chase target of 200 against England

Babar Azam’s Pakistan became the first team to successfully chase a target of 200 or more against England in men’s T20Is. India’s 199-run chase in Bristol in 2018 was the previous highest against England in this format.

Highest stand in a T20 run chase

The partnership of 203 between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan is the biggest stand in a T20 chase. The duo broke their own record of 197 which they achieved against South Africa in Centurion last year.

England losing by ten wickets for first time

Pakistan claimed their second win by ten wickets in T20Is as they had defeated India by the same margin during last year’s T20 World Cup. It is also the first time England have lost by ten wickets in a men’s T20I

First pair to score 200-run stand for Pakistan

Babar and Rizwan had five 150-plus stands in T20Is while no other pair has even one for Pakistan. Their five stands of 150-plus runs are also the most by any pair in all T20 cricket. They are also now the first pair to share a 200-run stand for Pakistan in T20Is

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Babar, Rizwan feature in successful chases of 200-plus 

There have been three instances of successful chases of 200+ by Pakistan in men’s T20Is. All three chases featured an opening stand of 150-plus between Babar and Rizwan. They added 158 in chase of 208 against West Indies in Lahore last year and had a 197-run stand during a chase of 204 against South Africa in 2021.

Babar – only Pakistan batter to score more than one T20I century

Babar Azam has now scored two centuries in T20Is, the first Pakistan batter with multiple centuries in this format. Rizwan and Ahmed Shehzad has scored one each for the Men in Green in T20Is

Most T20 centuries by an Asia batter

Babar Azam has now scored seven centuries in T20s, the most by any batter from Asia, going past Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli – all with six tons.

Most runs by a pair in T20Is

Babar and Rizwan now hold the record for most runs as a pair in men’s T20Is. The duo currently has 1929 runs from 36 innings at an average of 56.73 with seven century and six half-century stands. They surpassed Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s tally of 1743 runs. The seven-century stands between the Pakistan duo are also a record in this format.

Scoring century in all three formats at a single venue

Babar Azam is now only the third batter to score a century in all three international formats at a single venue. Babar has centuries across formats at National Stadium. He joined the list of Faf du Plessis at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and David Warner at the Adelaide Oval in scoring a century in all three formats at a venue.

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‘Unstoppable’ Babar, Rizwan help Pakistan level series against

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Pakistan mounted a great comeback into the series on the back of a stunning century from Babar Azam along with a brilliant 88* from Mohammad Rizwan in the second T20I against England.

 

Stuff of dreams by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan ❤️

Pakistan is the first team ever to successfully chase a target of 200 or more with all 10 wickets in hand 👊

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Scorecard: https://t.co/5DxkxRvUoG#PAKvENG pic.twitter.com/hh01pBzEPt

— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) September 22, 2022

 

England falter after fiery start

Alex Hales and Phil Salt put on a quickfire 42-run partnership in the first five overs. Salt got England up and running with a six against Mohammad Nawaz and Hales followed it up with a four and six in the next over.

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Shahnawaz Dahani’s back-to-back dismissals brought Pakistan back after England dominated most part of the powerplay 👏

Follow live: https://t.co/5DxkxRvUoG#PAKvENG pic.twitter.com/SwQrt1nEvM

— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) September 22, 2022

 

Shahnawaz Dahani turned it around for Pakistan in the final over of the Powerplay and was on a hattrick with the wicket of Hales and Dawid Malan. England, however, did not go into a shell with Ben Duckett counter-attacking with the bat. England scored seven boundaries in the next eight overs and all of them came from Duckett en route to his 22-ball 43. 

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Moeen Ali finishes on a high

Just when England were once again looking dangerous, the hosts struck back with two wickets in two overs with both set batters heading back to the pavilion. Once again, the visitors fought fire with fire and took the attack to Pakistan.

 

Moeen Ali knew his task and delivered it 👊#PAKvENG pic.twitter.com/WPx29VFKj7

— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) September 22, 2022

 

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Harry Brook and Moeen Ali added 59 runs in just 27 balls in a partnership laced with three fours and five sixes. The captain made Pakistan pay for the dropped catch in the 18th over and finished with a flurry. With two sixes off the last two balls, Ali got to his fifty and set Pakistan a daunting target of 200.

Babar, Rizwan put on a stunning partnership

Needing to chase at 10 runs an over, Mohammad Rizwan made his intent clear with two boundaries in the very first over. Babar Azam too got in on the act with two boundaries of his own in the third over against Sam Curran.

The carnage continued in the remaining overs of the Powerplay as the two took Pakistan to 59/0 at the end of six overs. The boundaries continued to flow even after the fielding restrictions ended as both Rizwan and Babar got to their fifties in 30 and 39 balls respectively.

Moeen’s decision to bring himself on backfired as the two openers smashed three sixes to accumulate 21 runs from the over. Adil Rashid was dealt with similar disdain as he was smacked for two sixes in the 15th over.

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Babar back in form

The Pakistan captain became even more dangerous once he got to his half-century. After reaching his fifty in 39 balls, he only needed 23 more balls to reach his three-figure milestone. With his 62-ball century, he became the first Pakistani batter to score two T20I centuries.

 

Without a doubt, the best-ever batting pair to play in this format 🫶#PAKvENG #BabarAzam #MohammadRizwan pic.twitter.com/Wh0IzAgcAV

— Cricket Pakistan (@cricketpakcompk) September 22, 2022

 

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The two star batters remained unbeaten as they chased down the total with three balls to spare and level the series 1-1.



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Suryakumar Yadav overtakes Babar Azam in T20I rankings

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India star Suryakumar Yadav has continued his recent push towards becoming the best T20I batter in the world after he made further inroads on the latest ICC Men’s Player Rankings.

Yadav impressed with a classy 46 for India during their narrow loss to Australia in Mohali in the opening match of their three-game series on Tuesday and it helped him inch closer towards Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan at the top of the T20I batter rankings.

The right-hander jumped in front of Pakistan captain Babar Azam and into third place on the latest list of T20I rankings for batters that were released by the ICC on Wednesday, with Rizwan now just 45 rating points in front of him.

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Rizwan hit a half-century in Pakistan’s loss to England in Karachi on Tuesday and maintains a narrow advantage at the top of the rankings with a career-high total of 825 rating points.

But South Africa star Aiden Markram (792 rating points) and Yadav (780) are within striking distance and will get the chance to make a run for the top ranking with the start of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia less than a month away.

Babar drops to fourth on the latest rankings following his below par Asia Cup and a return of 31 against England in the series opener of their series, while England’s Dawid Malan (725) and Australia skipper Aaron Finch (715) round out a classy top six.

A host of India and Australia players made significant ground on the latest set of T20I rankings, while England and Pakistan players also caught the eye.

Explosive India star Hardik Pandya rocketed up 22 places to 65th overall on the batter rankings following his superb 71* against the Aussies, while team-mate Axar Patel shot up 24 spots to 33rd on the list for bowlers after he collected three wickets during the same match.

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Consistent seamer Josh Hazlewood maintains his place as the No.1 ranked bowler and the right-armer displayed his prowess with the key wickets of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in that high-scoring showdown.

England spinner Adil Rashid stays in third and on the coat-tails of Hazlewood and second-placed Tabraiz Shamsi following a two-wicket haul against Pakistan, while returning veteran Alex Hales re-enters the T20I batter rankings following a three-year hiatus from 20-over international cricket.

Pakistan quick Haris Rauf moves up four spots to 21st on the latest list for T20I bowlers after a strong showing against England, while team-mate Mohammad Nawaz jumps three places to 31st.



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