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Brook, Duckett fireworks take England 2-1 up

Karachi, 23 September 2022: England edged ahead in the seven-T20I series with a comprehensive 63-run win over Pakistan in the third match in front of a packed crowd at the National Stadium.

England recorded the highest T20I score at this stadium, posting an insurmountable 221 and it was a scorching undefeated 139-run partnership between youngsters Ben Duckett and Harry Brook that made it possible.

The pair was unforgiving throughout their stay in the middle scoring at a staggering rate of over two runs per ball. Duckett made 70 not out off 42 balls with eight fours and a six, but it was Brook who was at his devastating best in the death, smashing 44 off only 17 in his scintillating 81 not out off 35 (eight fours and five sixes).

England were 89 for three and shifted gears after the drinks break at the halfway stage of the innings, scoring in double-figures every over. The pair added 132 in the last 10 overs, with 69 of them being added to the visitors’ total in the last five.

Mohammad Hasnain was terrific with the new ball, hitting the corridor of uncertainty consistently at a quick pace, as his first two overs leaked only 10 and got the wicket of Phil Salt, who was beaten by the pace trying to pull the right-armer’s short-pitched delivery.

Will Jacks, the debutant who replaced Alex Hales at the top of the order, announced his arrival at the international stage with a blazing 22-ball 40 (eight fours) and made sure his team continued at an imposing run rate during the powerplay, hitting half of his boundaries in his 36 off 17 by the end of the first six.

Usman Qadir provided the breakthrough on the second ball of his first over – the seventh of the innings – by bowling a googly and taking the pace off it against Dawid Malan, who holed out to deep midwicket after an inside edge while attempting a reverse sweep had gone for four.

Duckett began his innings with two fours in four balls, and seemed to be building a partnership with Jacks, but the latter holed out on another Qadir googly.

Qadir finished with two for 48 in four. On a day when England scored at a run rate of over 11 an over, Mohammad Nawaz (none for 34) and Haris Rauf (none for 39) finished under the economy rate of 10. 

Pakistan required a solid start, but Mark Wood, playing his first international since November 2021 because of an injury lay-off, struck fourth ball (in the third over of the run chase) with the prized scalp of Babar Azam, who handed an easy catch to Reece Topley playing an uppercut.

Topley struck next over rattling Mohammad Rizwan’s stumps with a cutter, before Adil Rashid grabbed a stunning catch at square leg off Wood, the next over, to send Haider Ali back. The sixth over brought the wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed as Pakistan lost four wickets in the powerplay.

Shan Masood – who made his T20I debut on Tuesday in the first match of the series - launched a counterattack with Khushdil Shah on his way to his maiden half-century, bringing it up in just 28 balls.

Shan and Khushdil added 62 runs in 38 balls. As their partnership started to look promising, Adil struck in the 12th over and curtailed the latter’s stand to 21 balls in which he made 29, hitting two sixes and a four.

Shan brought up his half-century with a flat six over long-on off Sam Curran after Nawaz, with whom he stitched 52 runs, spanked Wood for two fours in the last over, but by this point, the match had settled in the visitors’ favour with the required run rate touching 24 at the completion of the 16th over.

Rashid dismissed Nawaz in the 18th and Wood accounted for Haris Rauf with a bouncer that top-edged to Curran at cover in the 19th. Four balls before the Haris wicket, Usman was run out. Pakistan managed 158 for eight with Shan unbeaten on 65 off 40 (three fours and four sixes).

Scores in brief:

England beat Pakistan by 63 runs

England 221-3, 20 overs (Harry Brook 81 not out, Ben Duckett 70 not out, Will Jacks 40; Usman Qadir 2-48)

Pakistan 158-8, 20 overs (Shan Masood 65 not out, Khushdil Shah 29; Mark Wood 3-24, Adil Rashid 2-32)

Player of the match -  Harry Brook (England)