English Spinners Help England Level the Series

Stand-in captain Jos Buttler and English spinners star and help England level the series 1-1 in Headingley after a 45 runs victory over Pakistan. Adil Rashid, Matt Parkinson, and Moeen Ali claimed 5 scalps in their 11 overs as visitors finished 155 for 9 in response to a 201 run target of English men in Leeds. Jos Buttler played a 59 run knock to help hosts post 200 on the board.

It means that the third game in Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday will be a decider now

England kills the chase through the spin

When Pakistan lost their first wicket in Babar Azam in the last over of the powerplay, they had reached 50 in 5.4 overs, ensuring that the game is on. Sohaib Maqsood dealt in boundaries, continuing his PSL form, and the team looked in the mood to chase. After the powerplay, Buttler introduced spin as pitch looked supportive to slow bowlers, even more than the expectations of many. 

From over number 7 to 17, Adil Rashid, Matt Parkinson, and Moeen Ali bowled 11 overs for 87 and got 5 scalps in the 6 middle overs where Pakistan slid from 71/1 to 105/6. Adil Rashid bowled with flight and spin, dismissal of Sohaib Maqsood, stumped by Buttler after getting deceived by a leg-spin off Rashid, being the highlight of his spell of 2/30. Matt Parkinson, the fellow spinner, proved even more terrific as veteran Pakistani batsman like Mohammad Hafeez struggled to pick him. Moeen Ali also proved vital as the off-spinner got 2 big wickets in Hafeez and Fakhar in the middle overs. 

Adil Rashid in action while England level the series
English Spinners killed the chase for Pakistan in the middle overs.

After being 105/6 in 14 overs, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim produced some runs at the back end, but the team couldn’t get any closer to the target as the inning finished on 155/9 in 20 overs. Saqib Mahmood remained another star bowler, getting 3 scalps for 33. 

Battler and Livingston help England Post 200 

Pakistan won the toss and invited England to bat on the Headingley pitch that was exposed to international cricket for the first time. Hence, it seemed as if Pakistan wants to observe the pitch’s behavior on the ground for 20 overs before its batters go on to chase the target down.

Imad Wasim sent Roy and Malan back to the pavilion early to send England on the back foot in the powerplay, but England’s new no.4, Moeen Ali had other plans as left armer scored quick 36 for 16 before Mohammad Hasnain bowled him. Moeen-Buttler stood together for 67 runs while the English skipper produced another 51 run partnership alongside Liam Livingston, scoring a stupendous 59 off 39 before throwing his wicket away in the 14th over. When Livingston got run out in the 16th over, scoring a quick 38, England had scored 164 runs, with a run-rate of over 10. Late dismissals of English tale made things difficult, but hosts succeeded in reaching 200 before the last man, Matthew Parkinson, got out on the 2nd last delivery of the inning. Mohammed Hasnain got 3 while Imad Wasim and Haris Rauf got 2’2 scalps each. 

England posted a big total of 200 on the board after batting first

England could score just 10 runs in the last 2 overs, but still, a 201 runs target proved enough as Pakistan struggled against English spinners.

Why was Morgan out?

Eoin Morgan is one of the pillars of the English white-ball team, as his captaincy and approach towards the game is actually what defines the current England team. Before starting the series, England had made it clear that this series is all about experiments and experiences as they try different players at different positions, e.g., Moeen, Livingston, and Bairstow at 4’5’6 Buttler up for the toss being the latest one.

Eoin Morgan's poor form
Eoin Morgan is the most successful and brave captain of England

 There are many contenders for each position in English Line-up; the presence of the world’s number 1 T20I batsman: Dawid Malan’s position looks in danger as well if his bad form continues. The out-of-form skipper will be a concern for the management because the captain’s body language and form will affect the team’s attitude in the T20 world cup. Morgan has gotten past 30 only twice in his last 17 games while he scored with an average of 12 in his last 15 innings. In form, Eoin Morgan is vital for a successful English campaign in the T20 WC 2021.

Also Read about: Blockbuster Records by Pakistan in 1st T20I vs England

Pakistan’s Worries and Concerns

Before starting the T20I series, Pakistan’s head coach, Misbah Ul Haq, had made it clear that he is looking for players who perform at no. 5 and 6 and finish the games for the team. Sohaib Maqsood and Azam Khan were considered to be the solution to Pakistan’s weakness at no.5&6. Still, Maqsood’s settlement at no.3 means that Pakistan had an opener and a debutante to try at these positions.

In a tough run chase where spinners were in the business, this lack of form of Pakistan’s middle order will add to the headache of the team management.

Pakistan also has “The Problem of Many” in one area, and that’s is its bowling department, where many candidates are waiting for their inclusions. When Pakistani spinners couldn’t threaten England on a spin-friendly pitch of Headingley while quicks like Hasnain and Haris Rauf went for plenty, helping England score too big for a weak Pakistani batting department, selectors must be analyzing different options because Pakistan is famous for winning matches through good bowlers.

Therefore, we may see Usman Qadir and Hasan Ali back in the XI for the decider in Old Trafford. In contrast, others like Sharjeel, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, and Shahnawaz Dahani may also get some chances in Pakistan Tour to West Indies, which should be the last series for different experiments by Pakistan. I haven’t written Mohammad Amir’s name intentionally. Still, remembering the pre-world cup 2019 scenario, it looks as if anyone can be given a chance based on “Urgently Required,” Isn’t it?

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