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Pakistan vs England 2nd T20I: Hosts’ batters need to step up after lacklustre outings – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

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Pakistan once again failed to show their batting prowess in the first T20I against England. After twin failures in the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka, they have a chance not only to redeem themselves but also to confide in their batting order. But the first match failed to do both.

While the top order batted brilliantly once again, it was the middle order that failed to impress as in spite of having almost 90 runs in the first 10 overs, they ended the innings on 158/7. However, the team must be happy with Babar Azam showing signs of normalcy and breaking the 30-run barrier after a dubious Asia Cup.

While Pakistan look to strengthen the team apart from Mohammad Rizwan, who has been scoring runs as frequently as people sleep, England will be happy with a strong start to this series.

England look to strengthen their lead

Almost a year ago, they had refuted from touring the country, leaving the Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja fuming. However, they were welcomed graciously and to add to that, the fans were at full capacity at the Karachi National Stadium.

They are travelling to Pakistan after 17 years, but it didn’t seem so. Alex Hales made a return to international cricket after three years, but again, it didn’t seem so. Though he said that three years felt like an eternity, he was quite clinical in opening the innings with a half-century.

Pakistan fans were grateful for England’s visit to their country. AP

Harry Brook, playing only his fifth T20I was also excellent with the bat. But England must be really happy with their bowling hunting in a pack and restricting the already doubtful Pakistan batting order to a below-par score.

Richard Gleeson had some issues with his back, forcing him to leave the match midway. He is not expected to continue at least for the second T20I and Olly Stone is expected to replace him.

There are still six matches to be played, and one match cannot be called upon to make judgments. But if these are the signs of things to follow, the signs are ominous for Pakistan and the opposite of ominous for England.

Pakistan trivia

The hosts have only once since 2010, lost four games on a trot – in 2019. They have lost three in a row now. The possibility of equaling the 2019 stat is on.

Squads:

England: Philip Salt(wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali(c), Sam Curran, David Willey, Luke Wood, Adil Rashid, Liam Dawson, Olly Stone, Will Jacks, Jordan Cox, Tom Helm, Richard Gleeson

 Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan(w), Babar Azam(c), Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Aamer Jamal, Mohammad Haris

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