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England vs Pakistan: Babar wins toss bowls, Imad pegs back hosts

Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to field against England in the first T20I at Old Trafford on Friday 28 August.

The tourists decided against giving a debut to teenage batsman Haider Ali, preferring the experience of Mohammad Hafeez.

Pakistan chase in first T20I against England

Mohammad Rizwan, who did a superb job behind the stumps during Pakistan’s 1-0 defeat in a three-Test series by England concluded Tuesday, was preferred as wicketkeeper to former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Pakistan’s bowling attack also included returning left-arm quick Mohammad Amir.

“We have prepared well and the team is very confident,” said Babar through an interpreter at the toss.

“We would have looked to do the same (bowl first),” said England captain Eoin Morgan, with batsman Joe Denly and left-arm quick David Willey not making it into the final XI.

England are without Jason Roy after the opening batsman was ruled out of this three-match series because of a side-strain.

His place at the top of the order was taken by Tom Banton, with England missing the likes of white-ball regulars such as Test skipper Joe Root, all-rounder Ben Stokes, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and fast bowler Jofra Archer as they are fielding separate Test and limited-overs squads amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dawid Malan, who has a superb average of over 52 in T20 internationals, came in at number three.

This series would have acted as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October but the pandemic means the global showpiece has now been rescheduled with the next tournament taking place in 2021 in India. 

Pakistan spinner Imad Wasim pegged England back early taking the wicket of Jonny Bairstow, caught and bowled with the fifth ball of the match. Banton and Malan saw out the powerplay but were not able to give England their customary flying start.

Babar switched up his bowlers in the early going and both Banton and Malan struggled to keep the scoreboard moving, though as the innings progressed Banton grew more comfortable and found a way to inject some impetus into the contest.

Banton took a liking to Shadab Khan in particular, smashing him for successive sixes at the outset of the tenth over but just as it seemed England were on top Malan was run out after a mix-up with his batting partner ending a 71-run partnership for the second wicket.

After ten overs of their innings England were 79 for 2.

England Team

England: Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Tom Banton, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (capt), Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood

Pakistan team

Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wkt), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf

Match officials

Umpires: Mike Burns (ENG), Alex Wharf (ENG)

TV umpire: Martin Saggers (ENG)

Match referee: Wayne Noon (ENG)

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