Babar, Rizwan help Pakistan down England in first T20I


Pakistan beat England by 31 runs in the first T20I despite Livingstone’s 103-run innings on Friday, to take 1-0 lead in three-match T20I series.

Chasing a mammoth target of 233, Pakistan got an ideal start as Shaheen Afridi got rid of number-one ranked T20I batsman Dawid Malan for one.

Jason Roy decided to target Imad Wasim and hit the all-rounder for three sixes in his second over, getting England back on track with the required run-rate.

Jonny Bairstow was looking equally dangerous but was late to a short delivery by Afridi and edged one to Wasim and departed for 11.

Mohammad Hasnain gave just two runs and took an important wicket of Moeen Ali, courtesy of a brilliant effort by Haris Rauf — who collided with Sohaib Maqsood while completing the catch.

Liam Livingstone looked in ominous form as he hit Haris Rauf for two sixes a boundary, taking England to 69-3 at the end of powerplay.

Shadab was welcomed into the attack with back to back sixes by Livingstone, but Pakistan vice-captain struck back in the same over by removing Roy for 32.

Livingstone continued to attack Shadab despite wickets falling at the other end. The hard-hitting batsman dispatched the spinner for a boundary to bring his fifty in just 17 balls, which is fastest by any England batsman in T20 cricket.

After hitting Imad for six earlier in the over, Morgan tried to go for another but was caught at deep mid-wicket by Rauf for 16.

Livingstone kept England’s hopes alive as he dispatched Shaheen for a six in the 15th over, bringing the equation down to 75 from 34 balls.

Shadab removed Lewis Gregory in the first ball of his final over to further dent England. However, it didn’t stop Livingstone who hit Shadab for a six on the next ball to bring his maiden T20I hundred in just 43 balls.

However, Shadab got his revenge on the next ball as Livingstone was caught at long on by Shaheen, bringing an end to a brilliant innings.

Willey, who has 2 T20 hundreds, kept England in the chase, as he raced to 16 from 8, bringing the equation to 32 from 11 balls.

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