England looking to extend series lead after restricting Pakistan to 166
England restricted Pakistan to 166 for four as they looked to claim a 3-1 lead in their Twenty20 series against Pakistan.
While wickets were in short supply at Karachi’s National Stadium, just one in the first 18 overs, the tourists bowled with impressive discipline to keep the rate in check throughout the innings.
The world’s number one batter, Mohammad Rizwan, almost carried his bat for 88 but was one of three dismissals in the last 10 deliveries.
Reece Topley took two of those but was also launched for two last-gasp sixes by Asif Ali as he belatedly showed his team-mates the way in an all-too-brief cameo.
Pakistan turned in a solid powerplay, making 52 without loss as Liam Dawson, Topley and debutant Olly Stone took two overs apiece.
England’s decision to hold back David Willey, their most obvious new-ball bowler, was a curious one and perhaps lessened their chances of extracting any early swing.
Rizwan dominated the strike but did not waste it, striking seven boundaries in the first six overs, but Babar Azam was frustrated by a lack of deliveries.
Adil Rashid hustled through a tight four-over spell as Pakistan started to let their momentum drift, but Rizwan’s accumulation continued without any real fireworks.
He finally picked up the first six of the day when he threw everything at Rashid in the 11th, but even that was a risky affair.
Will Jacks watched it all the way at long-on, making a game attempt at a difficult catch only to carry it over the ropes.
Babar eventually dragged Dawson to deep midwicket for 36, trying to force his way into the game having faced only 28 of the 71 legal deliveries.
England were doing a good job of drying up the runs and Rashid’s efforts would have claimed the scalp of Shan Masood for three, had Alex Hales not shelled a regulation catch as he dashed in from the ropes.
Willey snared Masood lbw before Topley cashed in at the close with mis-hits from Khushdil Shah and Rizwan.
Asif was left with just three balls to face and smashed two of them into the stands.
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