Friday, 27 Nov, 2020

Sports

All Well That Ends Well

Saleque Sufi | banglanews24.com
Update: 2020-09-02 12:21:38
All Well That Ends Well Photo collected

Pakistan England T20 Series 
3rd Match Played At Emirates Stadium, Old Trafford, Manchester on September 1 
Pakistan 190/4 In 20 overs (Mohammad Hafiz 86*, Haider Ali 54,CJ Jordan 2/29) Beat England 185/8 in 20 Overs (Moeen Ali 61, T Banton 46, Wahab Riaz 2/26, Shahin Afridi 2/29) by 5 wickets. 
Player of The Match: Mohammad Hafiz
Player Of The Series: Mohammad Hafiz 

Old men say all well that ends well. Finally the win that was looming for Pakistan all through the series came in the very last match.

Winning a very exciting match by 5 wickets Pakistan leveled the T20 series 1-1. Batting first Pakistan ridding on a dazzling unbeaten 86 by old fox Professor Hafiz and scorching 54 by a blooming bud Haider Ali produced a challenging 190/4. Pakistan finally got the X-factor in teenage prodigy Haider. England went down fighting by 5 runs scoring 185/8 needing 6 runs in the last ball of the last over. 

Brilliant bunch of cricketers from international cricket starved territory of South Asia came to England during the days of CORONA Virus with high hopes. With a high quality-bowling unit of diversity and good enough batting they looked very competitive in every match. They should have won the first match but lost for one poor session. Second and third tests were rain affected drawn matches. Pakistan lost the test series 0-1. 

The first match of T20 series was also rain ruined after England was cornered (131/6). England winning the high scoring second match was leading 1-0. Pakistan winning the third squared the series 1-1. Old fox Mohammad Hafiz played his highest T20 international innings of unbeaten 86. This match witnessed the emergence of yet another budding young talent Haider Ali. He impressed all with a brilliant 54. Pakistan presented a competitive 190/4. England despite their best efforts could reach185/8. Finally Pakistan earned the coveted win that they were all the way during the tour. Pakistan won by 5 runs. Thanks to PCB for engaging a very dynamic team management of their star cricketers of the past. The combination of Misbah, Waqar Yunis, Yunus Khan and Mostaq Ahmed definitely gelling the team well. A lesson to be taken for teams like Bangladesh.
Losing the second match after the rained out first match all Pakistan could hope for was earning a victory and leave England with heads high drawing the T20 series 1-1. That is what they did making good exhibition of their quality all round cricket. 

Losing the toss and put into bat Pakistan innings started disastrously with Moeen picking FakharZaman early. Pakistan holding back their ace Haider Ali till the last match of the tour finally brought him to light. What a delightful stroke maker he is. His second ball in T20 career, he blasted over and across. Babar and Haider kept matching strokes for stroke till Curran castled Babar with a good full delivery. Old maestro Hafiz affectionately called Professor joined the fresher Haider. What a brilliant exhibition of explosive yet cultured batting all watched. 100 runs third wicket partnership gave world of confidence to Pakistan. Haider with a classy 54 (5 fours and 2 6s) loudly announced the arrival of yet another young talent in Pakistan cricket. Hafiz went on. His unbeaten 86 in 52 deliveries contained 4 fours and 6 sixes. Pakistan got up to 190/4.

Defending such score required early wicket and good fielding on a flat pitch and short boundaries. Pakistan did both. Shahin removed Bairstow for nought with a brilliant delivery. FakharZaman took an excellent catch on the fence of Malan off the bowling of Imad Wasim. But the vital blow was Morgan running himself out. Pakistan kept on taking wickets at regular interval. However, Moeen Ali finally produced an innings of quality. 61 he scored off 33 deliveries with 4 fours and 4 sixes almost took his team across the rope. Pakistan playing experienced Wahab Riaz quizzed home by 5 runs as he took two key wickets of Sam Billings and Moeen Ali when going was getting tight.

Pakistan definitely deserved at least a win on this tour where they matched England so well and at times looked a better team. 

BDST: 1220 HRS, SEP 02, 2020
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