The second International T20 between England and Pakistan went down to the very last ball as England defeated Pakistan by 3 runs to claim the match and the series. Batting first, England posted a handsome 172 for 8 with Opener Roy and then Joe Root, Joss Buttler and James Vince all chipping in with quality runs. James Vince scored 38 to become the top scorer of the innings. Shahid Afridi picked up three wickets for just 15 runs from his 4 overs but Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir both leaked over 10 runs per over.
In response, Pakistan started in fine fashion as both their openers scored fast enough to create a run rate of over 10. After the departure of Ahmed Sehzad and Rafatullah Mohmand, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez steadied the innings. Once they both perished, Pakistan lost wickets in regular intervals until Afridi’s late surge of 24 off just 8. 11 was needed off the final over but Chris Woakes held his nerve to give England a 3 run win. Liam Plunkett starred in the bowling department with 3 wickets for 33 from his 4 overs and fittingly won the Man of The Match award.
After the match:
Liam Plunkett: “Pakistan started with a flyer and it was good to come back. Thanks to good bowling Adil Raheed. The plan to bowl in the blockhole worked.”
Shahid Afridi: “This is very fast cricket. We should raise our standard of fielding and cricket. We had a good chance to win. There are improvement areas and we should improve as quickly as we can. I am trying in each and every game to do well.”
Joss Buttler: “A bit more stressful being a captain. We didn’t play our best but got over the line in the end. It is good to know we can win even when we are not playing at our best. Great performance by Liam Plunkett coming off the bench. When Afridi is playing like that, you just want to make sure that you get it right. As a captain in T20 you have to stay calm. I was trying to stay patient knowing the big hits will come.”