Rizwan and Rauf star in thriller as Pakistan level T20I series against England

By Sports Desk September 25, 2022

Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Rauf starred as Pakistan clinched a three-run victory over England to level their T20I series at 2-2 after a stunning match in Karachi.

Captain Babar Azam and Rizwan combined for an opening partnership of 97 as Pakistan posted 166-4, setting a target that England would have fancied chasing down.

Yet the visitors were unable to get there, despite a determined rally from Liam Dawson, leaving Pakistan to celebrate victory in what was their 200th T20I.

Rauf picked up three prized wickets, including that of Dawson, to take the player of the match award.

After both made just eight in the third match, Babar and Rizwan this time rekindled the form they showed in the second contest of this series when Pakistan swept to a 10-wicket win.

Babar made a handy 36 before being caught by Ben Duckett off Dawson's bowling, but Rizwan ploughed on to reach 88, eventually falling to Reece Topley in the final over.

Shan Masood made 21 and Asif Ali clattered two late sixes in 13no from three balls, as Pakistan pushed up their score.

The home team had work to do with the ball but came out firing, taking early wickets to dismiss Phil Salt (8), Alex Hales (5) and Will Jacks (0) in the first two overs of England's reply, as Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Hasnain made inroads.

England found batting rhythm through Duckett, striking three consecutive boundaries, although Nawaz put down a sitter to drop Harry Brook before he dismissed Duckett lbw for 33 in the eighth over.

Captain Moeen Ali made 29 and Brook fell for 34, before Dawson looked like winning it with a gallant effort for England. He reached 34 at breakneck speed, but a brilliant over from Rauf (3-32) halted the fightback as he had Dawson caught before bowling Olly Stone with the next delivery.

It meant England went from 162-7 to 162-9, and Masood ran out Topley in the final over to finish the contest, with three matches remaining in the series as the teams head for Lahore.

Rizwan and Babar set record

Pakistan's opening pair of Babar and Rizwan became the first batting duo to register 2,000 runs as partners in men's T20I cricket, coming into the day with 1,946 and smashing their way through the landmark figure.

The duo also equalled Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul's record of 14 partnerships scoring above 50 in T20Is.

Dawson drives recovery

England looked to be down and out heading into the final few overs, but Dawson's blistering display with the bat took advantage of some lacklustre bowling to briefly change the tide of the game.

His runs came from just 17 balls and contained five fours and a six, providing a glimpse of a comeback, but he was unable to finish the job.

Related items

  • Labuschagne leads the way as Australia open commanding lead Labuschagne leads the way as Australia open commanding lead

    Marnus Labuschagne struck an unbeaten 154 to help Australia reach 293-2 on day one of their first Test with West Indies on Wednesday.

    West Indies struggled to find answers at Optus Stadium in Perth, taking only the wickets of openers David Warner (5) and Usman Khawaja (65).

    Australia, who have lost just one of their past eight Test series, were in trouble early on as Warner's lean streak in the longest format continued when he chopped on from Jayden Seales' wide delivery.

    The home side were 9-1 when Labuschagne arrived at the crease, but he and Khawaja set about advancing their side to 72-1 by lunch and then kicked on.

    Kyle Mayers gave West Indies a much-needed breakthrough when delivering a perfect ball that caught the edge of Khawaja's bat and was gathered by Joshua Da Silva.

    The Khawaja-Labuschagne partnership may have ended at 142 runs, but the latter was not finished there as he struck 16 fours and a six en route to another huge score.

    Steve Smith also chipped in with an unbeaten 59 while producing a 142-run stand of his own with Labuschagne, which they will look to build on when play resumes on Thursday.


    Magical Marnus

    Australia are undefeated in their past 11 Test series against West Indies, winning 10 of those and each of the past eight, and they already look great value to extend that streak.

    Labuschagne was undoubtedly the star of the day with his eighth Test ton and he will now look to build on his unbeaten 154, which is the fourth-highest tally of his career.

    Weak Warner

    West Indies have won their past two Test series and they started well in Perth when sending Warner packing in the fourth over.

    That was the Australia opener's fourth successive single figure dismissal in a home Test innings, and he will be grateful that Labuschagne in particular was able to bail him out.

  • Pakistan discussing first Test postponement as illness sweeps England camp Pakistan discussing first Test postponement as illness sweeps England camp

    Pakistan are in discussions with England over postponing the opening Test between the pair following illness in the tourists' camp.

    The two are set to meet in their first red-ball match in Pakistan since 2005 this week, beginning a three-match series in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

    But an infection has swept through England's party, disrupting their preparations, with only a handful of the squad training on Wednesday.

    Now, the Pakistan Cricket Board is in dialogue with the England and Wales Cricket Board over delaying the fixture.

    "The PCB and ECB are in discussions regarding the commencement of the first Test as some England players are down with [a] viral infection," said the PCB.

    "The PCB continues to monitor the situation, is in contact with the ECB and will provide further updates in due course."

    England batsman Joe Root, one of a handful of players who trained on Wednesday, suggested a postponement was the right decision to make, stating the tourists did not wish to shortchange the occasion.

    "It's such a monumental tour and important series for so many reasons," he told BBC Sport. "We've waited 17 years to come to Pakistan to play a Test match.

    "If it means waiting another day, is that the worst thing in the world? We're all desperate to play this game, and we know how important it is to the fans of Pakistan and their team as well."

    Root was succeeded by Ben Stokes as captain earlier this year and ruled out leading the side if the latter was indisposed, suggesting Ollie Pope should instead deputise.

    "I don't think that's going to be the case," he added when asked if he would skipper England. "Last week Popey did a great job in the warm-up game. I think that might be a better way for the group moving forward."

  • Babar credits De Villiers as batting inspiration: 'My ideal is everything he is' Babar credits De Villiers as batting inspiration: 'My ideal is everything he is'

    Babar Azam has put his success as Pakistan captain down to his attempts to replicate South Africa great AB de Villiers.

    Azam will lead Pakistan in a three-match Test series against England, starting this week in Rawalpindi. It is the tourists' first red-ball match in the country since 2005.

    The form of the skipper will be key to Pakistan's hopes of marking the occasion with a victory following another impressive year with the bat.

    Azam is averaging 73.44 in Tests in 2022 after two centuries and four fifties in nine innings, and ahead of facing England, he revealed his inspiration in an interview with Sky Sports.

    "To be honest, my role model is AB de Villiers because I love him and the way he is playing and the way he is playing all the shots," Azam said.

    "When I see him on the TV, the next day I am trying every shot in the nets. I try to copy De Villiers and try to look and play like De Villiers because my ideal is everything he is."

    De Villiers, who retired from all forms of international cricket in 2018, had a Test batting average of 50.66 and scored 22 hundreds in the longest format.

    Meanwhile, Babar is relishing the chance to take on England on home soil, adding: "We are looking forward to a historic series, and first of all, welcome to the England team.

    "I know a few of the boys already in T20 format and a few new faces, so I think they will enjoy it a lot. We are looking forward to the series and everyone is ready."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.