'Fitting' for Stokes to help seal Pakistan win as Duckett salutes England captain

By Sports Desk December 20, 2022

England batsman Ben Duckett believes it was "fitting" for Ben Stokes to help seal a historic series win over Pakistan, adding he does not think he will play in a side quite like the current Test team again.

The opener combined with his skipper to chase down the 55 runs required in Tuesday's first session on day four for an eight-wicket win in Karachi, to complete a historic 3-0 clean sweep.

No other touring side has ever achieved the latter feat in a Test series in Pakistan, with the result continuing to vindicate Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum's aggressive approach to red-ball cricket.

Duckett, back in the Test side for the first time since 2016, posted one century and three further half-centuries across six innings, but was more than happy to credit his captain for their success abroad this month.

"It was fitting that Ben Stokes was there," he told Sky Sports. "We played to our strengths and thankfully got off to a flier.

"I'm very happy. I tried to stick to my game. The mindset of this team from the start of the summer, it is brilliant to come in to as you have the full backing to play the game your way.

"I'm not sure I will play in a team like this again. We are willing to lose games to win and if you go with that mentality, all the pressure goes off you. We are just trying to enjoy it."

Though Duckett's resurgence has helped offer hope for the immediate future amid England's otherwise thin opening batsman options, it was the middle order where they thrived, with Harry Brook particularly impressing.

With 468 runs in five innings – including three centuries – the 23-year-old excelled in the conditions in Pakistan, and credited his displays to the freedom enjoyed under Stokes.

"It is a good feeling to come out here and do something no other team has done," he said. "We all put our hard work in, and we've been phenomenal.

"I've been out here a couple of times. It's quite lucky that I started my Test career out here and adapting to conditions as soon as possible. The way the team has been playing, I think I fit in quite well here."

With the Indian Premier League just around the corner, Brook's impressive performances in red-and-white-ball cricket – he was a member of the T20 World Cup-winning side – have him hopeful of a call.

"It is a competition I've always watched since I was younger and the best franchise competition out there," he added. "Hopefully I get picked up.

"[But for now] I'll be having some family time and a fair bit of food at Christmas."

Related items

  • Azam admits future as Pakistan captain is up to the PCB following Ireland win Azam admits future as Pakistan captain is up to the PCB following Ireland win

    Babar Azam has said he will leave the decision of remaining as Pakistan captain to the PCB following their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign. 

    The Shaheens concluded their run in the competition with a three-wicket triumph over Ireland in Florida on Sunday, but failed to progress to the Super 8 stage at the expense of the United States. 

    Shaheen Afridi starred for Pakistan by taking three wickets, with Azam leading from the front with the bat as he hit an unbeaten 32 to help secure the victory. 

    "Yes we finished well, we took early wickets with the ball," Azam said after the game. "With the bat we didn't finish well. Lost back to back wickets, got over the line in the end.

    "I think with the bowling, conditions suit our bowlers, in batting few mistakes in USA, India matches, when you lose wickets pressure is on you.

    "Let's see, what team needs, I'll be okay with it. Have a good bunch of players, we've to go home, chat and see where we lacked, and then come back. Couldn't finish off close games, as a team we weren't good as a team."

    Pakistan's exit from the World Cup was the earliest they had been knocked out of the competition, having lost their opening two games to the USA and India. 

    Azam's future as the captain has been called into question, and could hand the armband over to Afridi, who was named as the new captain following Pakistan's league stage exit of the ODI World Cup in India last year.

    The 29-year-old explained that conversations will be had to discuss his future as Pakistan captain, but admitted the decision is down to the PCB. 

    "When I left captaincy (previously), I felt that I shouldn't be captain any more and announced it myself. When PCB gave it back, that was their decision," Azam said. 

    "Now we'll go back and have a discussion about what all has happened here. If I leave captaincy again then I will inform everyone.

    "For now, I haven't thought about it and the decision is up to PCB."

  • Pakistan end disappointing T20 World Cup with Ireland win Pakistan end disappointing T20 World Cup with Ireland win

    Pakistan salvage some pride in their final T20 World Cup match by holding on to earn a three-wicket victory over Ireland in Lauderhill on Sunday.

    Both sides were already out of the competition before the match, but Pakistan clearly wanted to go out on a high as they came out of the blocks quickly.

    Ireland got off to a nightmare start, slumping to 4-3 in just the second over. Shaheen Afridi (3-22) and Imad Wasim (3-8) impressed as Pakistan smothered their opponents, though Gareth Delany managed to gain some momentum with 31 off 19 balls.

    Ireland eventually stumbled to 106-9 and looked out of sorts while bowling as well as Pakistan raced to 52-2 by the end of the eighth over.

    Barry McCarthy (3-15) set up a nervy finish though as his intervention saw Pakistan lose four wickets during the next three overs.

    Ireland could not hold onto their dominance though as Afridi scored two sixes in the 19th over to reach 111-7 and ensure a Pakistan win with seven balls remaining.

    Pakistan are left to rue their slow start to the tournament, while Ireland finish their T20 World Cup campaign without registering a single win, with both sides now heading home.

    Data Debrief: Too little, too late?

    It is the second time in the tournament that Pakistan have had two bowlers take three wickets each after Naseem Shah (3-21) and Haris Rauf (3-21) in their defeat to India.

    Overall, this is the lowest match aggregate (217) involving Pakistan and Ireland in T20Is.

  • Archer has 'exceeded expectations', says Buttler following England comeback Archer has 'exceeded expectations', says Buttler following England comeback

    Jos Buttler has praised Jofra Archer upon his return to international cricket at the 2024 T20 World Cup. 

    Archer spent over a year on the sidelines nursing an elbow injury following a recurrence of a stress fracture that ruled him out of summer cricket 12 months ago.

    The 29-year-old has taken five wickets for Matthew Molt's side, the latest coming in their 41-run triumph over Namibia as they progressed to the Super 8 stage following Australia's win over Scotland. 

    "We were in and out looking at the weather and Jofra was asleep on the bench - he's in a really good place," said Buttler.

    "I’m just delighted to see him back in an England shirt playing on the big stage."

    Archer's struggles with injury have persisted for the last three years, missing England's 2023 Ashes series against the Aussies. 

    The fast bowler played a pivotal role in Three Lions' ODI World Cup success in 2019, and has recaptured that form which saw him take 20 wickets during that tournament.

    Archer has captured a wicket in each of England's World Cup fixtures, averaging an economy rate of 5.91, only bettered by Reece Topley (3.60). 

    Buttler has been impressed with the 29-year-old's form in the opening stages of the tournament, but revealed his progress has exceeded his expectations. 

    "He’s been fantastic and is an amazing guy to have in the team to throw the ball to," said Buttler.

    "He’s exceeded certainly my expectations for where he would be at. He was probably expecting that of himself."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.