Archer back with a bang and Buttler stars as England beat Pakistan

By Sports Desk May 25, 2024

England claimed a 23-run over Pakistan in Saturday's T20I at Edgbaston, with the returning Jofra Archer taking two wickets.

Making his first England appearance in over a year, paceman Archer dismissed Azam Khan and Imad Wasim as Pakistan were bowled out for 160 while chasing 184.

England captain Jos Buttler was the star of the show in Birmingham, plundering 84 off 54 balls to set the tone for the hosts' innings.

Will Jacks chipped in with a useful 37 before he, like Buttler, was caught out by Shadab Khan from Haris Rauf's bowling.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-36) stopped Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali or Chris Jordan from getting going, but Archer came in to hit a four and a six to get England to 183-7.

Pakistan were two down within four overs of their chase, and after Babar Azam (32) and Fakhar Zaman (45) were dismissed by Moeen and Liam Livingstone respectively, their chances looked increasingly slim.

Having taken out Azam, Archer (2-28) ended Wasim's stand at 22, with Reece Topley (3-41) and Jordan (1-31) finishing the job for England.

The series now moves to Cardiff, with the final match taking place at The Oval on Thursday.

Data Debrief: Buttler at his best

Buttler may well have to miss part of the upcoming T20 World Cup due to the birth of his third child, and England will be hoping their skipper makes a swift return to action if that is indeed the case.

His knock, which included eight fours and three sixes, marked the second-highest score by an England captain in a T20I, behind Eoin Morgan's 91 against New Zealand in 2019.

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    England smashed the United States with a 10-wicket victory as Buttler powered an eye-catching 83, smashing six fours and seven sixes from just 38 balls.

    Matthew Mott's white-ball side reached their 116-run target with a huge 62 deliveries to spare, sealing their place in the last four with ease after only just sneaking into the Super 8s phase.

    Yet the convincing victory would not have been possible without Jordan, who managed four wickets from five balls – including a hat-trick – to end the USA's innings inside 19 overs.

    Rashid, who also took 2-13 from his four-over spell, lavished praise on the England bowler, as well as captain Buttler.

    "CJ's a match-winner," Rashid said in his post-match interview. "He's been doing it for a number of years, especially at the back end.

    "Jos is a world-class player and has been for many a year, and hopefully we can carry it on now in the semi-finals."

    Rashid was keen to share the credit among the entire England line-up, too.

    "All the bowlers bowled extremely well and to restrict them to 115 was very pleasing," the leg-spinner added. "Always nice to keep it tight and get an early wicket which brings the new batter in.

    "With the wind, you have to assess which end you're going to bowl. The googly's been coming out nicely, too."

    Buttler seemed intent on a one-man demolition in England's chase, crunching the United States all over the pitch, including hammering 30 runs off Harmeet Singh's ninth over.

    "I thought if we could bring our intensity we'd be too good," Buttler said. "I'm still one of the 11, I've got to do my job."

    "We've got great options. We wanted to bring Chris Jordan back, adding a bit of depth with his batting capabilities as well. A World Cup hat-trick is a great effort."

    The USA saw their World Cup run come to an end, but their victory over Pakistan will live long in the memory.

    Aaron Jones, the star of the USA for much of the tournament, hopes to have put cricket on the American map.

    "This is our first World Cup," he said. "I don't think people would have thought we'd be playing here against the big boys.

    "Hopefully this will open the eyes of the American public. We've got a lot of calls and messages of support during this World Cup."

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    Chris Jordan excelled at the end of the USA's innings, taking a hat-trick to finish with remarkable figures of 4-10, while Jos Buttler plundered 83 off 38 balls to see England over the line with 62 deliveries to spare.

    Reece Topley, who failed to take a single wicket in the defeat to South Africa, set the tone early on as he snared Andries Gous for eight in the first over.

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    England’s openers got all the work done themselves as Phil Salt scored 25, while Buttler did all the heavy lifting in his knock, smashing six fours and seven sixes, one of which hit the stadium roof.

    Matthew Mott's side are the first team through to the last four thanks to their significant net run-rate advantage over West Indies and South Africa, who meet later on Sunday.

    Data Debrief: Firing on all cylinders

    Jordan became the eighth player to take a hat-trick of wickets at the T20 World Cup, but he also broke a record out in the field; he now has the most catches by a fielder (47) in T20Is for England, overtaking Eoin Morgan's 46.

    Buttler got his first half-century of the tournament in this match, and scored 32 of his 83 runs in a single over, scoring five sixes in the ninth before getting another at the start of the 10th to seal the win for England.

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    In the encounter at Kingstown in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Afghanistan, propelled by stellar performances from Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib, defended a modest total to secure a historic 21-run victory. Afghanistan scored 148 for 6, with Gurbaz contributing 60 runs and Ibrahim Zadran 51, while Cummins took 3-28 and Adam Zampa 2-28. Australia, in reply, managed 127 runs, with Glenn Maxwell top-scoring with 59, while Gulbadin Naib took 4-20 and Naveen-ul-Haq 3-20.

    With a semi-final spot on the line, Australia faced a formidable challenge from Afghanistan’s seamers, who decimated their top order early in the innings. Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, renowned for his flamboyant stroke play, attempted to reverse Australia's fortunes with a scintillating performance. Maxwell's aggressive approach saw him unleash a series of audacious shots, including a shovelled four off Azmatullah Omarzai that left him beaming. After notching up a rapid 35-ball half-century, Maxwell signalled confidently to the Australian dressing room, appearing poised to lead his team to victory.

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    Pat Cummins, Australia’s star pacer, showcased his prowess with a hat-trick across the 18th and 20th overs, replicating his feat from the previous match against Bangladesh. Cummins dismissed Rashid Khan, Karim Janat, and Naib in quick succession, injecting hope into the Australian camp. However, despite his efforts, Afghanistan managed to post a defendable total of 148 for 6. Afghanistan's defence began with Naveen-ul-Haq delivering a masterclass in the powerplay. He bowled Travis Head with a stunning delivery that clipped the middle stump and then dismissed Mitchell Marsh with a deceptive slower ball, leaving Australia reeling at 16 for 2 in three overs.

    Maxwell’s subsequent fireworks brought Australia back into the contest, but once he fell, the task became insurmountable. Afghanistan's bowlers, led by Naib and supported by Naveen and Omarzai, maintained relentless pressure, exploiting the St Vincent pitch's turn and variable bounce. Naib’s composed bowling under pressure, including his strategic use of slower deliveries, stifled the Australian lower order. His dismissal of Cummins with a slower cutter epitomized his tactical acumen, and the Afghan fans erupted in celebration as Naveen and Omarzai cleaned up the tail.

     

     

     

     

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