Pakistan salvage draw after Hafeez and Haider half-centuries

By Sports Desk September 01, 2020

Half-centuries from Mohammad Hafeez and debutant Haider Ali set Pakistan on their way to ending the tour of England with a first win to salvage a Twenty20 International series draw.

England pulled off their highest run chase against Pakistan to take a 1-0 lead on Sunday, but they fell just short to go down by five runs two days later at Old Trafford.

The in-form Hafeez (86 not out off 52 balls) smashed his joint-highest T20I score, including six sixes, and teenager Haider (54 from 33) marked his international bow in style as the tourists posted 190-4 after being put in.

Moeen Ali returned to form with a blistering 61 off 33 balls, but Shaheen Afridi (2-28) and Wahab Riaz (2-26) starred with the ball to deny England a sixth consecutive T20 series win.

Pakistan will head out of the bio-secure bubble and back home with a deserved first victory of a two-and-half month tour, while England welcome back regulars for a series with Australia.

Moeen bowled Fakhar Zaman with his first ball and Tom Curran reduced Pakistan to 32-2 by cleaning up captain Babar Azam (21), but a stand of 100 between Haidar and Hafeez set them on their way to another big total.

Haider struck his second ball in international cricket off Moeen for six and was particularly strong off his legs as he raced to a magnificent half-century off only 28 balls.

Hafeez took just 31 deliveries to bring up another 50 as he cleared the ropes with apparent ease - including twice in as many balls off Adil Rashid.

The veteran continued to dish out the treatment after Chris Jordan (2-29) removed Haider and England suffered a blow when the excellent Afridi bowled Jonny Bairstow in the first over of the run chase.

Dawid Malan (seven) and Eoin Morgan (10) scored match-winning half-centuries on Sunday but fell cheaply in the decider and Tom Banton followed leg before to Haris Rauf four shy of a second half-century of the series.

Moeen and Sam Billings (26) put on 57 for the fifth wicket before the latter was dismissed by the recalled Wahab, but the clean-striking left-hander powered his way to 50 off just 25 balls.

Sarfaraz Ahmed missed a straightforward chance to stump Moeen on seven and could only watch on as he cut loose, but England's chances were slim when he was caught and bowled by Wahab.

England needed 17 off the last over from Haris and, although Curran hit the penultimate ball for six, he was unable to repeat that off the last delivery as Pakistan edged it.

 

England pummelled by a combination of youth and experience

Hafeez was in sparkling form at the weekend and he lit up an empty Old Trafford again with a brutal knock, setting about the England attack with a combination of sweet timing and sheer power.

The 39-year-old was in great touch from the off and now has four half-centuries in his last five knocks for Pakistan in the shortest format - including three in a row.

While Hafeez is in the twilight of his career, 19-year-old Haider is only at the start and he should be around for a long time on the evidence of his classy knock, having looked very much at home on the international stage.

 

Majestic Moeen shows class is permanent

Moeen has been out of sorts with the bat and also failed to take a wicket in the ODI series against Pakistan, but he showed his class in Manchester.

He curiously only bowled one over despite a wicket with his first ball but returned to form in spectacular fashion with bat in hand.

Moeen launched four sixes and hit as many fours to give England a chance and, although they were beaten, the all-rounder should head into the series with Australia with a spring in his step.

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