England speedster Chris Woakes came to the rescue for England when the pace bowler prevented Pakistan from scoring 10 runs in the last over as the Asian giants managed to score just 9 runs as England registered a win over Pakistan via a Super Over affair.
Woakes conceded seven runs off the first two deliveries, courtesy a six by Sohail Tanvir, but managed to restrict the Pakistani batsmen from getting another three runs and ultimately to the target of 155 runs.
In the super over, both Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal failed to connect accurately enough, Pakistan managed just 3 runs off the super over bowled brilliantly by Chris Jordan. England batsmen Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan successfully chased down the paltry target in 5 balls to whitewash the T20 series with a margin of 3-0.
Shoaib Malik’s career best performance of 54-ball-75 (8 x 4’s, 2 x 6’s) was not complimented well enough by his other teammates which lead to Pakistan being handed the loss. Chasing an average score of 155 on the shiny Sharjah wicket, Pakistan were reduced to 65/5 by the end of 12th over. With Afridi and Malik at the crease, they stitched on a blazing fast partnership of 63 in just 38 balls to give Pakistan a hope of victory. Left-arm pace bowler David Willey was the man to break the dangerous partnership by uprooting the stumps off a full and slow delivery and sending Afridi back to the dressing room. With an exhausted Malik and not so skilled batsman Sohail Tanvir on the crease, Pakistan failed to cross the finish line with credits being given to England death bowlers, especially Chris Woakes.
“It’s a fantastic job,” said a delighted Morgan. “It’s really topped off a fantastic tour for us, I don’t think we deserved to win tonight but the fight within the camp, taking it to a Super Over and Chris Jordan stood up, six perfect yorkers, brilliant stuff. He said he’d love to bowl, we set a field and he stood up to the plate.”
Pakistan bowling department worked in better synchronization than their batting as bowlers were successful in getting regular wickets. Sohail Tanvir (2/36) and Shahid Afridi (2/19) were the picks off the bowlers. Mohammad Irfan was the expensive one conceding 40 runs of his 4 overs. Opening batsmen J. Vince provided a steady start to England with his 46 off 45. Before displaying his match-saving stint of bowling the last over, Chris Woakes contributed to the batting department as well with a rapid 31 off 24 balls including 3 big sixes in the later stages of England’s batting innings.
“I must give credit to the English team, these guys did really well in the ODIs and T20. We played well, battled well but missed the opportunity again. There were five overs we didn’t bowl well, Shoaib Malik set things up and showed the batsmen the way to build an innings.” Said the Pakistani skipper at the post-match presentation. Afridi even stated, “Jordan bowled well, perfect yorkers and he didn’t give us any room, he really bowled well.”
The victory lifted England to fourth in the Twenty20 rankings while Pakistan, second before the series, fell to sixth. Aamer Yamin became the 1st Pakistani bowler to take a wicket with his first ball in Twenty20 cricket but was later given just 2 overs to finish the game with figures of 1/12.
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