4th over: Pakistan 29-0 (Babar 9, Rizwan 16) Incidents, incidents: Jordan bowls his first over and Babar has a wild slash and ball flies past the grasping, diving, glove of Buttler to the boundary. Then a top edge which flies high and Roy, battling blue skies, shadows and a swirling wind, can’t get the measure of it.
Broad thinks that bowling in the power play isn’t CJs best suit.
3rd over: Pakistan 20-0 (Babar 3, Rizwan 15) Willey again, penny-pinching again, until the fifth which Rizwan swings and hits – up, up and over for six.
“Hello Tanya,” Hello Andrew Benton!
“In a county aside….” I read as your being in a county aside of Lancashire – Cumbria perhaps? Good title for a memoir! But, I have a question. I saw a few days ago that Mongolia has joined the ICC as an associate member – what does this mean for them, do they get into a competition of some sort? Or just a seat in the Zoom meetings?”
Let me get back to you on this! Perhaps at the break…
2nd over: Pakistan 11-0 (Babar 1, Rizwan 9) The brilliant Mahmood bowls four dots to start the over, this free-scoring duo will be itching for a swing. And here it comes, a four whipped by Rizwan off his hips for four, and the next, just a touch wide by Saqib and is nudged fine.
1st over: Pakistan 3-0 (Babar 1, Rizwan 1)An absolute wall of noise greets Babar and Rizwan – maybe I was wrong about the fullness of the crowd, hard to tell from the tv pictures. A parsimonious over, a run to third man for Rizwan, then a single to Babar after the ball bobbles on Roy. Then, what seems a regulation catch behind to Buttler, but it comes off the thigh pad. Great start by Willey.
Out come England, through the (entirely pointless) shoots of flame, shortly followed by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
An email pings in from Babar Mumtaz:
“There may be fewer Pakistanis in the ground because it IS Eid… A time to be with family (like Christmas… Not Boxing Day. Enjoy the match)“
Ah! Thank you! I hadn’t clocked that.
In a county aside, as we’re at Old Trafford, Lancashire’s Alex Davies is to join Warwickshire on a three-year contract.
I heart Stuart Broad with a microphone – he’s bloody brilliant.
There’s no space for Jake Ball or Tom Banton – drinks carriers extraordinaire. Which you would guess, means their chances of making the final T20 WC squad are limited. Old Trafford isn’t full, but there is a glorious racket from the Pakistan horns and drums. I wonder if the pingdemic has had something to do with it – word of mouth would suggest that anyone who is about to head away on holiday is reluctant to go anywhere they might be contacted by track and trace.
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasmain.
Eoin Morgan is in a blue sun-hat. He thinks the wickets will take spin and reverse swing. Morgan returns, as does David Willey, and Tom Curran and Matt Parkinson miss out.
Pakistan win the toss and will bat
Babar wins his third toss of the series and will bat – the successful choice at Trent Bridge. Leggie Usman Qadir plays, as does Hasan Ali. Haris Rauf and Azam Khan carry the drinks.
Hasan Ali is available for selection for Pakistan. The toss is imminent.
Zain Malik is first in the box.
“There have been a total of ten T20is played at the Emirates Old Trafford and fortune has favoured the side which chases. Only twice has the side which bats first been victorious. Pakistan happens to be one of them. Mohammad Hafeez’s fireworks from last year’s final-ball thriller saw Pakistan post 190 which was just about enough to draw the series. There has never been a 200+ score at OT and today is the perfect day to change that. So far in this series the side which has won the toss has ended up on the receiving end. Crucial toss to win. All eyes on the coin. Should be a tough decision from the winning captain. On a side note, Eid Mubarik! This is set to be a series finale for the ages.”
Eid Mubarik! And thank you for that handsome research.
A little reading about some new tournament that is apparently starting tomorrow.
Hello there, on this sauna of a Manchester afternoon . Current temperature: oven-ready, scorching to the bottom of an unshod foot for this deciding game in the T20 series.
Admittedly though, I’m a wimp, and the PSL was played in temperatures hitting 40 degrees, so Pakistan may right this minute be deliberating the benefits of a long-sleeved sweater.
This is the final England game before the preliminary T20 squad is announced, and the jostling for positions is joyous to see. Young bloods full of vigour and old(er) hands determined to stay their ground. Eoin Morgan will presumably play a few more of his jokers today: Liam Livingstone, in particular, but also Moeen, Mahmood and Parkinson have made the most of their opportunities. And what a joy it was to see two English legspinners operating in tandem at Headingley – I hope Parkinson retains his place at his home-ground, the venue for his very own ball of the century in April.
It is also the final game before the first Test which starts on August 4. How many of these young men will make the Test series is debatable, but a few -Saqib Mahmood in particular – have inked their names onto the reserve list.
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