Pakistan v England: Tourists win T20 series in Dubai

By Tim PeachBBC Sport
Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler was captaining England for the first time after Eoin Morgan was rested
Second Twenty20 international, Dubai
England 172-8 (20 overs): Vince 38, Afridi 3-15
Pakistan 169-8 (20 overs): Shehzad 28, Plunkett 3-33
England won by three runs

England wrapped up victory in the T20 series against Pakistan after a thrilling three-run victory in Dubai.

Captain Shahid Afridi's late cameo - 24 off eight deliveries - was not enough to help Pakistan over the line after England finished on 172-8.

James Vince (38) top scored for England, with stand-in captain Jos Buttler (33) and opener Jason Roy (29) also chipping in.

Afridi was also the pick of the Pakistan bowlers, taking 3-15.

The win was England's fifth consecutive T20 victory, with the World T20 set to take place in India in March.

Late drama

The tourists looked to be heading for a comfortable victory when Afridi strode to the crease with his side needing 53 off 20 deliveries.

But some lusty hitting from the 35 year old, including three sixes, brought the game back into the balance.

Shahid Afridi

It was an eventful game for Afridi, whose skiddy leg-breaks had earlier caused problems for the English batsmen.

Alex Hales was dismissed by Afridi's first delivery for 11, with Jason Roy edging behind in his next over.

The wicket took Afridi ahead of team-mate Saeed Ajmal to become the highest wicket taker in international T20 cricket.

Wayward Woakes

Chris Woakes
Woakes ended with figures of 2-40

It was a topsy-turvy match for Chris Woakes, who finished on 15 not out, 13 of them in the last over, when he batted.

But when he bowled his third over went for 22, including a wide, a no ball, and three Afridi sixes over wide long off, deep square leg and deep cover, before the Pakistan captain was dismissed off the final delivery, Liam Plunkett doing well to hold on to a sharp catch when off balance.

Woakes then bowled the final over under major pressure, with Pakistan needing 11 to win.

Sarfraz dragged the first ball onto his stumps, before Sohail Tanvir dispatched his first delivery over square leg for four.

With seven needed to win, Woakes held his nerve, with his final four deliveries going for just three runs.

Unbelievable Umar

A remarkable piece of fielding from Umar Akmal had the packed crowd in Dubai on their feet.

Akmal got two hands to a Billings slog at long on, but the pace of the ball carried him over the rope off balance.

However, he managed to toss the ball high enough, before touching the ground beyond the boundary, to buy himself sufficient time to scamper back inside the rope to reclaim the ball and take an incredible catch.

Squad rotation

Eoin Morgan
England's rotation policy meant that usual captain Eoin Morgan was carrying drinks

Once again, England looked to use their full squad, with Jos Buttler captaining England for the first time in Eoin Morgan's absence.

Morgan was one of four players who featured in Thursday's 14-run victory to be rested. Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan and Reece Topley also made way, for Buttler, Joe Root, Woakes and David Willey.

Liam Plunkett, who had not taken part in a competitive match on the tour until his three wickets in the first T20, was man of the match for his 3-33.

Adil Rashid took 2-18, including the wicket of opener Rafatullah Mohmand, who was stumped for 23.

With Stephen Parry having already dismissed Ahmed Shehzad in similar fashion, it meant it was the first time that both openers had been stumped in a T20 international.

The final match of the series is on Monday in Sharjah.

What they said

England captain Jos Buttler told BBC Sport: "I'll take one win from one match as captain. It's a little bit more stressful and emotional.

"We weren't at our best, but we did enough to win a game away from home against great opposition. That's a great effort.

"It was great character from Woakes after that over he bowled to Afridi. To have the guts and balls to bowl that final over as well as he did is great testament to him."

Man of the match Liam Plunkett told BBC Sport: "We played some really good cricket yesterday, but we needed to improve in the field. Hopefully today we did that. This was a closer game. We weren't on our A game, but we still won. I think that shows what a good squad we are now."

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi: ""This is very fast cricket. We should raise our standard of fielding and our fitness levels.

"I missed the chance. That was a great opportunity to win the game.

"It was a good game of cricket and there's a few areas where we can improve before the World T20. We have time, but we have to improve as quickly as possible."

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