KARACHI-England got back to winning ways on Friday to make it 2-1 as they won against Pakistan by 63 runs at National Stadium Karachi. 

The visitors, after registering a comfortable win in the first game, were humbled by Pakistan yesterday as the hosts had cantered to a 10-wicket win to level the series. But England’s batters showed intent from ball one today and so did their bowlers to chalk out a comfortable win. Brook and Duckett helped England post a mammoth 221 after Will Jacks had given the impetus during the powerplay. 

Pakistan, in reply, lost four inside the powerplay and their hopes for a win were crippled pretty early. Mark Wood and the English bowlers kept it short and pacy to which the top-order of Pakistan didn’t have convincing answers.

Shan Masood’s selection for the T20 World Cup did raise a few eyebrows but his rearguard action despite going in vain looked full of flair and panache. The southpaw added 62 alongside Khushdil before the latter fell prey to the wily Abdul Rashid. The southpaw in particular looked fluent. 

The fall of Shah saw Mohammad Nawaz come in but there weren’t much heroics from him as he failed to score aggressively and scratched his way to a 21-ball 19. Masood stayed till the end with an unbeaten 66 off 40 balls but Pakistan fell well short of the target as the last few overs of the game ended on a drab note.

An England attack which looked baffled and clueless less 24 hours ago skittled out the top four of Pakistan inside the first six overs. Mark Wood removed the centurion from the previous game and skipper Babar Azam with the fastest delivery of the series. Rizwan followed his skipper soon after as he under-edged one on to sticks. Haider Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed were further vindications of how extra pace can be discomforting irrespective of the format. Pakistan never looked like competing post the quadruple strikes.

England as has been their way pressed the accelerator from ball one but lost Salt early after being inserted to bat. Pakistan’s formula of chasing down totals has worked for them of late and they continued to stick to it. But Will Jacks didn’t budge and hit 8 boundaries inside the powerplay with England scoring 57 runs in the first 6 for the loss of Salt. 

Pakistan did try altering the combinations but most of it didn’t work out as Jacks hit everything with aplomb. Dawid Malan stuck to his game plan of taking his time to settle down. With an eye on a bigger score from yesterday, England hit 10 fours inside the powerplay.

Another leather hunting day seemed on the cards but Usman Qadir punctured the hopes of England - albeit for a brief period - as he put a spanner in the works by removing Will Jacks and Dawid Malan in quick succession. Both the batters were caught at deep midwicket as Pakistan seemed like spinning a web around England. Despite scoring at a decent rate during the powerplay, England had their eyes set on a higher score after the debacle yesterday.

Ben Duckett announced his arrival to the middle with a boundary off the first ball. He barely kept quiet post that. His ally - Harry Brook - knows one way. In his short career, Harry has impressed and today was another vindication from him that he belongs to this level. Pace and spin came alike to both and they tallied up 139 for the 4th wicket. 

In the absence of a few names, Duckett stepped up seamlessly to give a facelift to the run-rate in the middle overs alongside Brook. England just didn’t lift the foot off the pedal on a venue that has been a belter over the last two days, and the daunting total of 221 eventually proved too much for Pakistan.

Scores in brief

ENGLAND 221 for 3 (Brook 81*, Duckett 70*) beat PAKISTAN 158 for 8 (Masood 65*, Wood 3-24) by 63 runs.