Adil Rashid helps England to stunning T20 series win over Pakistan after tense Old Trafford thriller

·3-min read
Adil Rashid bowled career-best figures of four for 35 against Pakistan at Old Trafford (Getty Images)
Adil Rashid bowled career-best figures of four for 35 against Pakistan at Old Trafford (Getty Images)

A scintillating series got a sensational climax at Old Trafford. Thanks to Adil Rashid’s spin, Jason Roy’s clean striking and their extremely deep batting, England survived a significant T20 test to secure a series win over Pakistan. In a mighty tense finish, they got home by three wickets with two balls to spare.

It was their fourth, final and most entertaining white-ball series win of the summer. These have been three fine games of cricket, played under perfect blue skies and in front of packed houses with plenty of support for both sides. It has been a hoot.

For much of the game, England were coasting. But when they lost four quick wickets – Roy, for 64 off 36 balls, included – in their pursuit of 155, a bit of jeopardy emerged. An over after Moeen Ali was dismissed, they needed 39 runs from four overs, with Dawid Malan labouring on 22 from 26 balls. Pakistan’s four spinners were running amok.

But one big over, bowled by Mohammed Hafeez, very much the fourth of the four, appeared to have England back on track. But Eoin Morgan’s cameo ended as he tried to slog them to victory in the final over and, with Malan and Liam Livingstone already in the hutch, this was panic stations. Chris Jordan, with a pair of scrambled twos, saw them home.

It was spin to win once more. England had dropped a spinner, Matt Parkinson, but still strangled Pakistan in the middle overs with spin. They bowled 11 overs of it again, equalling their own record set at Headingley on Sunday.

Rashid was superb, picking up career-best figures of four for 35 that take him level second on England’s T20 wicket charts, but Moeen was just as important. His four overs cost just 19 and got England the wicket he was brought on to take, Fakhar Zaman, the only leftie.

Pakistan were held together by Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 76 from 55 balls. He got them off to a decent start, with Babar Azam. But Morgan bravely introduced Rashid for the final over of the powerplay – the toughest to bowl, with both openers set – and a gorgeous googly befuddled Babar, who was stumped.

Rashid is now level for second place on England’s list of T20 wicket-takers (Getty Images)
Rashid is now level for second place on England’s list of T20 wicket-takers (Getty Images)

Rashid swapped ends and dismissed Sohaib Maqsood and Mohammad Hafeez, both looking to clear the fence. Moeen was brought on to counter Fakhar, who responded by hitting Rashid out of the attack. Livingstone, England’s third spinner, replaced him, and kept things tidy. Moeen pounced, trapping Fakhar lbw, clearing the way for Rashid to return. With the final ball of his spell, he had Shadab Khan caught in the deep.

When Jordan ran out Imad Wasim looking for a third, Pakistan were 129 for six, and sinking fast. Despite a decent 20th over from Jordan, Rizwan and Hassan Ali – back from injury, and slogging as hard as ever – managed to haul them up to something defendable.

Roy had other ideas. Shaheen Shah Afridi bowled the second over, as he has all series. Roy smote four stylish fours, and barely looked back. He launched Imad Wasim for six, and swept and reverse-swept Usman Qadir for four. He looked in sensational touch, and played with unmistakeable intent.

Chris Jordan celebrates hitting the winning runs for England on Tuesday (Getty Images)
Chris Jordan celebrates hitting the winning runs for England on Tuesday (Getty Images)

Roy shared 67 with Jos Buttler, who had a rare off night, and tried to switch-hit his way back into form. His charmed life came to an end when another hoick off Shadab found long-off. Roy reached a 30-ball half-century, but perished looking for more, and Jonny Bairstow – set for a Test recall – fell slogging too. Hafeez bowled Moeen.

Morgan, a famously cool customer, had 12 from his first five balls, then chewed up three dots from Hassan. Never mind, he followed that with his second six.

Malan was dismissed for a concerning 31 from 33 with just 12 required, bringing man of the series Livingstone to the crease.

He halved the target with an enormous first-ball six, but was dismissed second ball trying to finish the job. Morgan, committed to the brand, wanted it done in sixes too. Thankfully, Jordan kept his cool to save England’s blushes.

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