Mohammad Hafeez, Debutant Haider Ali Star As Pakistan Beat England in 3rd t20
Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez praised teenage debutant Haider Ali’s composure after the pair combined to set up Pakistan’s five-run victory over England in their tour-ending third Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Hafeez made 86 not out and Haider 54 in Pakistan’s 190-4. There was a 20-year age gap between the 39-year-old Hafeez and the 19-year-old Haider but you would not have known it while they shared a stand of exactly 100 after coming together at 32-2.
Hafeez’s knock followed his 69 in England’s five-wicket win at Old Trafford on Sunday and was his fourth fifty in his last five T20 international innings.
Haider came in at 2-1 after opener Fakhar Zaman was out for one but demonstrated a maturity well beyond his years during a 28-ball fifty featuring five fours and two sixes. “He was good under pressure and just expressed himself,” said player of the series Hafeez of Haider in a post-match interview.
Shaheen Afridi removed Jonny Bairstow in the first over to get Pakistan’s efforts with the ball off to a dream start, and Dawid Malan scored just 7 before Fakhar took an excellent boundary catch to send him back to the changing room.
A mix-up between Tom Banton and Eoin Morgan cost the England captain his wicket, while the young opener made liberal use of the reverse sweep to keep the score moving at a good rate.
Haris Rauf trapped Banton in front in the next over though, with the 21-year-old falling four runs short of what would have been a second fifty of the series.
Moeen Ali then assumed the lead role for England, while Billings looked to rotate the strike before skying a catch off Wahab Riaz. The all-rounder hit Shadab Khan for three sixes in his final over on his way to a 25-ball fifty, before Lewis Gregory managed to find the boundary from consecutive balls.
Another 10 runs from the 18th over left England needing 20 runs from the final two overs, but the experienced Wahab produced a superb over, conceding just three runs as well as scoring a direct hit to run out Jordan and taking a return catch to dismiss Moeen.
Tom Curran kept the game alive all the way to the end, hitting the penultimate delivery over cover for six to leave another maximum needed from the final ball. But he couldn’t make contact with Haris Rauf’s pinpoint wide yorker, giving Pakistan a 5-run victory and leaving the series drawn 1-1.