By our correspondent
KARACHI: Harry Brook (81 not out) and Ben Duckett (70 not out) shared a record partnership to help England take 2-1 lead in their seven-match T20 series when they outclassed Pakistan by 63 runs in their third show here at the National Stadium on Friday night.
This was also England’s largest victory against Pakistan by runs in T20 cricket.
The duo added 139 runs off 69 balls for the fourth wicket unbeaten stand to guide England to 221-3 in the allotted 20 overs. Pakistan, then, were restricted to 158-8 with Shan Masood top-scoring 65 not out, his first T20 fifty in his third game of the format.
England’s young batsmen Harry Brook and Ben Duckett were simply unstoppable. They kept things under control, playing their shots at will after England had lost their initial three wickets for 82 after being invited to bat first by Babar Azam who won the toss for the first time in the series.
These were also the maiden fifties from both batsmen in T20 cricket. Their 139-run fourth wicket stand is the highest for England for the said wicket. It is the fourth highest partnership for the fourth wicket in the world in T20 cricket. With Duckett timing the ball well, Harry was simply terrific with his approach. Harry, who brought in his fifty off 24 balls, smashed eight fours and five huge sixes in his sublime 35-ball unfinished feat.
Duckett, who completed his fifty off 31 balls, clobbered eight fours and one six from 42 deliveries.
Earlier Mohammad Hasnain provided an early breakthrough to Pakistan when he got rid of Phil Salt (8) off the first ball of the third over. It was a rising delivery, Salt went for a big shot, miscued it and Mohammad Nawaz took an easy catch at mid-off. Salt hit one four from six balls.
Leggie Usman Qadir then removed David Malan with a loose delivery which was a bit short, the left-hander wanted to hit it over long-on but failed to clear Haider Ali who took an easy catch in the deep. Malan struck two fours in his 15-ball 14. And England were 61-2 in the seventh over. He was involved in a 42-run second wicket stand with Jacks.
In his next over Usman Qadir also got rid of dangerous Will Jacks. The right-hander went for a big shot but only found Nawaz in the deep who held a good catch. Jacks, who made his debut, played a few super strokes and his straight four off Haris Rauf was a treat to watch. Jacks smashed eight fours in his impressive 22-ball 40. And England were 82-3 in the ninth over.
However, at this stage Brook and Duckett did a remarkable job to take England to a huge total.
Usman Qadir bowled well, picking 2-48 in four overs. Shahnawaz Dahani was the most expensive of Pakistan’s bowlers as he conceded 62 runs in four overs. Haris Rauf (0-39 in 4), Hasnain (1-36 in 4) and Mohammad Nawaz (0-34 in 4) also failed to penetrate.
Brook was declared as man of the match for his outstanding knock.
Set to score a huge total, Pakistan crumbled under pressure and lost their four wickets for just 28 in the sixth over.
Mark Wood, who returned from injury after ten months, gave a huge breakthrough to England when he had Babar Azam (8), held by Reece Topley. Babar struck one four from six balls he faced.
Left-armer Topley then bowled Mohammad Rizwan (8), before Wood removed Haider Ali (3) to reduce Pakistan to 21-3 in the fifth over. Sam Curran then added to the misery of Pakistan when he got rid of Iftikhar Ahmed (6) to leave Pakistan gasping.
At this stage Shan Masood and Khushdil Shah tried to revive the innings. It looked things were going in the right direction. However, leggie Adil Rashid gave a breakthrough to the visitors when he had Khushdil, held by Harry Brook at mid-off to leave Pakistan at 90-5 in the 12th over. Khushdil smacked two sixes and one four in his 21-ball 29. He added 62 off 38 balls for the fifth wicket with Shan.
Shan kept pulling off boundaries with Mohammad Nawaz at the other end looking a bit sluggish as the asking rate went beyond their reach towards the last quarter of the innings. Adil Rashid got rid of Nawaz, scoring a 21-ball 19 which contained two fours. He shared 52 runs for the sixth wicket with Shan and Pakistan were 142-6 in 18 overs. In the next over Usman Qadir got run out before Wood removed Haris Rauf (4) to restrict Pakistan well behind the target.
Shan, who brought in his fifty off 28 balls, left an impression which was needed for the team in the middle order before the World Cup which will begin in Australia next month. He smashed four sixes and three fours from 40 balls. Mark Wood was the pick of the bowlers with 3-25 in four overs. Adil Rashid got 2-32 in four overs.
Earlier, Pakistan went unchanged. England made three changes by bringing in debutant Will Jacks, Mark Wood and Reece Topley while resting Alex Hales, Luke Wood and David Willey.
The match was supervised by umpires Aleem Dar and Faisal Afridi. Rashid Riaz was the television umpire, Asif Yaqoob, the reserve umpire, and Mohammad Javed acted as match referee.
The fourth show between the two nations will be staged at the same venue on Sunday (tomorrow) before the action will be moving to Lahore where both sides will face each other on September 28, 30 and October 2 at the Gaddafi Stadium.