Brook, Duckett help England thump Pakistan in third T20


England’s Harry Brook plays a shot during the third Twenty20 international match against England in Karachi on Friday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Middle-order batters Harry Brook and Ben Duckett smashed robust maiden half centuries in England’s thumping 63-run win in the third Twenty20 international against Pakistan in Karachi on Friday.

Brook scored a 35-ball 81 not out while Duckett cracked an unbeaten 42-ball 69 to lead England to an impressive 221-3 in their 20 overs after they were sent in to bat at National stadium.

Shan Masood led Pakistan’s recovery in a 40-ball 65 not out but they finished well short on 158-8 in 20 overs to give England a 2-1 lead in the seven-match series.

“It was very nice to get out there and have a match-winning performance tonight,” said Brook.

“I was just trying to get Ben Duckett on strike against the spin, he’s so good at sweeping it’s ridiculous. He seems to hit the gap every time. It worked quite well.”

The match proved an anti-climax to Pakistan’s big ten-wicket win in the second game on Thursday that avenged their first game defeat by five wickets two days earlier, both in Karachi.

Fast bowler Mark Wood — playing for the first time since March this year following an elbow surgery — dismissed Babar Azam (eight) and Haider Ali (three) while Mohammad Rizwan fell for eight and Iftikhar Ahmed six left the home team reeling at 28-4.

Wood finished with 3-24 while spinner Adil Rashid took 2-32.

Masood and Khushdil Shah (29) added 62 for the fifth wicket but the asking rate climbed as England’s pace-cum-spin attack continued to put the pressure.

Masood’s knock had three boundaries and four sixes.

Earlier, England posted the highest total against Pakistan by any team in all T20Is beating the 211-3 Sri Lanka made in Dubai in 2013.

Debutant Will Jacks set the platform for England with a sparkling 20-ball 40 with eight boundaries before Brook and Duckett took the attack to the Pakistan bowlers.

Brook cracked five sixes and eight boundaries while Duckett hit a six and eight boundaries as the pair added 139 runs off just 69 balls — a record fourth wicket stand for England in all T20Is.

For Pakistan, leg-spinner Usman Qadir was the pick of the bowlers with 2-48 while pacer Shahnawaz Dahani went for 62 runs in his four wicket-less overs.

Dahani’s figures are the second worst by a Pakistani bowler in a T20I, just short of Usman Shinwari who conceded 63 in his four against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2019.

England are on their first tour of Pakistan since 2005.

England captain Moeen Ali said: “That was a brilliant win. We were ruthless, with the bat in particular.

“The future is amazing for England cricket with the players we’ve got coming through.

“Mark Wood bowled serious, serious pace. It’s great to have him back, he’s a massive part of our team. In the World Cup we need him firing like that.”

The remaining matches are in Karachi (Sunday) and Lahore (September 28, 30 and October 2).

Strauss says ‘status quo’ no option as he unveils English cricket reform plan: Andrew Strauss has insisted “the status quo is not an option” as he called on county chiefs to back his reform plan for English cricket, which includes cutting the number of first-class Championship matches.

But several counties, including his old club Middlesex, responded Thursday by saying they remained completely opposed to a reduction in the number of Championship fixtures from 14 per team to the 10 proposed by Strauss.

The former England captain has spent the last six months overseeing a high performance review for the England and Wales cricket Board, launched following the men’s Test team’s humiliating 2021/22 Ashes series loss in Australia.

His panel have come up with 17 recommendations, 15 of which already have the required backing.

But two of the most significant changes — the reduction in fixtures and the adoption of a six-team top division sitting above two secondary conferences, who would play off for one annual promotion — require the support of at least 12 of the 18 first-class counties, currently arranged in a two-division Championship structure.


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