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Haider Ali stars alongside Hafeez - Three things we learned as Pakistan defeat England in T20I thriller

Jordan Carlisle September 2, 2020
Haider Ali stars alongside Hafeez - Three things we learned as Pakistan defeat England in T20I thriller
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Pakistan defeated England by five runs at Old Trafford in a thrilling final T20I to draw the series 1-1.

The tourists scored an impressive 190-4 after being asked to bat first on an excellent surface and despite some clean ball striking from several English batsmen, it proved too big a total to chase down.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB

Here are three things we learned from the final T20I between Pakistan and England:

Haider Ali is a serious talent

19-year-old Haider Ali was making his T20I debut in this match and he announced himself to the world with a sparkling 54 off 33 balls.

Coming in at no.3, he made an almost instant impact at the crease, depositing his second ball in international cricket into the stands.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The teenager benefitted from the odd slice of luck along the way, yet he struck the ball cleanly and with great power, peppering the leg-side boundary.

It’s a shame there won’t be another opportunity to watch him bat on this tour, but Ali looks like he has the talent to thrive in the international arena over the coming years.

Moeen steps up but falls just short

Moeen Ali has been in a rut with both bat and ball for a considerable period and was fortunate to be included in both the ODI and T20I squads for the upcoming series’ against Australia.

Prior to this match, he had gone wicketless and scored just ten runs across five white-ball internationals this summer.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB

However, he stepped up at the start of Pakistan’s innings, taking the scalp of Fakhar Zaman with his first delivery, before benefitting from a generous early Sarfaraz error to compile a majestic 61 from 33 balls, including four fours and four sixes.

Ultimately, though, the 33-year-old couldn’t quite get his team over the line and when he was dismissed in the penultimate over, England’s hopes faded.

Experience tells

As a 39-year-old playing in the sport’s most explosive format, Mohammad Hafeez came into this series under pressure.

There were no signs of nerves in his play, though, with the elegant right-hander picking up from where he left off in the second match to top score with a stunning 86* in this game, earning him the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Hafeez scored at a strike-rate of 165.38 to underpin the Pakistan innings whilst also providing a calming influence for young Haider Ali.

Experience told for the tourists in the field, too, with 35-year-old Wahab Riaz’s masterful 19th over effectively deciding the contest.

After bowling a wide first up, the left-arm quick used a combination of raw pace and change-ups to tie down and then dismiss Moeen Ali, while the run-out of Chris Jordan was moment of magic.

His final figures of 4 overs 2-26 were the most impressive in the match.

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Jordan has worked as a football writer since attaining a Postgraduate Degree in Media and Journalism from the University of Glasgow in 2018. A sports lover in general, he's particularly passionate about cricket.