7th over: England 53-2 (Duckett 7, Salt 20) The turn of Usman Qadir comes into play. He’s lovely to watch when he gets those googly rags. Nothing too deadly in that over, but he goes for only five.
6th over: England 48-2 (Duckett 6, Salt 16) Ben Duckett survives the hat-trick ball and picks up a pair on the leg side to get himself going. Dahani ends up with a knife that Duckett won’t be fooled by – he plays a controlled pull to pick up his first limit. Nevertheless, a squat for Pakistan.
Tossed him around the legs! Malan shows his stump and misses the flick as Dahani, from over the wicket, puts himself on a hat-trick. Fast and clear – the game is quite simple at times.
Hales’ luck finally runs out when Dahani returns to rattle the stumps!
5th over: England 42-0 (Salt 16, Hales 26) Haris Rauf somehow didn’t bowl Hales there – the right-hander doesn’t come close on the pull shot to one that stays low. Hales then opens the off-side to hit the ball over the back point, the ball trickling out for another four.
4th over: England 32-0 (Salt 11, Hales 21) Dahani on the attack with that straight run from him. Hales after missing a pull third ball goes for a huge swell and continues to enjoy some luck – another thick rim flies to the keeper’s right for four. He’s in smash mode tonight. Salt punches halfway for a single to finish the over.
3rd over: England 24-0 (Salt 9, Hales 15) After a few dots, Hales manages to sweep the leg side and pick up four behind square. On the next ball he uses his fold again and comes away with a thick brim that flies six over the rope of the third man!
2nd over: England 13-0 (Salt 9, Hales 4) Cracking shot of Salt! He greets Mohammad Nawaz’s left-arm spin with a six over long-off. Hales is also trying to get big, but is still looking for the middle tonight.
1st about: England 3-0 (Salt 2, Hales 1) Hasnain on the pads up first, and Salt’s move to fine leg gives him one. Nice form away from the right-hander to the next ball from Hales, who goes off the goal with his second. Solid start from the 22-year-old, Pakistan’s only change from the other night.
Exactly, then let’s get started. David Gower has the communications, Mohammad Hasnain has the ball and Phil Salt is on strike. Let’s play.
A warm welcome from John Starbuck: “Just a line to welcome to the wonderful world of the OBO where all opinions from around the world can be entertained.” Thanks for having me!
Elsewhere, Surrey has won the County Championship! Rory Burns hit 30* from 16 balls (!) to get his side across the line in a 55 chase against Yorkshire at The Oval. Tanya Aldred takes it all in.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shahnawaz Dahani
England: Phil Salt (wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Liam Dawson, Luke Wood
Moeen wins the toss again, but England have the first at bat tonight. One change: out goes Richard Gleeson’s pace, in comes Liam Dawson’s left arm tweak.
Also the only change for Pakistan: Naseem Shah is replaced by the also very fast Mohammad Hasnain.
Hello Hello hello. We are back in Karachi for the second of seven – seven – T20Is between England and Pakistan.
A New England put on a highly professional performance on Tuesday: debutant Luke Wood looked good and bowled solid to take 3-24, while Alex Hales marked his return from three years in exile with half a century. Harry Brook played the best knockout of his international career to date, hitting 42* out of 25 in a comfortable six-wicket win. Pakistan, on the other hand, had little to laugh about beyond a scintillating 85-run tie between their two men at the top, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
But it was also one of those nights when the game was secondary. England played in Pakistan for the first time since 2005. The gradual return of international cricket to these shores means a lot to the people of this cricket-loving country, and so there was much to celebrate during the series opener, even if the hosts were subpar. “Karachi put on a show tonight,” Hales said afterwards.
And now the fun continues at the NSK; expect a different electric atmosphere. I’ll be right back with the toss and the teams. It’s also my OBO debut, so take it easy, folks (someone sort my pet presentation please). Slide into my DMs on @tahahash or message me at [email protected]