England defeat Pakistan by 7 wickets in only T20I

Monitoring Desk

LONDON: Captain Eoin Morgan’s blistering half century helped England defeat Pakistan by seven wickets on Sunday in their Only T20I in Cardiff.

Earlier, Babar Azam and Haris Sohail shared a century as Pakistan made a challenging total of 173 for six in their allotted 20 overs.

Both batsmen struck fifties, Babar top-scoring with 65 and Haris 50 exactly with the duo combining well in a third-wicket stand of 103 in 64 balls after Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to bat first despite being confronted with a green-tinged pitch at Sophia Gardens.

Jofra Archer took a wicket in his first over as a Twenty20 international bowler, having made his England one-day international debut just two days earlier in a four-wicket win away to Ireland.

The Barbados-born fast bowler, renowned for his performances in franchise T20 competitions such as the Indian Premier League, led England’s attack with two for 29 in his maximum four overs.

And the Sussex quick, making a late bid to gain a place in tournament hosts England’s squad for the upcoming 50-over men’s World Cup, lived up to his reputation as an excellent fielder by running out Babar when he threw down the stumps at the bowler’s end.

Pakistan lost Fakhar Zaman for seven when a drive off Tom Curran was well held at cover by England captain Eoin Morgan, who took a catch above his head.

Archer, whose variations posed problems for Pakistan, reduced the tourists to 31 for two in the fifth over when a rising delivery rapped Imam-ul-Haq (seven) on the gloves to give wicket-keeper Ben Foakes a comfortable catch.

Babar and Haris then rebuilt the innings with some well-judged aggression, with Haris hitting the first six of the innings off Chris Jordan.

Babar then struck successive sixes off spinner Joe Denly to complete a 31-ball fifty.

Pakistan then saw both their well-set batsmen fall in quick succession, Archer removing Haris before he ran out Babar. But they still managed to score 18 runs from a last over bowled by Jordan, Archer’s fellow Sussex paceman.