Malan, bowlers star as England thump Pakistan to claim series triumph

LAHORE: England left-handed batter Dawid Malan played a magnificent knock of 78* and powered his side to a massive total of 209/3 before the bowlers decimated Pakistan batting line-up to bolster their side to a resounding victory to claim the seven-match T20I series 4-3.

Set to chase 210, Pakistan’s batting line-up failed completely and could only score 142/8 in the allotted 20 overs, thus, handing a dominating 67-run victory to England in the series decider.

Pakistan were off to a dismal start as the home side lost their key batters Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan cheaply for a mere four and one respectively. The hosts, as a result, slipped to 5/2 in the second over.

Iftikhar Ahmed and Shan Masood then attempted to script the fightback with a 28-run partnership for the third wicket before the former fell in the sixth over off a short-pitch delivery from David Willey. He could score 19 off 16.

Following the slump, Shan then joined hands with Khushdil in the middle and the duo added 53 runs for the fourth wicket before the latter perished after scoring a snail-paced 27.

The home side then began to lose wickets at an alarming rate, while Shan, who was holding his ground firm also fell in the 19th over after scoring a gritty 56 off 43, laced with four boundaries and a six.

Chris Woakes led the bowling attack for England with three wickets, while Willey bagged two. Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, and Reece Topley struck out a batter each.

England, batting first, on the invitation of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, charged on the host bowlers as they amassed a massive 209/3 in the allotted 20 overs, thanks to a match-defining partnership between Malan and Brook.

The English openers – Alex Hales and Phil Salt – gave the touring side a flying start as they amassed 39 runs in the first four overs and laid a solid foundation for a massive total.

Right-arm pacer Mohammad Hasnain, however, then struck on the first delivery of the first over to hand Pakistan a much-needed breakthrough as he removed Alex Hales, who scored 18 off 13.

The touring side lost another wicket in the same over as a direct hit from Shadab Khan saw their last match hero Salt walking back to the pavilion. He scored 20 off 12 deliveries, laced with three boundaries.

Ben Duckett and Malan then anchored the proceedings for England as the pair added 62 runs for the third wicket and made sure to continue the momentum offered by the openers and powered their side to breach the 100-run mark.

Mohammad Rizwan’s sharp work behind the stump in the 10th over brought an end to a brilliant knock of Duckett, who perished after scoring 30 off just 19 including three boundaries and a six.

Malan and Brook then combined magnificently for a blistering 108-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The pair took on Pakistan bowlers and also enjoyed three changes offered by the sloppy fielding efforts of the home side.

Malan top-scored for the side with a terrific knock of 78 off 47 deliveries, laced with eight boundaries and three sixes, while Brook fellfour short of his half-century as he finished unbeaten on 46 off just 20 with the help of a boundary and four sixes.

Right-arm pacer Mohammad Hasnain was the only bowler to pick a wicket for Pakistan.

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