Brook, Wood star as England sink Pakistan by 63 runs in third T20I

KARACHI: England’s middle-order batter Harry Brook took on Pakistan bowlers and scored a quickfire 81 runs before right-arm pacer Mark Wood wreaked havoc over the Pakistan batting line-up and powered the touring side cruise to a resounding 63-run victory in the third T20I.

Set to chase a mammoth 222, Pakistan were off to a deplorable start as the hosts lost four wickets for a mere 28 runs inside the powerplay with their last match heroes Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan also walking back after scoring eight runs each.

Left-handed middle-order batters Shan Masood and Khushdil Shah put on a brief fight with a gritty 62-run partnership for the fifth wicket and kept Pakistan in the hunt.

The pair appeared solid but Adil Rashid outdid Khushdil with a googly in the 12th over to enhance England’s dominance over Pakistan. The left-handed batter scored 29 off 21 deliveries with the help of a boundary and two sixes.

Shan, on the other hand, stood firm and kept the scoreboard ticking single-handedly while the home side was losing wickets at an alarming rate with Mohammad Nawaz also falling after scoring 19.

Shan scored an unbeaten 66 off 40 deliveries, laced with three boundaries and four sixes and top scored for Pakistan, while the rest of the batters failing to make significant contributions resulted in the men in green finishing at 158/8 in response to England’s 221/3.

Mark Wood was the pick of the bowlers for England as he claimed three wickets for 25, while Adil Rashid bagged two. Reece Topley and Sam Curran, on the other hand, struck out a batter each.

Batting first on the invitation of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, England’s batting line-up displayed combined effort to power the side to a massive total of 221/3 in 20 overs at the back of brilliant half-centuries from Brook and Duckett.

The touring side was off to a poor start as opening batter Phil Salt (8) perished cheaply at a combined score of 18 in the third over.

Debutant Will Jacks and Dawid Malan then anchored the innings for England with a gritty 43-run partnership for the second wicket. Malan, who was struggling to score freely fell to Usman Qadir in the seventh over after scoring a snail-paced 14.

Jacks, on the other hand, who was looking solid to score a half-century on his debut, fell 10 runs short of the feat as he too, fell victim to Usman after scoring 40 off just 22 deliveries, laced with eight boundaries, while England, as a result, slipped to 82/3 in the ninth over.

Following the slump, Brook and Duckett stood up for their team and put on a match-changing partnership. The pair stitched an unbeaten 139-run partnership for the fourth wicket and scored at an astonishingly rapid pace.

Brook top-scored for the side with a blistering 81 off just 35 deliveries with the help of eight boundaries and five sixes, while Duckett scored 70 not out off 42 balls including eight boundaries and a six.

Usman led the bowling attack for Pakistan with two wickets, while Mohammad Hasnain bagged a wicket.