The T20I opening combination of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan has worked well for Pakistan. The two have stitched together solid partnerships and given Pakistan great starts.
Chasing 201 against England in the second T20I, the two added 50 runs inside the powerplay. However, Babar Azam got out when the score was 50 and things went downhill for Pakistan. The Men in Green then lost wickets at regular intervals and was reduced to 95-5 and eventually losing the match by 45 runs.
The Pakistan captain said that his dismissal changed the momentum completely in England’s favor. He also said that his team should have restricted England to about 170 runs.
"We gave away 30 extra runs and we weren't able to maintain the momentum that we got with the opening partnership. We had confidence in chasing, and my wicket was crucial because we lost momentum with that wicket. Shadab and Imad bowled well, but it didn't spin as much in the first innings as it did in the second innings. We'll try not to repeat the mistakes in the next game and win," Babar Azam said in the post-match presentation.
England who were in a do-or-die situation in the three-match T20I series put on an impressive show with the bat. They were led by stand-in captain Jos Butler who scored a half-century on his return to the side. Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone played impressive cameos to propel England to 200.
The spin trio of Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, and Matt Parkinson then spun a web around Pakistan and took five wickets for 87 runs in 11 overs collectively. Jos Butler was pleased with the win and praised the spinners for the fine job.
"We put together a great score after losing the toss. Adil has been fantastic for a very long time, and Parky bowled well in tandem with him. It's great to be back in the team and nice to contribute today. We got a very good performance in today. We had two good games, and I'm sure the decider will be brilliant as well,” Jos Butler said.
The two teams will play the decider on Tuesday, 20 July.