Hosts England take on Pakistan in the third and final T20 of the series at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday evening.
England bounced back from defeat in the first T20 to level the series at Leeds, beating Pakistan by 45 runs after a solid performance with the bat. Jos Buttler starred with the bat on his return to the side, while Liam Livingstone once again showed his brute force in the middle order. The spin bowlers Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali bowled well together, with help from pacers Saqib Mahmood and Tom Curran. Expect Eoin Morgan to come back into the playing XI after being rested for the second T20.
In trying to maintain the high run-rate required, Pakistan lost their way in the middle overs, lost regular wickets, and eventually finished way off their target score. Both Babar and Rizwan got starts at the top of the order, but could not convert them into big scores. The rest of the batting order has looked fragile so far in the series and needs to come good here. Despite the loss in the last game, expect the same team to play in this deciding match.
Although England come into the match with a winning momentum, Pakistan are a dangerous side in the shortest format. With both teams looking for a morale-boosting series win, a cracking game of T20 cricket awaits us at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
- Match: England vs. Pakistan, 3rd T20
- Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
- Date & Time: July 20, 2021, at 11 PM IST/6:30 PM Local
Probable Playing XI
Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (WK), Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan (C), Lewis Gregory, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood
Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Sohaib Maqsood, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi
Weather and Pitch Report
Manchester is expected to have clear conditions on the day of the match. The temperature will be around 24 degrees during the game.
Old Trafford has generally been a flat wicket, with a high-scoring game on the cards. Batters will dominate despite some early help on offer for the bowlers from the surface. The pitch will break down as the match progresses, bringing the spinners into play in the second innings. The average first-innings score at this venue in the last five T20Is played has been 163 runs.
The team batting second has a good record at this venue, winning 5 out of the 7 T20Is played here. Moreover, with this being a day/night game, the captain winning the toss is likely to opt to field first. A score of around 180 runs should be a competitive one here.
Top Fantasy Picks
- Jos Buttler showed why he is such a nightmare for the bowlers in the powerplay. In the last T20, he scored 59 runs off 39 balls, including 7 boundaries and 2 sixes. Before getting injured, he smashed a match-winning 68* against Sri Lanka last month.
- Jonny Bairstow is another player in the English squad who is equally dangerous as Buttler. He had an average series so far, scoring 24 runs in the last two matches. He had a decent series against Sri Lanka, scoring 64 in three innings, including 1 half century.
- Adil Rashid, after being rested for the first T20, returned with figures of 2 for 30 in the second one. His variations and lengths troubled the Pakistan batters, who were looking to attack the leg spinner. He will be key on this more spin-friendly track of Old Trafford.
- Mohammad Rizwan has been good for Pakistan in the series so far. He has scored 100 runs in two matches at a strike rate of 142.85, with the highest score of 63. He has been instrumental in the T20 format at the top of the order and will look to play a big inning here.
- Babar Azam got a steady start in the second T20 but got dismissed while trying to score at a high pace. He was brilliant in the first T20, scoring a masterful 85 and anchoring the innings to a big total. He will once again be the key to Pakistan’s chances in this game.
- Shaheen Afridi will be disappointed with his bowling performance in the last match. Although he went for only 28 runs in his 4 fours, he managed to pick up just a solitary wicket in the final overs. His spell of 3 for 30 in the first T20 helped Pakistan take the lead in the series. He will look to repeat that performance here.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeepers: J Buttler, J Bairstow, M Rizwan
- Batsmen: B Azam, M Hafeez, S Maqsood
- All-rounders: L Livingstone, S Khan
- Bowlers: S Mahmood, A Rashid, S Afridi
- Captain: J Bairstow/A Rashid
- Vice Captain: B Azam/M Hafeez
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can make your fantasy 11 and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.
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