England took a 1-0 lead in the seven-match T20I series as they got the better of hosts Pakistan in the first T20I in Karachi by six wickets. An inspired performance from Alex Hales and Luke Wood saw the English side home as the former ended with 53 runs off 40 deliveries while the latter scalped three wickets for 24. The two teams will next meet on Thursday as the hosts will try to exact revenge on Moeen Ali’s side.
England made a poor start to their innings after they Philip Salt in the third over as Shahnawaz Da-hani scalped him for 10. Alex Hales would then continue to hold one end as he steered the innings along with Dawid Malan (20) and Ben Duckett (21). Hales was dismissed in the 17th over before skipper Moeen Ali and Harry Brook saw England home.
While Ali remained unbeaten on 7, Brook scored 42 in 25 deliveries as the visitors won the contest by four balls to spare. For Pakistan Usman Qadir scalped two wickets for 36 but was expensive while Naseem Shah had an off day giving away 41 runs in four overs.
Earlier, opener Mohammad Rizwan continued his good batting form with an attractive 46-ball 68 to take Pakistan to 158-7 in the first Twenty20 cricket international against England in Karachi on Tuesday.
Rizwan, top run-getter in the Asia Cup earlier this month with 281, knocked six boundaries and two sixes and put on 85 for the first wicket with skipper Babar Azam (31) after England won the toss and fielded.
England are on their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years to play seven Twenty20 internationals.
England debutant paceman Luke Wood finished with 3-24, while spinner Adil Rashid took 2-27.
Keeping an eye on next month’s T20 World Cup, both sides will look to draw first blood. With bitter memories of their shocking defeat in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka in Dubai still fresh, the home team will go all out for an emphatic victory in the series, England’s first in this country in 17 years.
The tourists, on their first trip to the country since 2005, will play four of the seven matches in Karachi on September 20, 22, 23 and 25 and the remaining three at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on September 28, 30 and October 2.
England skipper Jos Buttler will not be able to participate in any of the four games in Karachi due to injury, therefore Ali will perform captaincy duties.
Haider Ali, Usman Qadir and Shahnawaz Dahani have returned to the playing XI whereas Shan Masood is making T20I debut.—Agencies