4th over: England 36-1 (Jacks 19, Malan 8) Babar scraps the early spin experiment and gets Shahnawaz Dahani into the attack. He bowled Malan round his legs last night but this first ball is wide outside the off stump. Malan throws his hands at it and a thick edge takes it to the deep third boundary. Dahani rectifies his line and Malan can’t help himself and pokes at it. He’s lucky that lifter from a good length didn’t catch the edge. He’s more assured off his hips and whips a three through midwicket. Jacks takes four through deep third as well but where was the slip? Pakistan may regret that. Never mind that, the over ends with Jacks clattering a boundary down the ground. 15 off the over.
3rd over: England 21-1 (Jacks 11, Malan 1) Jacks was on strike after the wicket as the batters crossed (I think that rule will change soon) and he gets a single with a tap and run. There’s a wide and the new batter Dawid Malan is off the mark with a dab down to deep third, but otherwise it’s a good cluster for Hasnain as he bags the early wicket.
Salt tries to smash this into a different state but only catches a top edge. It flies into the muggy Karachie air and three fielders converge on it. For a moment it looked as if they’d run into each other. Nawaz clings on though despite Hasnain almost getting in his way. Either way, Salt has to go.
2nd over: England 18-0 (Salt 8, Jacks 10) Spin with the new ball but Salt doesn’t mind as he peppers the cow corner boundary with the first delivery from Mohammad Nawaz. Salt uses his feet and takes a single wide of long-off. Jacks registers another single and Salt does likewise with a chip to the leg side. Jacks then ends the over by heaving a drag down to long leg. Not a great set from the Pakistan offie.
1st over: England 7-0 (Salt 2, Jacks 5) Mohammad Hasnain has the ball and he’s looking to get it up in the blockhole. His first two balls are squeezed behind square for a couple of singles which means Will Jacks has his first run in international cricket. Salt takes another single with a push towards mid-off. Hasnain pulls his length back a touch and gets one to skid low past Jacks but the opener isn’t flustered. He whips the last ball up and over midwicket for four. Good start for the youngster.
Right then. The players are scampering out. Pakistan in blue (is that blue), England in red, national colours are irrelevant, we’re all set to tuck in. Should be tasty.
[Eye emoji] That’s outrageous actually.
How about the XIs, eh?
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir
England: Phil Salt (wk), Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.
Pakistan openers are top of the pops. The top two run scorers in T20 cricket over the last two years are Pakistan’s leading men. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are top of the pops. They’re also first and fourth on the ICC’s rankings, respectively. Handy.
Unsurprising, after his heroics last time out, Babar gets the coin flip and chooses to chase again. His team is unchanged from their win last night.
Moeen would have bowled first as well but says he’s “not too disappointed” to front up with the bat. Three changes for England. Jacks, as we said, makes his debut. Mark Wood is back! That’s right folks. Sound the alarm. The quick man is back! One more change sees Reece Topley in the side.
Will Jacks to debut. According to Matt Roller from ESPNCricinfo, it’ll Will Jacks. The 23-year-old off-spinning batter from Surrey. What a week it’s been for the south London club. After clinching the County Championship with a thumping win over Yorkshire, there’s another England cap for one of their youngsters.
Someone’s getting a new cap
Hello and welcome to the live OBO report of the 3rd T20 international between Pakistan and England from Karachi. We’re all square in the series after Alex Hales bashed a breezy half century on his return match to get things going for the tourists before Babar Azam unfurled a majestic ton in an unbeaten opening stand of 203 to get the hosts on the scoresheet in emphatic fashion.
It’s been a fascinating match-up with England ably skippered by Moeen Ali, who told our man Andy Bull that he’s proud to lead his country:
It’s not just the England players who are making waves in Pakistan. A couple of English coaches have cast their gaze around 3,875 miles east. You can read all about that from our head honcho Ali Martin over here:
If you’re so inclined, and you don’t mind a bit of self indulgence on my part, you can take a gander at this week’s Spin column. In it I examine the ramifications of a new T20 franchise tournament, crammed into an already stuffed calendar, and why a national team captain has been forced to watch on from the outside.
Those three pieces should keep you occupied for now. I’ll be back with the toss and team reports in around 30 minutes (unless of course you get in touch with an email or tweet).
First ball is at 7:30pm local time/3:30pm BST.
Catch you in a few.