England won the seven-match men’s T20I series in Pakistan (the joint-longest bilateral series in the format) 4-3. Here is a combined team featuring players from both sides.
316 runs @ 63.20, SR: 138.59, HS: 88*
Rizwan batted considerably quicker than his career strike rate of 129. His 68 and 63 were lone hands with wickets falling around him; the 88 not out, a solid second fiddle to his captain; and the 88, a curiously paced innings that eventually turned out to be effective. Rizwan has received flak for getting stuck in the middle overs. That problem has not been resolved, but he has definitely done better than in the recent past.
285 runs @ 57.00, SR: 143.21, HS: 110*
The other half of Pakistan’s much-discussed opening pair, Babar set Karachi alight with a magnificent hundred as Pakistan stunned all to make a mockery of a target of 200. In Lahore, however, his 87 not out perhaps put Pakistan off trail. Even then, Babar scored at over 10 percent quicker than his career strike rate. The Pakistan opening pair remains a topic of discussion, but they have been quicker than they have been of late.
174 runs @ 34.80, SR: 132.82, HS: 78; 3c 1st
A relatively quiet series for the England No. 3 before his Player of the Match performance in the series finale. After a dominant first couple of years in T20I cricket, Malan’s returns have waned somewhat but his performance in the seventh T20I was a reminder of what he is still capable of producing.
233 runs @ 46.60, SR: 159.58, HS: 70*
Duckett batted seven times in the series, struck at 160 (surprisingly, with only two sixes), and yet reached double figures every time, and failed to reach 20 just once. His 70 not out in the third T20I stands out in volume of runs, but the cameos he played before and after that were just as special. Duckett could soon find himself in England’s plans in all three formats.
238 runs @ 79.33, SR: 163.01, HS: 81*
A breakout series for the young Yorskhireman. His most outrageous innings came in the third T20I, where his 35-ball unbeaten 81 helped England post 221-3, a target Pakistan never came remotely close to; but there were several other brisk cameos as well. Between them, Duckett and Brook ensured England never lost charge during the second half their innings.
Moeen Ali (c)
142 runs @ 142, SR: 159.55; HS: 55*
One wicket @ 79, ER: 11.28, BBI: 1-23
Moeen hardly bowled in the series (7-0-79-1), and batted only three times but each of his three innings was a gem. In the second T20I, his 23-ball 55* took England to 199-5. In the fourth, he brought England back in the hunt after they fell to 57-4. And in the fifth, he stood amidst the ruins, running out of partners as England fell short. He also leads this team because England won the series.
27 runs @ 27, SR: 142.10, HS: 17
Seven wickets @ 24.57, ER: 7.47, BBI: 2-23
Only twice in six matches did Curran go for more than 7.50 an over. Only once did he go wicketless – that too when none of his teammates managed to break the Babar-Rizwan stand. His was as consistent a show as anyone’s. The two cameos were a bonus.
34 runs @ 34, SR: 200; HS: 34
One wicket @ 65, ER: 7.22; BBI: 1-32
A surprise entry, perhaps. Dawson played only three times (including a match where he bowled just one over), all in Karachi. He opened the bowling every time, and bowled beautifully inside the powerplay as England used him to slow down Babar and Rizwan. In the fourth T20I, he almost took England home with a 17-ball 34 before they collapsed in spectacular fashion.
Six wickets @ 7.33, ER: 5.50, BBI: 3-20
Wood played twice, and took three wickets each time, including Babar early in the innings on each occasion. Fast and hostile – he was once clocked at 97mph – Wood hurried the Pakistan batters early in the innings, and returned for more wickets.
Eight wickets @ 23.62, ER: 7.83, BBI: 3-32
Pakistan did not have Shaheen Shah Afridi and lost Naseem Shah early on leaving Rauf as Pakistan’s main man with the ball, a role that he relished. Rauf bowled four overs in each of his six matches. Some of these 24 overs might have been expensive, but there was hardly an over when he did not look threatening. He virtually sealed the fourth T20I on his own, but he perhaps bowled best during his wicketless spell in the final match (4-0-24-0).
Five wickets @ 24.80, ER: 7.75, BBI: 2-37
A solid series for the tall left-armer who twice dismissed the dangerous Mohammed Rizwan with the new ball. Depending on the fitness of others, there’s a decent chance that Topley starts the T20 World Cup in the England XI.