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England are back to tonking the ball like never before and Cricket is back on free-to-air TV, an evening that had a couple of good news for English Cricket fans finally comes to an end. After a dreadful spell of rain affecting the matches in the series, we finally managed to get a game in without any interruptions. It was a high-scoring game wherein England trumped Pakistan quite comfortably at the end.
The two teams are set to meet each other - for the one final time in the series, at the same venue, that is Old Trafford Cricket Stadium, Manchester, on 1st September. With surface likely to remain the same and both sides having some pretty good batsmen, yet another high-scoring contest is on the cards.
After a batting performance that looked subpar in the first match, England smashed away Pakistan's total of 196 to take an unassailable lead in the series. Even though England was missing three of its regular T20I players, they looked clinical and did the job without any fuss.
The hallmark of this English side is their batting, which hasn't seen this kind of depth since inception of the side. With the depth England have, they can afford to go all-out from the very first ball and that is what helped England chase down the gigantic total of 196 in the second match of the series. After Jonny Bairstow and Tom Banton got them off to a terrific start, Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan played the finishing role perfectly. Eoin Morgan was dismissed late in the innings, but by then he had brought the equation down to a run-a-ball required, which didn't prove to be challenging at all.
While England would be ecstatic with their batting performance, they'd also be aware of their bowling problems that were highlighted in the opening match. None of their pacers was able to maintain accuracy or bowl in tight channels as Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, and Saqib Mahmood all served plenty of freebies. Barring Adil Rashid, who picked up a couple of wickets, none of the English bowlers looked threatening. Considering that, Eoin Morgan might be tempted to bring in David Willey in for the next game and that will not only provide variety to the bowling attack, but will also further strengthen the batting lineup.
England has always been a tough side to beat at home, regardless of the format. With aggressive batsmen available right through the order and conditions conducive to hard-hitting batting, England batting will be a tough nut to crack in the upcoming match as well. There bowling will be watched critically by the fans and the players and if the bowlers are able to deliver for them, England will have a pretty good chance to finish the series 2-0.
Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, AU Rashid, Saqib Mahmood.
Going by the proceedings in this tour so far, Pakistan seems to be having a knack of letting the match go from a position of strength. Pakistan showed a lot of promise in the opening match of the tour, where they had England on the mat, before England managed to claw back in and win the test match. It wasn't too different in the second T20I of the tour as well.
At the half-way mark, Pakistan was in a pretty good position with a total of 196 runs to defend in 20 overs. On paper, it had a terrific bowling attack and they looked favorites to win the match. However, apart from Shadab Khan, none of Pakistan's bowlers were able to handle the English counter-attack and gave away too many easy balls. That allowed England to score boundaries at will and climb back into the match rather quickly. The mid-innings injury to Mohammad Amir didn't help the visitors cause as he couldn't bowl at the death wherein his experience could have been invaluable.
Batting first, Pakistan got off to a flying start with Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman leading the start. Babar Azam couldn't hit many boundaries in his innings, but he ensured a healthy-strike rate with efficient running between the wickets. Just when he was looking to accelerate, he holed out at deep mid-wicket. With Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman back in the hut, Pakistan was staring at yet another collapse, but Hafeez's superb innings not only rescued them but took Pakistan into a position of strength.
Hafeez's whirlwind innings garnered plenty of praise from fans and critics alike. He was relentless at the death of the innings and punished English bowlers with remarkable ease. Although the likes of Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Khan couldn't do much in the second ODI, they could have a vital role to play in the third match of the series. On paper, Pakistan bat deep with the presence of nifty all-rounders in Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, and that could be a critical attribute to have in the shortest format of the game.
Going into the third match of the series, Pakistan will have to improve with the ball. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Amir were both expensive in the first match of the series. Haris Rauf bowled well at the death, but lack of control over line and length in the earlier overs allowed England to score off him rather easily. With Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan available, Pakistan have a fantastic spin attack, which could prove to be pretty useful on a slowing surface. Overall, Pakistan has a decent side on paper and if they are able to execute their plans on the field, they could prove to be difficult to stop.
Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, SI Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
Toss played an important role in the second match of the series as batting became considerably easier in the second innings. It is a difficult ground to defend and with dew likely to be a factor in the upcoming match, the team winning the toss would not want to bat first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Contrary to what many expected, including the English skipper, the surface at Manchester was an absolute beauty to bat on. Bowlers had a tough day as close to 400 runs were scored in the match. Although the surface is likely to be a tad slower than it was on the previous night, it will nonetheless be excellent to bat on. The overhead conditions, as well, are expected to be perfect with no rain expected. This is a night game and dew could play its part. Keeping that into consideration, the team batting first should be looking to put a total of at least 190 runs on the board.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the third T20I match of the series between England and Pakistan. Don't forget to check back the latest team right after the toss.
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
There were quite a number of similarities between how the two teams performed in the previous match. While batting worked wonders for both sides, bowling took the back seat. It was Adil Rashid for England who kept things under control in the middle and a similar role was played by Shadab Khan for Pakistan. Both teams have a plenty to improve on going into the third match and the team that does that better is more likely to emerge on top. Babar Azam, at times, looked clueless and that could be a factor playing against a captain who is known to be a brilliant strategist. For that as well as the other reasons stated above, England walk in as firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming contest.
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