It is safe to say that Pakistan held the upper hand even as showers once again ruined an enthralling contest in Manchester. It would be slightly justifying to mark the washout as an escape for England, who suffered a collapse before rains interrupted that never allowed the game to resume. Nevertheless, at 131-6, with nearly four overs to go, a Sam Billings cameo was difficult to rule out too.
Amid a passage of play that saw the hosts lose four wickets for only 14 runs, Tom Banton’s form and his explosive half-century was a massive positive for England and is the only one to forge a significant score on Friday. Banton, who replaced an injured Jason Roy at the top order, was allowed a reprieve only in the second over as Iftikhar Ahmed dropped a dolly at first slip.
From there on, the 21-year old warmed himself up for the IPL with a 33-ball half-century, clattering Shadab Khan for back to back maximums. In his 42nd delivery, the youngster looked for another maximum off Shadab, only to top edge him to extra cover where Imad Wasim took a simple catch. After his whirlwind 71, laced up with four boundaries and five maximums, the home side lost three in three overs as rains interrupted and eventually ended Pakistan’s push.
Pakistan bounced back nicely from the tonking of Tom Banton and ended a threatening stand of 71 between him and Dawid Malan. Babar Azam as a captain was proactive enough too; however, they cannot afford to drop chances as Iftikhar did in the second over. The unfinished game does not provide a clear picture for young candidates like Lewis Gregory and Haris Rauf; hence, it remains unlikely that both the sides will trigger a change.
Tom Banton justified his place at the top of the order in place of Jason Roy, who has suffered a side strain leading up to the series. The likes of Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, and Dawid Malan need to make their chances count ahead of another white-ball rubber against Australia.
Probable XI: Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood.
Haris Rauf went a touch expensive in his three overs; however, he is most likely to retain his spot while the entire team would remain the same as well.
Probable XI: Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (c), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
The deck at the Old Trafford remained slow for the one in the first T20 international. With little time to prepare a new track, it is most likely to stay the same.
The temperature for the second T20 international will stay at 12 degrees Celcius and nine at night. As far as the chances for rains go, there is only six per cent precipitation, which flags maximum opportunities for the completion of the game.
Head to head:
Played – 16
Won by England – 11
Won by Pakistan – 4
No result – 1
Stats that matter:
8 – Mohammad Hafeez needs eight runs to reach 2000 runs in T20I cricket. He would be the second Pakistan batsman and ninth overall in the format to do so.
1- Pakistan hold the edge over England at the Old Trafford, having won one out of two games.
8 – Chris Jordan needs eight wickets to breach past Stuart Broad’s 65 scalps. By doing so, he will become England’s highest wicket-taker in T20Is.
There’s very little to choose between the two sides. In the first match, Pakistan put the hosts’ power-packed batting line-up in a spot of bother. However, England’s bowling depth is equally capable of putting Pakistan in trouble.