Cricket Article

Teenager Haider Stars: Pakistan Levels England T20I Series

Teenager Haider Stars: Pakistan Levels England T20I Series Photo: TT
Pakistan players celebrate winning by five runs after the international Twenty20 cricket match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford

Mohammad Hafeez blasted an unbeaten 86 while youngster Haider Ali also stole the show as Pakistan leveled their T20 International series against England on Tuesday.

The three-game T20I series ended 1-1 after the first match had been drawn due to rain, with Pakistan winning the third encounter over England by five runs in Manchester.

Hafeez, 39, was named Player of the Match, as well as Player of the Series, after his 86 from 52 balls set up Pakistan’s total of 4-190 after being sent in to bat.

However, Hafeez received excellent support from 19-year-old first drop Haider Ali who smashed 54 from 33 deliveries, including two sixes and five fours.

England fell marginally short in reply at 8-185, despite Moeen Ali’s excellent 61 from 33 balls, unable to grab victory as they needed 17 runs off the final over from Haris Rauf before requirinig six off the final ball.

Speaking about Haider, Hafeez said the teenager handled the situation well after arriving at the crease with the tourists losing an early wicket to be 1-2.

“He was good under pressure and just expressed himself,” Hafeez told Sky Sports.

“I was just trying to back him every time, tell him ‘you are playing well, continue like that’.

“It is great to see youngsters coming from our system and performing well.”

England slumped to 4-69 in the eighth over in reply but Moeen’s knock gave them hope but he also fell in the penultimate over, leaving Tom Curran and Adil Rashid with too much to do.

Rauf was assigned the task of bowling the final over, with England needing 17 to win, and the game went down to the wire when the penultimate delivery was hit by Curran for six.

However, Rauf bowled a yorker on the final ball which Curran couldn’t get away, ensuring Pakistan’s victory.

“I told the bowler to bowl yorkers,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. “One ball he bowled a really bad ball but that is part of the game.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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