Pakistan strangle England with spin to take 3-2 series lead

by 24britishtvSept. 28, 2022, 8 p.m. 18
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And welcome to live coverage of the fifth T20 between Pakistan and England. After tying the Karachi swing 2-2, England now return to Lahore for the first time in 17 years, to the Gaddafi Stadium. The Libyan dictator still had six years of life left the last time England played there, but the Colonel's name lives on in the city where he made the speech that backed Pakistan's right to become a nuclear power.

England were marmalised on that visit, losing the Test by an innings and 100 runs, by virtue of Mohammad Yousuf's double ton and Kamran Akmal's daddy 154. My main memory is of Steve Harmison flogging himself for more than 40 overs and a footsore Liam Plunkett taking the Simon Jones role in the original Fantastic Four but none of the quick men making much impact.

Shoaib Akhtar fired England out back then and it might be fitting that the touring side will be able to recall their own 'pace like fire' merchant tonight. Mark Wood was rested after his sensational comeback in the third ODI but should be raring to bowl his four overs here. Still no Jos Buttler, so we expect Phil Salt to carry on opening with Alex Hales and, should Buttler want to give up the gloves for the World Cup, as indicated when the selectors announced Jonny Bairstow would keep wicket in Australia, it makes sense as he is likely to stay there. Ben Duckett has been brilliant with the bat throughout the series and could also keep but isn't in that squad.

Chris Woakes may also be back too, to play his first game since March, the ignominious third Test in Grenada. He made a comeback for Warwicks' Seconds in June but suffered a further set-back. If England intend to go into their first World Cup game in Perth against Afghanistan in 24 days with Woakes, Wood and Chris Jordan (not fit to be on this tour) as three of their four pace options alongside, presumably, Reece Topley, they need to get Woakes out there today.

Pakistan have announced that Aamer Jamal, the allrounder who could be an adept finisher or late-over slogger if they bat first, will make his debut and Shadab Khan could come in for Usman Qadir who hurt his bowling hand when snaffling Hales early in England's innings in the previous game.

Play starts at 3.30pm BST. Join us for the toss and team news in the build-up.

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