NOTTINGHAM: A lightning-fast opening stand of 150 in 15 overs between captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan set up Pakistan’s 31-run win over England in the first Twenty20 International at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Babar hit 85 from 49 balls and Rizwan 63 from 41 in a Pakistan record total of 232-6.
England, in reply, lost four wickets in the first seven overs, and their hopes flickered thanks only to Liam Livingstone, who hit a record-breaking 103 from just 43 deliveries. But he was seventh man out in the 17th over and England were soon all out for 201 with four balls left.
England’s senior stars returned from self-isolation but failed to copy the domination their second string achieved against Pakistan in the preceding One-day International series.
While England’s big boys sat out the ODIs because of a coronavirus outbreak, a makeshift side of county players and fringe internationals overwhelmed Pakistan 3-0. With isolation over, only four of the B side were retained and none managed to contribute much.
Livingstone, from the main squad, shone with his century in a losing effort.
Pakistan rebounded from the ODI humiliation, and after being asked to bat first, Babar and Rizwan received good support from Sohaib Maqsood (19 from seven balls), Fakhar Zaman (26 from eight), and Mohamad Hafeez (24 from 10) as they easily eclipsed their previous highest T20 International score of 205 in 2018 and last April.
England’s chase was undermined early when opener Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali were out for one run apiece.
Livingstone’s 42-ball century, the fastest by an Englishman in T20s, arrived with his ninth six — more than the rest of the team combined — but he was out next ball to a boundary catch by Shaheen Shah Afridi at 183-7 in the 17th over, and so went England.
Livingstone’s catch was one of five on the boundary, two of them taken by player-of-the-match Shaheen, who also contributed 3-30, including a caught and bowled.
Shadab Khan also starred in the field with 3-52, a catch, and a direct-throw run out of Tom Curran.
The second game is on Sunday at Headingley, Leeds.
M. Rizwan c Bairstow b Gregory 63
Babar Azam c Bairstow b Willey 83
S. Maqsood c Willey b Curran 19
F. Zaman c Roy b Mahmood 26
Mohammad Hafeez b Curran 24
Azam Khan not out 5
Imad Wasim run out 3
EXTRAS: (LB-4, W-3) 7
TOTAL: (for six wkts, 20 overs) 232
FALL OF WKTS: 1-150 (Rizwan), 2-169 (Sohaib), 3-175 (Babar), 4-221 (Hafeez), 5-221 (Fakhar), 6-232 (Imad).
DID NOT BAT: Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain.
BOWLING: Willey 4-0-39-1 (2w); Mahmood 4-0-46-1 (1w); Curran 4-0-47-2; Gregory 2-0-25-1; Parkinson 4-0-47-0; Livingstone 2-0-24-0.
J.J. Roy c Babar b Shadab 32
D.J. Malan c and Shaheen 1
J.M. Bairstow c Imad b Shaheen 11
Moeen Ali c Haris b Hasnain 1
L.S. Livingstone c Shaheen b Shadab 103
E.J.G. Morgan c Haris b Imad 16
L. Gregory c Shaheen b Shadab 10
D.J. Willey c Shadab b Haris 16
T.K. Curran run out 1
S. Mahmood not out 0
M.W. Parkinson b Shaheen 0
EXTRAS: (LB-1, W-9) 10
TOTAL: (all out, 19.2 overs) 201
FALL OF WKTS: 1-12 (Malan), 2-42 (Bairstow), 3-48 (Moeen), 4-82 (Roy), 5-133 (Morgan), 6-177 (Gregory), 7-183 (Livingstone), 8-191 (Curran), 9-201 (Willey), 10-201 (Parkinson).
BOWLING: Imad Wasim 4-0-46-1; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3.2-0-30-3 (1w); Mohammad Hasnain 4-0-28-1 (1w); Haris Rauf 4-0-44-1 (1w); Shadab Khan 4-0-52-3 (2w).
UMPIRES: D.J. Millns (England) and M.J. Saggers (England).
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Shaheen Shah Afridi.
SECOND MATCH: Headingley, Sunday (6:30pm PST)
THIRD MATCH: Old Trafford, Tuesday (10:30pm PST).