MANCHESTER-Tom Banton hit a sparkling 71 from 42 balls before rain caused the match to be abandoned after 16.1 overs of England’s innings.

Opening the batting in the absence of Jason Roy, who has been ruled out of the series with a side strain, Banton smashed five sixes in a knock which put England in a strong position despite a slow start. Imad Wasim took a sharp catch off his own bowling to dismiss Jonny Bairstow in the opening over of the match after the visitors had elected to field first. Pakistan could have had two wickets in the first two overs, but a chance at slip was put down off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi to give Banton a life when he was on just five.

After seven overs England had just 40 runs on the board, but the 21-year-old opener greeted Shadab Khan’s introduction by sweeping his first ball over deep mid-wicket for his first six of the innings. The first two balls of Shadab’s next over were also hit for six, but Dawid Malan was run out from the third after a mix-up. Eoin Morgan reverse swept his first ball for four, and then smashed his third ball for six as he joined Banton in accelerating the innings. Banton moved to his maiden T20I fifty and then hit Imad for his fourth six before scooping Haris Rauf for his fifth maximum.

Shadab finally got Banton next over though, as the Somerset batsman went for one shot too many and skied a catch to Imad. Banton’s wicket precipitated a collapse for England as they lost four wickets in 19 balls, with Morgan trapped leg before attempting to sweep, Moeen Ali feathering behind and Lewis Gregory charging past one.

Before Pakistan could continue their charge however, rain began to fall. The weather didn’t relent for long enough at any stage for the players to return to the field, leaving the match to finish as a no result. Shadab and Imad each finished with two wickets, while Iftikhar Ahmed took one. 

Meanwhile, after rain forced the first T20I of the series to be abandoned, England and Pakistan prepare for another stop-start affair in Manchester today (Sunday). The weather remains in focus in Manchester with the forecast showing humidity above 60% for Sunday. Nine venues that hosted a T20 game in England on Thursday and Friday, including T20 Blast matches, saw washed out affairs.

England are unlikely to make many changes. One option they have is to bring in David Willey, who was effective in the limited-overs series against Ireland with the new ball. Willey is also an effective batsman against spin and pace and could be handy if the middle order has a collapse, as on Friday. With Jason Roy out of the series, Tom Banton grabbed his chance and could once again be a key player for England. Dawid Malan, who has made double digit scores in each of his 11 T20I games, will likely continue at No.3.

For the first game, Pakistan left out Haider Ali, who impressed in the Pakistan Super League earlier this year. The youngster is likely to be sidelined again as the team did not bat on Friday. Wahab Riaz, who missed out, is the only one with a chance to come in on Sunday. He might replace one of Mohammad Amir or Haris Rauf, with Shaheen Shah Afridi impressing yet again with the new ball. Overall, England maintain a 10-4 win-loss record against Pakistan in T20Is, with one match tied.



T Banton c Imad b Shadab .... 71

JM Bairstow c & b Imad ........... 2

DJ Malan run out 23

EJG Morgan lbw b Iftikhar ...... 14

MM Ali c Rizwan b Shadab......  8

SW Billings not out ................... 3

L Gregory st  Rizwan b Imad .... 2

CJ Jordan not out ..................... 2

EXTRAS: (lb-4, w-2) .................. 6

TOTAL: (6 wkts, 16.1 overs).  131

FOW: 1-3, 2-74, 3-109, 4-118, 5-120, 6-123

Bowling: Imad Wasim 4-0-31-2, Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-0-10-0, M Amir 2.1-0-14-0, Haris Rauf 3-0-32-0, Shadab Khan 4-0-33-2, Iftikhar Ahmed 1-0-7-1.

PAKISTAN: Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, M Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, M Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, M Amir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Alex Wharf, Mike Burns

TV UMPIRE: Martin Saggers