I think it’s best to forget last night’s T20. Pakistan shocked everyone by looking motivated, aggressive and desperate to win. England, on the other hand, looked somewhat complacent and relaxed. Mentally we weren’t at the races and made far too many mental errors.
It’s always hard to gauge Pakistan’s mood. They’re usually entertaining to watch but one never knows if they’ll rise to a challenge or shrug their shoulders and go AWOL. Yesterday they were strangely at the top of their game – who knows whether it was Sarfraz’s captaincy or the partisan Pakistani supporters who seemed to outnumber their English counterparts?
If only I had a quid for every horn blown and delirious cheer whenever a player wearing green touched the ball. It seemed more like Multan than Manchester yesterday. The atmosphere was electric.
The game itself can be summarised thus: England made a good start with the bat, then collapsed in a heap when Iman came on to bowl his crafty spinners. Our batsmen played a host of lazy, ill through through shots, and nobody down the order pulled us out of the mire this time.
England’s 135 might have been a good score in an U16 match twenty years ago but it was never going to be enough last night. Our only chance was the bowl tight early on and take a few wickets. All chance of that happening evaporated when Chris Jordan was thrown the ball. He conceded 20 runs in his first over and that was basically that. Sjahjeel Khan and Khalid Latif took us to the cleaners.
Although it was only a solitary T20, bolted on at the fag end of a tour – I still don’t know why they don’t put these limited overs games before the test series as an appetiser – it was a disappointing way to round off the international summer.
Pakistan will return home feeling quite good about themselves. England, on the other hand, will have a little reflecting to do. It was great to win the ODIs 4-1, but only drawing the test series, and then losing the last two limited overs game leaves a slightly unsatisfying taste in the mouth.