ENG vs PAK: 1st T20I – Rain plays spoilsport after Banton Blitz

The first T20I between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford, Manchester lasted only 16.1 overs as the relentless rain made further play impossible. After last two Test matches ending a draw due to rain and bad weather, the first T20I match also followed the same path. Those 16.1 overs, nevertheless, produced scintillating action. England added 131 runs in this period but Pakistan kept striking back as they grabbed six wickets.

Tom Banton goes berserk

Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and opted to field first considering the weather forecast. He decided to open the bowling with his left-arm spinner Imad Wasim. The move paid dividends straight away. Wasim caught and bowled Jonny Bairstow on the fifth ball of his first over. The dismissal saw Banton and Dawid Malan consolidating for a few overs.

After seven overs, England were 40/1 in seven overs. Shadab Khan, the leggie, was introduced into the bowling attack. Banton decided to take on Shadab with the innings run-rate needing a boost. He welcomed Shadab with a six. In the leggie’s next over, he smashed two more sixes. Changing gears, he played unbelievable ramp shots against pace bowler Haris Rauf. The young gun eventually fell for 71 off 42 balls with 4 fours and 5 sixes.

Shadab completes his fifty

Although Shadab didn’t get to bat, he managed to complete his fifty. With the wickets of his tormentor, Banton, and Moeen Ali, the legspinner brought up fifty wickets in T20I cricket. He has achieved this milestone in his 41st T20I appearance. He became the seventh Pakistani bowler to achieve this feat.