And the XIs, huh?
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir
England: Phil Salt (wk), Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.
Pakistan openers are on top of the pops. The top two run scorers in T20 cricket in the past two years are Pakistan’s top men. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are at the top of pop. They are also first and fourth respectively in the ICC rankings. Practice.
Unsurprisingly, after his exploits last time out, Babar gets the draw and chooses to pursue again. His team is unchanged since their victory last night.
Moeen would also have played first, but says he’s “not too disappointed” to be up front at bat. Three changes for England. Jacks, as we said, is making his debut. Mark Wood is back! It’s true people. Sound the alarm. The fast man is back! Another change sees Reece Topley in the side.
Will Jacks makes his debut. According to ESPNCricinfo’s Matt Roller, it will be Will Jacks. The 23-year-old Surrey batter. What a week it has been for the South London club. After winning the County Championship with a crushing victory over Yorkshire, there is another selection in England for one of their youngsters.
Somebody get a new cap
Hello and welcome to the OBO report live from the 3rd international T20 between Pakistan and England from Karachi. We’re all set in the series after Alex Hales beat a windy half century in his return match to get things done for the tourists before Babar Azam rolled out a majestic ton in an undefeated opening stand of 203 to get the hosts on the scoresheet with fashion insistence.
It was a fascinating game with England skilfully skippered by Moeen Ali, who told our man Andy Bull he was proud to lead his country:
It’s not just England players who are making waves in Pakistan. Two English coaches cast their gaze about 3,875 miles to the east. You can read all about it by our big boss Ali Martin here:
If you’re so inclined, and don’t mind a little indulgence on my part, you can take a look at this week’s Spin column. In it, I examine the ramifications of a new T20 franchise tournament, crammed into an already hectic schedule, and why a national team captain was forced to watch from the outside.
These three pieces should keep you busy for now. I’ll be back with the draw and team reports in about 30 minutes (unless of course you email me or Tweeter).
The first ball is 7:30 p.m. local time/3:30 p.m. BST.
Catch yourself in a few.