England display T20 World Cup credentials as Pakistan fail to flatter

England performed a magnificent team performance to secure a 67-run victory and a 4-3 series victory against Pakistan in Lahore. It was a dismal end to an entertaining series for Pakistan, as the hosts were defeated meekly in the seventh and final match, handing England a slender 4-3 series victory.

In the series finale, Pakistan faces old difficulties.

Pakistan will be without great bowler Shaheen Afridi due to injury, and the fitness of teenage Phenom Naseem Shah will be crucial to their fortunes in the 2017 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Pacer Haris Rauf (eight wickets) bowled brilliantly throughout the series, while experienced opener Mohammad Rizwan (316) and skipper Babar Azam (285) played admirably for the most of the seven matches and may be counted on to do so in Australia.

The difficulty for Pakistan may be what happens when their openers don’t fire, as Rizwan and Babar combined for just five runs at the top of the order in the last game against England. Babar was also guilty of squandering two chances in the series finale, and Pakistan cannot afford any careless mistakes if they are to win a second T20 World Cup in Australia.

England is impressive in terms of depth.

England were missing captain Jos Buttler for the whole series, as were regulars Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone. However, notable performances by Harry Brook, Ben Duckett, and Phil Salt at various points throughout the series demonstrated that Matthew Mott’s team had a bright future.

Dawid Malan (78*) rediscovered form in the series finale and is expected to be a vital role in the forthcoming T20 World Cup, while David Willey, Chris Woakes, and Reece Topley have all demonstrated that they are good T20I players. With Buttler and Livingstone set to return for the T20 World Cup, England should be regarded a favorite to win the four-week championship.

What is next for both parties?

England will go to Australia for a three-match series against the T20 World Cup hosts, followed by a one-off warm-up match against Pakistan on October 17 at The Gabba. On October 22, they will face Afghanistan in their first T20 World Cup encounter in Perth. Warm-up dates for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 have been confirmed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan will head immediately to New Zealand for a tri-series against the Kiwis and Bangladesh, followed by warm-up matches against England and Afghanistan in Brisbane. Then, on October 23, all eyes will be on the Melbourne Cricket Ground as Pakistan and India square off in the most anticipated T20 World Cup match.

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