England defeat Pakistan in final T20 World Cup warm-up game

England beat Pakistan with conviction in their final warm-up game before opening their T20 World Cup account on Saturday against Afghanistan.

A destructively executed run chase meant Jos Buttler’s men picked off the 160-run total set by Pakistan inside 15 overs, with four to spare after rain reduced the fixture to 19-over innings.

Both sides had entire 15-man squads at their disposal, the preparatory nature of the tie exemplified by England using eight bowlers and Pakistan swapping wicketkeepers at the start of the chase’s seventh over.

Although the fixture’s character was evident throughout, there was still cause for much encouragement for the England fan.

Liam Livingstone, on his return to the England fold after suffering an ankle injury in The Hundred, was the tightest of England’s bowlers (1-8 from his two overs) and was familiarly brutal with the bat, striking 28 from 16.

His return, underscored by a six which sailed out of the 30 metre-high Gabba, could revitalise an English middle-order which has taken up a variety of forms in recent weeks, safe in the knowledge of his devastating ability particularly towards the end of an innings.

Or, conversely, this could merely serve to exacerbate Mott’s headaches with how to line up in the Super12, especially given Ben Stokes teasing a return to form bludgeoning 36 from just 18 balls.

The hype train around Harry Brook is still firing on all cylinders, with the 23-year-old batsman returning to the form he saw in the preceding Pakistan series via an unbeaten 45 in which he cleared the rope four times during his partnership with Sam Curran.

His performances against Pakistan and Australia down under Sam Curran to be invaluable as a death bowler, but in hitting 33 not out from just 14 deliveries he proved once again how effective a striker of a cricket ball he can be.

Although doubters may point to top order failings from Alex Hales and Phil Salt, a slightly uninspiring bowling display from Chris Jordan and another wicketless performance from Adil Rashid (who has taken only six wickets in 10 T20 games this winter) the positives are there.

Should England choose to select a batsman-heavy line-up, they give themselves the best chance of putting runs on the board or chasing down the most challenging of totals.

The bowling attack boasts blistering pace in Mark Wood and death bowling options in Reece Topley and Curran, while the early signs seem to be showing that the experienced Rashid should be able to extract turn from ICC-controlled pitches.

And with regards to the competing sides, it’s safe to say that the 2022 boasts a much more even playing field.

Matthew Mott and English cricket fans alike should feel very confident going into the tournament that England can become the first nation to simultaneously hold One-Day and T20 world titles.

For all our T20 World Cup content, click here.

Featured image credit: Credit: Ytcfc23, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Related Articles