By CricketCountry Staff
Dubai: Feb 25, 2012
Following their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of England in the ODI series, Pakistan came up with a refreshing performance in the opening T20I to silence some of their critics and they will look to continue in the same fashion in the remaining two matches.
England, meanwhile, will consider the loss in the first T20 to be a one-off and will look to put the pressure back on Pakistan like they did in the 50-over games.
Misbah-ul-Haq came in for a lot of criticism after the ODI series loss but he did remarkably well as captain in the opening 20-over game to help Pakistan go 1-0 up. Misbah’s captaincy skills were not at their best in the 4-match ODI series, but in the Twenty20 match, he maneuvered his resources well, using the right bowlers at the right time and placing the fields correctly.
The main worry for Misbah lies with the batting department as the batters, similar to their performance in the ODIs, got off to starts but could not capitalize and lost wickets in a heap. Debutant Awais Zia looked good for the short while that he was out at the middle and so did Hafeez and Asad Shafiq, but they could not carry forward. Afridi has not been much of a success with the bat of late and he did not help Pakistan’s cause either.
Looking at England’s performance in the opening match, it can be said that they were good only in particular stages of the game but could not deliver in the crucial stages. Stuart Broad has not captained England in too many games in the shorter format and is still in his formative years as skipper. His inexperience clearly showed as he did not go for the kill when Pakistan were five down for 73.
The England bowlers had a mixed outing in the first T20 with some of them giving away a lot of runs. Steven Finn was the most expensive of the lot, ending up with an economy rate of more than 9 an over while Jade Dernbach and Samit Patel gave away more than 7 an over. Graeme Swann was the pick of the bowlers, scalping three wickets as well as maintaining a good economy. The skipper also was on the mark with the ball, although he did not have any wickets to speak for his efforts.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Awais Zia, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal (wk), Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Hammad Azam, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema
England: Kevin Pietersen, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Samit Patel, Stuart Broad (c), Graeme Swann, Jade Dernbach, Steve Finn