|Third Twenty20 international, Karachi|
|England 221-3 (20 overs): Brook 81* (35), Duckett 70* (42)|
|Pakistan 158-8 (20 overs): Masood 65* (40); Wood 3-24|
|England won by 63 runs; lead the series 2-1|
Harry Brook’s unbeaten 81 off 35 balls to help England take a 2-1 lead in the Twenty20 series against Pakistan in a comfortable 63-run victory in Karachi.
The Yorkshire batsman displayed a dazzling array of shots as England posted an impressive 221-3 from 20 overs – the fifth-highest total in T20 cricket.
Ben Duckett contributed ably, adding 70 off 42 deliveries to account for 139 off 69 balls in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand, while debutant Will Jacks hit 40 off 22 balls to get England off to a strong start.
Pakistan struggled early in their reply and were reduced to 28-4 during the powerplay, thanks to an early spell from returning Mark Wood.
The Durham fast bowler, playing his first international since March after undergoing two elbow surgeries, took 3-24, including skipper Babar Azam, whose unbeaten 110 sealed Pakistan’s superb 10-wicket win. second T20 on Thursday.
Adil Rashid took 2-32 and Reece Topley finished with 1-22 in the first match of this series, as Pakistan could only limp to 158-8 despite Shan Masood’s lively half-century not being lost.
The fourth T20 is played on Sunday, again in Karachi.
Brook and Duckett take claims
It’s been a breakthrough year for Brook, who made his T20 international debut against the West Indies in January before picking up his first Test cap against South Africa earlier this month.
And with the T20 World Cup fast approaching, the 23-year-old produced a timely display of his class to stake his claim for a World Cup spot.
At five, his innings had eight fours and five huge sixes – two of which came off Usman Qadir’s other balls.
A left-right partnership with Duckett bamboozled Babar, struggling to set the pitch to stop the score.
The Duckett box was much stronger, relying almost exclusively on sweeps or reverse sweeps to score, but still expertly picked gaps in the field with eight fours and one six.
Surrey opener Jacks has emerged as an international cricketer for some time and his steady knock on his England debut ensured the run-rate dropped to almost below 10 despite the early dismissals of Phil Salt and Dawid Malan.
The returning Wood also gave England cause for optimism as he hit 97mph despite a six-month injury layoff, while the short ball repeatedly caused problems for Pakistan’s batsmen.
With Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and permanent captain Jos Buttler yet to return to the side, England suddenly have a host of selection problems with the World Cup less than a month away.
A bad start awaits Pakistan
Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan inspired in the second T20 when they took a record 10-wicket haul for Pakistan, but mustered just 16 here as a poor powerplay effectively ended the chances.
Babar survived a first edge that Malan couldn’t fathom at three, but in the next he beat a straight bounce from Wood to Topley at deep third boundary.
Rizwan then had his leg-stump demolished by a blistering delivery from Topley, before Haider Ali pulled another vicious delivery straight from Wood to a diving Adil Rashid at square leg.
The short ball was effective for Sam Curran as Iftikhar Ahmed lured Topley into the middle to play a direct shot to silence the home fans.
Shan Masood put up a spirited resistance with an unbeaten 65 off 40 balls to cement his case for a permanent place in Pakistan’s middle order, but Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Nawaz also hit double figures.
A flurry of late wickets ensured a timid finish to the game compared to the fireworks seen 24 hours earlier.