Pakistan, England set to face-off in Cardiff T20I

Both teams will be looking to fine tune their skills, ahead of the 2019 World Cup

Pakistan, England set to face-off in Cardiff T20I PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan will face England in a one-off Twenty20 International (T20I) match, at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on May 5, 2019.  

Both sides, who will also be involved in a five-match one-day international (ODI) series following Sunday’s T20I, will be looking to use these remaining matches as preparation for the upcoming International Cricket Council World Cup.  

Pakistan in focus

The Men in Green have made the best possible start to their tour of England by winning all three side matches, hardly missing a beat.  

Pakistan defeated Kent, in their tour opener, courtesy all-rounder Imad Wasim’s century, while opener Fakhar Zaman’s ton was enough to take his side over the line against Northamptonshire by eight wickets. Both matches were fifty-over encounters. 

Meanwhile top-order batsman Babar Azam's century helped Pakistan stroll to victory over Leicestershire, in a T20 match.

The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led unit are currently the number one ranked side in the world and they would be hoping to put up a show which mirrors their status in T20I cricket.  

Pakistan’s bowling is once again the talk of the town, with 19-year-old pace sensation Mohammad Hasnain making the headlines. It remains to be seen whether Pakistan will hand him his T20I debut, in Cardiff.

The T20I match will also be important for pacer Mohammad Amir, whose chances of making it into Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup squad depends on his performance in the series against England.  

England in focus

The number three ranked T20I side in the world will have the advantage of playing in home conditions but overpowering Pakistan won’t be an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

England survived a massive scare, during their season opener on Friday, during an ODI match against Ireland in Dublin. The world's top-ranked side in ODI collapsed to 66 for five chasing a modest 199 for victory, but wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes' unbeaten 61 on his debut helped England recover from a top-order collapse to beat Ireland by four wickets.

The match could be a blessing in disguise for the home side, who are one of the top contenders for the 2019 World Cup, keeps in mind the challenges that lay ahead of them.

A series of injuries, Sam Billings and Jason Roy, and the suspension of opener Alex Hales, for recreational drug use, opened the door for middle-order batsmen Ben Duckett and Phil Salt — an opportunity which could help the duo make their mark on international cricket.

England will be without a number of their key players, including wicketkeeper-batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, but they still have enough power in their ranks to trouble Pakistan.

Pitch and weather conditions

The venue has been a good hunting ground for England, in the past, with a flawless record of five wins from as many games.

The Men in Green have faced England twice at this ground, during their tour in 2010, and ended up on the wrong side of result on both occasions — by five and six wickets, respectively.

The pitch at the Sophia Gardens has enough in it for, both, bowlers and batsmen, which could brighten the prospects of an intriguing battle between bat and ball.

The highest score at this venue was scored by England, 182-5, against Australia, on August 31, 2015. While Pakistan holds the record for the lowest score, 89 all out, on September 7, 2010.  

The weather conditions are likely to remain overcast, throughout the day, with slight chances of rain in the afternoon.   


England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jofra Archer, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, James Vince, David Willey, Ben Foakes, Phil Salt, Ben Duckett

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir.