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England come out on top in third T20I against Pakistan to clinch series

Tailender Chris Jordan held his nerves and took consecutive doubles of the last two balls to drive his side home 

England come out on top in third T20I against Pakistan to clinch series PHOTO: Reuters

England scraped past Pakistan by four wickets in a nail-biting third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday to clinch the three-match T20I series two-one. 

Chasing a target of 155 runs, England were off to a hot and cold start as opener Jason Roy took on the bowlers while fellow opener Jos Buttler struggled to find runs. 

The duo however managed to combine for an impressive 67-run opening stand that laid a solid foundation for their side. 

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan finally forced Buttler to miscue a slog into the hands of fielder Babar Azam after the batsman had managed 21 runs off 22 balls. 

Roy kept taking the bowlers on and raced to 64 runs off 36 balls before falling to the bowling of leg-spinner Usman Qadir, caught by fielder Fakhar Zaman. 

Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim then got the better of batsman Jonny Bairstow (five off eight), caught by fielder Sohaib Maqsood, as Pakistan looked to apply pressure on England’s explosive batting lineup. 

The pressure got to all-rounder Moeen Ali (one off three), who danced down the track only to be castled by veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez as the match went into an interesting final phase. 

The game kept leaning to one side and then the other in the closing stages before Hafeez bowled batsman Dawid Malan in the penultimate over after he had scored 31 runs off 33 balls. 

Hafeez then got rid of batsman Liam Livingstone (six off two), caught by fielder Sohaib Maqsood, as England went into the final over requiring six runs. 

Pacer Hasan Ali got a leading edge from England’s last recognised batsman Eoin Morgan from the first ball of the final over, only to spill the chance himself. 

The pacer then got his man on the second ball as Morgan (21 off 12) tried and failed to clear the boundary and ended up giving a catch to fielder Shaheen Shah, with England requiring four runs off four balls. 

With his side under pressure, tailender Chris Jordan held his nerves and took consecutive doubles of the next two balls to drive his side home with three wickets and two balls to spare, to win the third T20I and the three-match series two-one. 

Hafeez was the most successful bowler from Pakistan picking up three wickets at the expense of 28 runs in his allotted overs. 

Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, Pakistan were off to a cautious start. 

Opener Babar Azam struggled to middle his shots while fellow opener Mohammad Rizwan looked to be in sublime form as Pakistan. 

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid made the first breakthrough for his side as Babar Azam (11 off 13) danced down the track and missed the ball, only to be stumped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. 

The spinners started restricting the flow of runs which prompted batsman Sohaib Maqsood (13 off 12) to chance his arm off Adil Rashid, only to be caught by fielder Jason Roy. 

Veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez (one off two) was Rashid’s next victim as he miscued a loose delivery straight into the hands of fielder Jonny Bairstow. 

With Pakistan needing a partnership, batsman Fakhar Zaman combined with Rizwan to form a 45-run partnership off 40 balls to provide a foundation to the innings. 

All-rounder Moeen Ali however removed Fakhar Zaman (24 off 20), given out LBW after an England review, before the batsman could change gears. 

Adil Rashid then returned to remove all-rounder Shadab Khan (two off five), caught by Liam Livingstone, while all-rounder Imad Wasim (three off two) was run out as England piled on the pressure. 

Tailender Hasan Ali remained unbeaten in the end after scoring 15 off nine balls. 

Rizwan however was the rock that drove the entire innings as the prolific batsman remained unbeaten after scoring 76 runs off 57 balls to propel his side to 154 runs for the loss of six wickets in their allotted overs. 

Adil Rashid was the pick of the bowlers for his side, taking four wickets at the expense of 35 runs in his allotted overs.