Twitter Reactions: Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan shine in England's record-chase at Manchester

Twitter Reactions: Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan shine in England’s record-chase at Manchester

Skipper Morgan’s 33-ball 66 combined with Malan’s 54 off 36 proved to be a double whammy for the men-in-green.

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan of England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)

Well, it was some outing in Manchester for Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan. The wash-out of the previous game was followed by another wash-out. Just that it was of the bowlers this time around! Much to the fortune of those watching the game- of course, on television- there were no weather-based interruptions. However, what seems to have been interrupted is the tempo of Pakistan’s bowling lineup after the previous game.

Skipper Eoin Morgan’s decision to opt to field appeared a mistake, at least until they came out to bat. Babar Azam played a watchful knock of 56 including 7 fours as Morgan used four bowlers in the powerplay to create problems. Although Fakhar Zaman and Azam ensured to find boundaries at regular intervals in a bid to provide their team, a solid foundation. And they did so by adding 72 for the first wicket before Zaman towered Adil Rashid to long-on where Banton pouched it with ease.

Mohammad Hafeez registered a half-century and played with great authority over the bowlers. Saqib Mahmood and Tom Curran messed up their lengths to make matters worse for England as Hafeez entered into a couple of commanding partnerships with Azam and Shoiab Malik before Pakistan finished just an inch shorter than 200.

Scintillating start from England

Though Tom Banton was not around whom things revolved in this game, he ensured alongside Jonny Bairstow- who failed in the previous game- to take his team off to a flying start. The openers wobbled for a while during the initial overs and were not in complete control. Although once acclimatized with the lines of Shaheen Afridi and Imad Wasim, they both stroked with fluency, especially Bairstow who almost immediately got flowing after he lap-swept Imad Wasim in the third over.

He welcomed Mohammad Amir- who struggled with his hamstring and looked in visible discomfort- warmly with a four and a six while Banton kept rotating the strike. The duo added 66 for the first wicket making things easy for Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan before Shadab Khan struck on two successive deliveries to dismiss both of them.

Eoin Morgan’s pyrotechnics and Malan’s counter-attack

Eoin Morgan’s 33-ball 66 combined with Malan’s 54 off 36 proved to be a double whammy for the men-in-green. Morgan upset the rhythm of every bowler with equal poise while Malan played his tunes at the other end. Their collective efforts resulted to dwarf Pakistan’s highest ever T20I score against England as well as saw England hunt down the highest successful chase against Pakistan.

Morgan did look shoddy at the start and he must have had his heart in his mouth when Shadab Khan’s confident appeal for LBW was reviewed. He survived a close shave on the basis of umpire’s call on impact. After that, the Dubliner never looked like looking back.

His innings included a slew of eye-catching strokes as he lofted, swiveled, drove, and slog-swept while slamming 6 fours and 4 sixes during his 112-run alliance with Malan- who was happy to give his captain the majority part. In the process, however, he also played his strokes freely and finally did well to evade his reputation of playing slow.

At the stroke of taking an unassailable lead of 1-0, England did stutter a bit as Haris Rauf ended Eoin Morgan’s run and that was followed by Moeen Ali’s dismissal, however, Sam Billings slapped two boundaries before perishing as Malan hit the winning runs.

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