SCO vs PAK: 1st T20I, Review: All-round heroics help Pakistan bag a huge win

Pakistan take a lead of 1-0 in the series.

Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Pakistan team is touring Scotland to play a two-match T20I series. While the Pakistan team has ended its England tour on a decent note levelling the Test series 1-1, Scotland has been playing some great cricket. They have come together brilliantly as a team in the recent times and are playing some unbelievable cricket. Scotland team has defeated England in the only ODI that was played between both the sides by 6 runs.

Since they’ve beaten the No 1 ODI side quite comprehensively, there was a lot of interest shown by the local crowd for this game. Pakistan is the No 1 T20I side currently. They’ve proved as to why they were regarded as the best T20I team by dominating hosts in all three aspects of the game. They defeated Scotland by 48 runs to take a lead of 1-0 in the series.

Pakistan ride on the heroics from Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik

The Grange Cricket Club at Edinburgh is a small ground and is a run-scoring paradise for the batsmen. We’ve witnessed this in the game against England where both the sides scored over 350 runs. Hence, Pakistan had no hesitation to bat first after winning the toss and put some huge runs on the board. They did exactly that in the first innings. Openers Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shehzad haven’t provided the side with the best of starts.

While Fakhar scored 21 off 15, Shehzad scored 14 off 12 balls. Further, Hussain Talat who batted at No 3 failed to create an impact. He only managed to score 18 from 16 balls. Pakistan was down to 87/3. But they were revived by some amazing innings from skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik. The latter scored at a strike rate of almost 200 in the innings. He was dismissed after scoring 53 off 27 balls. He has smashed 5 huge maximums in his innings.

Sarfaraz was the real hero for Pakistan with the bat. It’s been quite some time since we have seen him bat like this. He made the maximum use of the short boundaries and has scored 89 runs off just 49 balls. He also remained not out till the end and has hit 3 big sixes in his innings. Further, he also stroke 10 boundaries in the innings to help Pakistan take the total past 200. Pakistan managed to score 204 runs for the loss of 4 wickets in the 20 overs. Alasdair Evans was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets in his four overs giving away just 23 runs.

Too much of an asking for Scotland

Chasing this mammoth total was never going to be easy for Scotland. It was important for them to have got off to a good start. However, they didn’t manage to get off to the best of starts to their likings. Opener George Munsey scored rather slowly in a high-intensity chase. He only scored 25 runs in 22 balls which isn’t really ideal. Richie Berrington who came in at No 3 also failed and ate up quite some deliveries. He was bowled Shadab Khan after scoring 3 off 7 balls.

Skipper Kyle Coetzer who tried to be aggressive perished after scoring 31 runs off 18 balls and perished in the process of attempting to slog sweep Shadab Khan putting Scotland in a spot of bother. From there on, Scotland kept sinking down the ship. Calum MacLeod, who is one of the most important batsmen for Scotland succumbed to the pressure and fell after scoring 12 runs.

Scotland lost the plot from there and never was able to recover. Also, the required run rate kept creeping up and was almost 20 by the end of the 15th over. Soon, Further, Dylan Budge fell for 24 and Scotland had no chance of staging a comeback. Although Michael Leask scored some runs quickly at the end, it was already too late. The Pakistani bowlers kept mounting the pressure on the Scotland batsmen. Shadab Khan picked two wickets in his 4 overs.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan: 204/4 in 20 overs (Sarfaraz Ahmed 89*, Shoaib Malik 53, Alasdair Evans 3/23)

Scotland: 156/6 in 20 overs (Michael Leask 38*, Kyle Coetzer 31, Shadab Khan 2/25)

Pakistan won the game by 48 runs