• Batters Dawid Malan and Harry Brook shine with solid 4th wicket partnership as Moeen Ali’s team wins final game
A sublime fifty from Dawid Malan and three wickets for Chris Woakes guided England to a thumping 67-run win over Pakistan in the seventh Twenty20 in Lahore yesterday as they clinched the series 4-3 in a major boost ahead of the World Cup.
Chasing 210, Pakistan suffered a double blow when captain Babar Azam (4) and Mohamed Rizwan (1) departed in quick succession as England’s pace attack made early inroads and reduced the hosts to 33-3 under the lights at Gaddafi Stadium.
Shan Masood put up some resistance with a fighting 56 but England, led by Woakes (3-26), kept chipping away with regular wickets.
David Willey returned figures of 2-22 while Reece Topley, Adil Rashid and Sam Curran picked up a wicket each.
England captain Moeen Ali said at the prize distribution ceremony: “Brilliant game today, we played really well from the start. The batters put up a very good score and I thought our bowling was outstanding in wet conditions.”
He added: “They (the top order) give confidence to everyone else. The strike rates they bat at is really important. After we lost a couple, credit to the boys, they went out and played how they wanted. We had two must-win games, to come back and win them is good to see. We’re in a good position, and it shows the depth we have. Just want to say thank you to everyone, and the PCB for looking after us.”
Earlier, Malan scored a brilliant half century to take England to 209-3.
The left-hander hit a 47-ball 78 not out and was ably supported by Harry Brook (46 not out) and Ben Duckett (30) after England were sent in to bat by Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium.
Dropped twice by Pakistan skipper Babar on 29 and Mohamed Wasim on 62, Malan struck eight boundaries and three sixes in the 13th half-century of his T20I career.
Brook, dropped on 24 by Babar off Haris Rauf, struck four sixes and a boundary in his 29-ball innings and added 108 for the fourth wicket with Malan in 10.1 overs.
For Pakistan, fast bowler Mohamed Hasnain took 1-32 while fellow paceman Wasim went for 61 runs in four wicket-less overs.
Malan, the Player of the Match, said yesterday: “We saw this as a final, so to do it under pressure and put up a big score was fantastic. We felt the first 12-14 overs it was coming on nicely, then it slowed up. Luckily our bowlers learned from their lessons with the ball, bowl into the wicket, changes of pace. They bowled fantastically well. We’re getting a break here and there, looking forward to getting to Australia and having a couple of days off. But it’s been fantastic to be here, thanks for having us.”
England’s Brook, the Player of the Series, said: “I Just try to hit straight and play the ball on its merit. Plenty of practice, time in the nets and doing drills. I’ll look to hit straight and if there’s a gap I’ll manipulate the field.”
When asked about the World Cup spot, he added: “We’ll see, looking forward to getting out there, we’ve got Australia in a three-match series and then on to the World Cup. Hopefully we can push for the trophy. Been great fun over here.”
The series - England’s first tour of Pakistan for 17 years - drew packed crowds for all the seven matches.
England 209-3 in 20 overs (D. Malan 78 not out, H. Brook 46 not out, B. Duckett 30) beat Pakistan 142-8 in 20 overs (Shan Masood 56; C. Woakes 3-26) by 67 runs
Series: England 4-3 Pakistan