Debutant Luke Wood takes three wickets as England limit Pakistan’s total

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

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England held the score at 158 ​​for seven in the opening game of the Twenty20 series against the Pakistani side in Karachi as they embarked on their first tour of the country in nearly 17 years.

The home side got off to a strong start after being slotted in by England substitute skipper Moeen Ali, with Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam posting 85 from 57 balls topping the table.

But England pulled him back impressively, Adil Rashid got the ball rolling and rookie setter Luke Wood put in three for 27.

Pakistan took off, breaking through the field with consistency as Rizwan (68) and Babar (31) made good use of a lightning outfield.

They particularly liked David Willey, who couldn’t extract his usual swing with the new ball, as he lost 26 from two expensive overs at the top.

The Lancashire Wood left-hander had a solid introduction to international cricket, allowing just 12 of his first two overs and managing a strangled lbw call against Rizwan, but by the end of the power play the score had risen to 51 without loss.

Moeen went straight for a spin in an attempt to limit the score only for Rizwan to jump onto the track and lift his fifth delivery for six on the ground. Rashid had better luck, getting England’s first breakthrough in the 10th after cheating on Babar.

Rashid sent a wide flat that caught the hitter cold, skidded, and hit middle and outside. The wicket checked the Pakistani progress for a while, allowing Richard Gleeson to rush through a cheap set, before Rizwan hit Rashid for a second six in the leg.

England managed to stop Haider Ali at number three, limiting him to a scratched 11 before he lost Sam Curran, but Rizwan’s fall shortly after was a blow. Moeen was the pitcher, throwing a flatter ball and having the opener puzzled over the charge.

Wicketkeeper Phil Salt tried to rob another stump on the very next delivery, hovering behind Iftikhar Ahmed after a wide appeal before kicking off the bails and appealing. He looked unhappy when the umpires called the ball dead but didn’t work the point.

Shan Masood handed future Yorkshire team-mate Rashid a second wicket when he missed an inverted sweep and Wood memorably joined the party. He uprooted the stumps of Mohammad Nawaz, then had Iftikhar and Naseem Shah caught to death as the leads dried up.

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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