Pakistan conclude their tour of England on Tuesday evening when the two sides play out a deciding match in their three match T20 series. This final game comes from Old Trafford where a bumper crowd is expected.
England levelled up the series with a win in the second T20 at Headingley on Sunday so they carry the momentum but despite the series being on the line, further preparation for the upcoming World T20 is of much more importance here.
Credit goes to England for bouncing back after a pretty bruising defeat in the first game of the series. It probably helped that most of their players had experience of Headingley but even so their performance was very good. It wasn’t perfect because England stuttered at the start of their batting innings. They recovered nicely though and once again showed their batting depth which got them up to a 200 total for the second time in the series.
England’s bowlers were a lot stronger on paper than in the first game with a couple of senior men back in the ranks and that is how it proved to be with them restricting Pakistan pretty comfortably. They will be looking for a repeat of that bowling display and if they can click into gear with the bat in hand a little earlier in their innings then they are going to be a very tough nut to crack. This is their final T20 before the official prep stuff for the World T20 begins so England should be all out here.
Pakistan have given plenty to this series so far and they will be hoping they have one last bang left in them. They will need to have that because they barely registered anything of note in the ODI series which preceded these matches. That has been and gone but this is probably the strongest format for Pakistan and a series win here would not only confirm that but it would also seriously validate their chances at the World T20 later in the year.
If Pakistan are going to win this match and the series then you would think they are going to need to find a way to restrict the England batsmen. They have twice had them under pressure and on both occasions they have allowed them to get away and post a score of 200. The middle overs will be crucial with the ball. If they can keep chipping away at the batting depth they might get some joy. As ever it goes without saying that they’ll need to bat well.
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England aren’t expected to make wholesale changes here but there is a chance that Eoin Morgan comes back into the side. He could replace the out of form Dawid Malan or someone like Jason Roy could sit out and Liam Livingstone moves up to open.
Pakistan aren’t really in the position to make wholesale changes but Azam Khan has done little of note in the series so it might be time for him to take a perch and another bowling option to come back into the side.
I’ll go with a couple of bets for this match with the first of them coming in over 12.5 sixes. There is a concern that the scores at Old Trafford haven’t been as high this year as in recent years but that has had nothing to do with the pitches. Early on in the Vitality Blast there was some rain around and then after that England took Lancashire’s two best batsmen away from them so scores were affected by that. The pitch at Old Trafford is always good for international cricket and we saw that between these two here last year when the two matches that weren’t rain affected saw 195/4 chased down and 190/4 almost get chased down. There were 13 sixes and 15 sixes in those two matches and that Pakistan side weren’t as powerful as this one. I like the over here.
The other bet I like is the 13/2 that Liam Livingstone top scores for England in this match. I like this not just because he has come first and second in the opening two matches of the series but this is also his home ground so he is going to know all the dimensions here and more importantly the conditions. Livingstone also top scored in one of the T20 matches against Sri Lanka earlier in the summer too so he is no stranger to top scoring. It might be that his pyrotechnics of the other day sees him go up the order but even if that doesn’t happen he looks a big price here.
Back Over 12.5 sixes for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Boylesports
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Back L.Livingstone Top England Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 7.50 with BetVictor
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