By News Team
20th July 2021
Fans heading to Old Trafford on Tuesday look set for a cracker with the T20 series between England and Pakistan perfectly poised at 1-1.
Both sides have done things well and likewise not so well during the first two contests and that’s why the decider in Manchester looks such an enthralling encounter.
Fingers crossed it lives up to the hype and here’s our preview.
Hosts hoping big hitters come to the fore again
England (4/9) put in a pretty faultless performance in the second game and were good value for their 45-run victory. The win was set up by the batsmen who were in devastating form. Eight sixes were hit, including arguably the biggest ever seen by Liam Livingstone, while England also smashed 22 fours. Despite it being his first game back, Jos Buttler looked in great form, top-scoring with 59 from just 39 deliveries and the opener is 5/2 to repeat the feat at Old Trafford. Livingstone, fresh off a maiden international 100 in the first game and a fast-paced 38 last time round, is 9/2 to be top run scorer on Tuesday.
It wasn’t just the batsmen that impressed, though. Saqib Mahmood has taken to international cricket like a duck to water and has already taken four wickets in the series, including three at Headingley last time out. The Lancashire bowler is the 5/2 favourite to top the wicket-taking charts on Tuesday, while England’s premier spinner and wicket-taker in white-ball cricket, Adil Rashid, is 3/1.
Pakistan looking to bounce back from Headingley defeat
Although they were comfortably beaten at Headingley, Pakistan (7/4) started really well in their run chase with their two stars Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan getting the innings off to a flyer. However, once the deadly opening duo were dismissed, the Pakistanis offered little resistance and were eventually reduced to 155-9 from their 20 overs.
As shown in the first match of the series, Babar and Rizwan are a big cog in the Pakistani wheel and you feel if their nation are going to head home with a win, they’ll need to both contribute at Old Trafford. Given their huge importance to the team, it’s unsurprising that Babar is just 2/1 to be top run scorer, while Rizwan is 11/4.
Runs look likely given four of the five largest totals in T20s have come in the last two T20s played and with the plethora of batting quality on show on both sides, the 6/1 around a century being scored might not be a bad way to go.