England captain Eoin Morgan on Sunday led his side to a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in a lone Twenty20 international in Cardiff with an unbeaten innings of 57.
Test skipper Joe Root made 47 and James Vince 36 as England overhauled Pakistan’s total of 173-6 with four balls to spare at Sophia Gardens.
It was England’s second victory in three days after their one-day international success away to Morgan’s native Ireland in Dublin on Friday last week as they continued an encouraging start to a season that sees them staging both the 50-over Cricket World Cup and the Ashes.
England fast bowler Jofra Archer also continued his push for a World Cup callup by taking 2-29.
“Jofra came on from the game in Ireland, he showed a lot more what he’s about,” Morgan said. “It’s another debut and they don’t always go well. The majority of the time they don’t. He and the other bowlers will have the opportunity to show what they can do [in the one-day series against Pakistan], but it’s been a while, before the Ireland game, that he’s played 50-over cricket and we’re conscious of not over-bowling him.”
Vince’s attractive innings ended when he was caught down the leg-side by Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed off Imad Wasim, but Morgan kept the runs coming, taking 14 off three successive balls from medium-pacer Faheem Ashraf.
Even when Sarfraz caught Root, there was little danger to England’s hopes of victory, with Morgan hitting five fours and three sixes in his 29-ball innings.
Earlier, there was a bizarre incident when the ground gave way beneath England’s David Willey as the seamer was just about to make his delivery stride.
Fortunately for England, Willey avoided serious injury.
Babar Azam (65) and Haris Sohail (50) shared a stand of 103 after Pakistan had been 31-2 following Sarfraz’s decision to bat first on a green-tinged pitch.
Pakistan then saw both their well-set batsmen fall in quick succession with Archer removing Haris before he ran out Babar.
“We were about 10, 12 runs short,” Sarfraz said. “Eoin Morgan and Joe Root batted well, and we were always struggling after that.”