6th over: England 48-2 (Duckett 6, Salt 16) Ben Duckett survives the hat-trick ball and picks up a couple on the leg-side to get himself going. Dahani finishes up with a cutter that Duckett isn’t fooled by – he plays a controlled pull to pick up his first boundary. Nonetheless, a cracking over for Pakistan.
Bowled him around the legs! Malan shows his leg stump and misses out on the flick as Dahani, from over the wicket, puts himself on a hat-trick. Fast and straight – the game is a pretty simple one at times.
Hales’ luck finally runs out as Dahani returns to rattle the stumps!
5th over: England 42-0 (Salt 16, Hales 26) Haris Rauf somehow hasn’t bowled Hales there – the right-hander is nowhere near it on the pull shot to one that stays low. Hales then opens up the off side to slap the ball over backward point, the ball trickling away for four more.
4th over: England 32-0 (Salt 11, Hales 21) Dahani into the attack with that very straight run-up of his. Hales after missing a pull third ball goes for a massive heave and continues to enjoy some luck – another thick edge flies to the right of the keeper for four. He’s in smash-mode tonight. Salt punches to mid-off for a single to finish the over.
3rd over: England 24-0 (Salt 9, Hales 15) After a couple of dots, Hales manages to flick leg-side and pick up four behind square. He uses his crease again next ball, getting away with a thick edge that flies for six over the third-man rope!
2nd over: England 13-0 (Salt 9, Hales 4) Cracking shot from Salt! He greets the left-arm spin of Mohammad Nawaz with a six over long-off. Hales tries to go big down the ground too but is still searching for the middle tonight.
1st over: England 3-0 (Salt 2, Hales 1) Hasnain on the pads first up, and Salt’s flick to fine leg gives him one. Some lovely shape away from the right-hander to Hales next ball, who gets off the mark with his second. Solid start from the 22-year-old, Pakistan’s only change from the other night.
Right then, we’re about to get started. David Gower’s on comms, Mohammad Hasnain’s got the ball and Phil Salt’s on strike. Let’s play.
A lovely welcome from John Starbuck: “Just a line to say welcome to the wonderful world of the OBO, where all opinions may be entertained from across the world.” Thanks for having me!
Elsewhere, Surrey have won the County Championship! Rory Burns smashed 30* off 16 balls (!) to get his side over the line in a chase of 55 against Yorkshire at The Oval. Tanya Aldred’s there taking it all in.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shahnawaz Dahani
England: Phil Salt (wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Liam Dawson, Luke Wood
Moeen wins the toss again – but England are having a bat first tonight. One change: out goes the pace of Richard Gleeson, in comes the left-arm tweak of Liam Dawson.
Just the one change for Pakistan as well: Naseem Shah is replaced by the also very fast Mohammad Hasnain.
Hello, hello, hello. We’re back in Karachi for the second of seven – seven – T20Is between England and Pakistan.
A new-look England put up a thoroughly professional performance on Tuesday: debutant Luke Wood looked the part, bowling briskly to take 3-24, while Alex Hales marked his return from three years in exile with a half-century. Harry Brook played the best knock of his international career so far, smashing 42* off 25 in a comfortable six-wicket win. Pakistan, on the other hand, had little to smile about beyond a sparky 85-run stand between their two men up top, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.
But it was also one of those nights where the game was secondary. England were back playing in Pakistan for the first time since 2005. The gradual return of international cricket to these shores means a great deal to the people of this cricket-loving nation, and so there was much to celebrate during the series opener even if the hosts were below par. “Karachi put on a show tonight,” said Hales afterwards.
And now the fun continues at the NSK; expect another electric atmosphere. I’ll be back in a bit with the toss and the teams. It’s also my OBO debut so go easy on me, folks (someone sort out my cap presentation please). Slide into my DMs at @tahahash or drop me a line at email@example.com.