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Other SportsEngland v Pakistan: Hosts run riot in fourth T20I at The Oval

England v Pakistan: Hosts run riot in fourth T20I at The Oval

England signed off for the T20 World Cup in style by thrashing Pakistan at The Oval.

The hosts are looking to defend their title in the Caribbean and will kick off the opening match of the tournament against Scotland on Tuesday.

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And they head out full of confidence after scoring a 2-0 series win over their rivals, including a seven-wicket thrashing in the fourth innings.

England bowled Pakistan all out for 157 before cruising to the target after just 15.3 overs.

There were some excellent performances on the field and fans will be encouraged to see players hitting form at exactly the right moment.

It took the combined efforts of Phil Salt, captain Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow to complete the batting for England.

Salt and Buttler put together a partnership of 82 runs in 6.2 overs before Bairstow came in to drive things home with a respectable 28.

In the opening round, England took no time to get going with the ball in their hands.

Mark Wood was on fire, bowling 2-35 alongside Jofra Archer.

Pakistan batsmen Babar Azam and Muhammed Rizwan did settle things down for the visitors but the former was caught with the final ball of the powerplay to dent their confidence.

It saw Pakistan fall to 82-5 and Liam Livingstone swung the match in his side’s favour by getting rid of Usman Khan for 38.

His two wickets alongside Adil Rashid were enough to restrict Pakistan to a low score and it was a breeze after that for England.

Their dominant win sets them up for an exciting World Cup.

Salt gave his assessment to the BBC after the match, saying: “It is [my job to go out and smack it]. To be fair, I think that’s everyone’s job.

“I would have liked to be a bit more clinical but that’s the game, I was taking the positive option and trying to take us forward.

“No real message. I’ve played a lot with Jos now, we’ve got a good understanding. He knows the right time to feed something but it’s very relaxed.

“I like playing in the West Indies but I’ve really enjoyed this home series. Very much looking forward to being back in Barbados.”

Hopes will be high and there should not be a repeat of their awful 50-over title defence from last year.

England’s confidence in T20 is matching the levels that saw them win the tournament in Melbourne 18 months ago.

If they can get off to a good start in Barbados, there is no reason why they cannot repeat their success.

Mitch Fretton
Mitch Fretton
Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.
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