England opener Alex Hales hit a superb half-century and Harry Brook made an unbeaten 42 as they beat hosts Pakistan by six wickets in their Twenty20 meeting on Tuesday – their first match in the Asian country for 17 years.
Debutant Luke Wood also claimed 3-24 as England took a 1-0 lead in the seven-match series which will serve as a build-up for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November.
Chasing 159 for victory in Karachi, England reached their target with four balls to spare as Hales’ 53 at the top of the order in his first appearance for the team since 2019 and Brooks’ 25-ball knock at the end got them home.
Asked to bat first after losing the toss, Pakistan rode on opener Mohammad Rizwan’s 68 and skipper Babar Azam’s 31 to post 158-7 in their 20 overs as Wood and Adil Rashid (2-27) did all the damage to restrict the home side.
“Brilliant performance,” said England skipper Moeen Ali. “We pulled the game back really well.
“A lot of praise to the bowlers who set it up nicely for our batters. Crucial wickets around the 10th over made a difference. It wasn’t an easy wicket for the new batters.
“Luke Wood and Adil Rashid were excellent.”
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said his batters had to do better in the remainder of the series.
“The way we played the first Powerplay was great,” Azam said. “After 10 overs, there was a swing of momentum, which you have to credit England for. We didn’t have enough big partnerships. Our batters need to step up.”
England, who last toured Pakistan in 2005, play four matches in Karachi and three in Lahore before returning in December to play three tests in the second leg of the tour.
International teams have largely refused to tour Pakistan since an attack by Islamist militants on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009 killed six policemen and two civilians.
England pulled out of their Pakistan tour last year soon after New Zealand had abandoned their tour of the country over security concerns. Read full story
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England and Germany sign off with 3-3 Nations League thriller – ARN News Centre
England will head to the World Cup on the back of a six-match winless sequence but with at least some pride and confidence restored after a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Germany in the Nations League on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s listless side trailed 2-0 to Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty and a superb effort by Kai Havertz with less than 20 minutes remaining and boos beginning to resound at Wembley in their final Group A3 match.
But they responded in thrilling fashion with goals by Luke Shaw and Mason Mount in the space of four minutes drawing them level — England’s first goals from open play in 5-1/2 competitive matches.
Harry Kane’s 83rd minute penalty then appeared to have given Southgate’s side a morale-boosting victory.
But four-time world champions Germany, themselves in a poor run of form heading to Qatar, salvaged a point as Havertz capitalised on a goalkeeping error by Nick Pope in the 87th.
— England (@England) September 26, 2022
Substitute Bukayo Saka almost won it for England late on as the fans were left scratching their heads at why the hosts had taken so long to play with any freedom.
England finished bottom of the group with three points behind Germany on seven, Hungary with 10 and Italy, who topped the group on 11 points to reach the Nations League final four.
It is more than 100 years since England last went six competitive games winless but they at least changed the narrative with a stirring fightback against Germany.
“The boys have been under pressure with recent results and we all came out here with a point to prove,” Kane said.
“There are lessons we can still learn from the mistakes we made but we scored three goals and I feel like this will put us in a positive mindset ahead of the World Cup.”
Both sides needed a pre-World Cup tonic after poor Nations League campaigns with England suffering the ignominy of relegation after losing 1-0 away to Italylast Friday, the same night Germany lost by the same scoreline at home to Hungary.
The last time the two heavyweights met at Wembley, in the Euro 2020 finals, England won 2-0 and were riding a wave of euphoria. But the mood has turned sour mainly because of a woeful lack of goals — Kane’s late penalty in Germany being their only goal in their previous five Nations League games.
A lacklustre first half underlined England’s lack of creativity although Raheem Sterling had two chances – first when he was played in by Shaw to force a fine save from Marc-Andre ter Stegen and then shooting tamely from a good position.
Germany were equally bereft of attacking spark but were gifted an early chance when Pope’s nervy clearance was charged down and Gundogan curled the ball over the bar.
Germany manager Hansi Flick sent on forward Timo Werner to partner his former Chelsea team mate Havertz for the second half and the visitors went ahead in the 52nd minute with a goal that summed up England defender Harry Maguire’s recent woes.
Having given the ball away to Jamal Musiala, Maguire tried to win it back but hacked down Musiala and a penalty was eventually awarded after a VAR intervention.
Gundogan coolly slid the spot kick into the corner and it soon got even worse for England when Werner found Havertz after a counter-attack and he curled a beauty past Pope.
With the crowd grumbling, Southgate’s side needed a quick response and got it in incredible fashion.
First Shaw was found at the back post by a Reece James cross and squeezed his shot through Ter Stegen’s legs.
Then, like London buses, another goal arrived.
Saka dribbled in from the right and played the ball to fellow substitute Mount who smashed an instant shot into the net from the edge of the area.
When Bellingham was crudely hacked down by Nico Schlotterbeck and Kane smashed his spot kick high past Ter Stegen England fans were in party mode.
But Havertz sobered things up by capitalising on a late gift as keeper Pope fumbled Serge Gnabry’s shot.
Tennis legends on their way to Dubai – ARN News Centre
Following Team Lendl’s victory in August 2022 during the Croatian stage of Legends Team Cup-ATP Champions Tour, the finals of this exciting first edition are finally imminent.
The remarkable captains – Ivan Lendl and Pat Cash – and world class players – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marcos Baghdatis, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Tommy Haas, Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo and Radek Stepanek – are coming to Dubai to play from November 9-12.
The venue is a custom-built arena in Dubai Harbour that will welcome around 3,000 spectators per day with 500 VIP seats to fully immerse oneself in the glamorous atmosphere.
The Centre Court will be surrounded by superyachts, allowing yacht owners to have access to the absolute best tennis and maritime experience.
Legends Team Cup will significantly strengthen Dubai’s efforts to boost sports tourism and further enhance its position as an international events destination.
To further symbolise the long-term collaboration with Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism, Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Harbour and UAE Tennis Federation, Legends Team Cup-ATP Champions Tour has been subtitled “The Route to Dubai”.
Which means, every annual final of this exciting series of team competitions will be hosted in Dubai, crowning the perfect combination of luxury, spectacular venues and sport entertainment.