Babar Azam drops multiple catches, England 154/3 after 16 overs

Preview: After a couple of one-sided and a couple of nerve-cracking contests between Pakistan and England, the series that is being played after 17 long years is down to one final match at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

The seven-match series is levelled at 3-3. Teams don’t generally play a seven-match bilateral series. But teams also do not visit another country after 17 years (unless it is Pakistan). Nevertheless, both the teams will be raring to go and seal the series to gain momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup down under.

All the multinational/ bilateral tournaments are counted more as a practice session towards the World Cup. However, the series do have their own importance and this series now has all the hype to talk about, considering the way it has unfolded.

England might look strong on paper, but the teams have fared equally well on field. And Pakistan, in fact, have had an edge in more crucial situations. They have produced some excellent seamers from time to time and it has been profound in this series as well. But they will want to forget the last match when the English batters hammered everyone and chased a 170-run target in 14.3 overs.

It will be interesting to see if Jos Buttler plays the decider, as Moeen Ali spilled the beans in the last match that we would not know until the start of the match. Mark Wood or Chris Woakes or both might play the last match to get more game time.

For Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Rauf, their best players in both the departments this series are quite a surety in the playing XI. Babar Azam getting amongst runs will also be a big boost for the hosts.

However, this is not the end for both sides as Pakistan will be involved in a tri-series against Bangladesh and hosts New Zealand, whereas England will play three games against the World Cup hosts Australia.

Squads:

Pakistan: Squad: Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Haris(w), Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Aamer Jamal, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Abrar Ahmed

England: Squad: Philip Salt(w), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali(c), Sam Curran, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Richard Gleeson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Will Jacks, Liam Dawson, Olly Stone, Tom Helm, Luke Wood, Jordan Cox

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