All right then. The players run away. Pakistan in blue (is that blue), England in red, national colors don’t matter, we’re all set. Must be tasty.
[Eye emoji] That’s actually outrageous.
What about the XIs, huh?
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir
England: Phil Salt (wk), Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.
Pakistani openers are top of the pops. The two top scorers of the past two years in T20 cricket are Pakistan’s leading men. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are the toppers. They also rank first and fourth in the ICC rankings, respectively. Useful.
Unsurprisingly, after his heroic last time, Babar tosses the coin and chooses to hunt again. His team is unchanged from their win last night.
Moeen is also said to have bowled first, but says he is “not too disappointed” to come forward with the bat. Three changes for England. As said, Jacks is making his debut. Mark Wood is back! That’s right folks. Sound the alarm. The fast man is back! Another change sees Reece Topley on the side.
Will Jacks debuts. According to Matt Roller of ESPNCricinfo, it will be Will Jacks. The 23-year old off-spinning batter from Surrey. What a week it has been for the South London club. After achieving the championship of the province with a thumping win over Yorkshire, there’s another England cap for one of their youngsters.
Someone gets a new cap
Hello and welcome to the live OBO report of the 3rd T20 international between Pakistan and England from Karachi. We are all square in the series na Alex Hales whipped up a light-hearted half-century on his return leg to get things going for the tourists Babar Azam unfolded a majestic ton in an unbeaten opening score of 203 to get the hosts emphatically on the scoresheet.
It was a fascinating match-up with England led by Moeen Ali, who told our man Andy Bull that he is proud to lead his country:
It is not only the English players who are causing a furore in Pakistan. A pair of English coaches have their eyes cast around 3,875 miles to the east. You can read all about that from our head honcho Ali Martin here:
If you’re so inclined, and don’t mind a little complacency on my part, take a look at this week’s Spin column. In it, I explore the ramifications of a new T20 franchise tournament, crammed into an already crammed calendar, and why a national team captain has been forced to watch from the outside.
Those three pieces should keep you busy for now. I’ll be back in about 30 minutes with the toss and team reports (unless of course you get in touch with an email or tweet).
First ball is over 7:30pm local time / 3:30pm BST.
Catch you in a pair.