Sarfraz Ahmed and Shadab Khan star as Pakistan beat Scotland comprehensively in first T20I

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Pakistan's bowlers restricted Scotland to 156-6.

Scotland were unable to repeat their weekend heroics against England as Pakistan eased to a 48-run victory in Edinburgh.

Having taken out the world’s top one-day international side with Sunday’s historic win over the Auld Enemy, the Saltires were looking to complete a remarkable double by toppling the number-one ranked Twenty20 nation.

But Grant Bradburn’s men lacked the magic touch with the bat that they showed against the English as their run chase fizzled out, finishing on 156 for six in response to their opponents’ 204 for four.

There was a buoyant mood round the Grange following the Scots’ first victory of any kind against their neighbours.

And it looked promising again as the hosts got off to a reasonable start, with Ali Evans taking the scalps of Ahmed Shehzad (14) and Fakhar Zaman (21) before Richie Berrington dismissed Hussain Talat (18).

But they could have done with debutant spinner Hamza Tahir – cousin of Scottish record limited-overs wicket-taker Majid Haq – finding his feet at international level a bit quicker. As it was, the 22-year-old was given a bruising introduction as he was smashed for what turned out to be 57 costly runs off his four overs.

Sarfraz Ahmed starred with the bat for Pakistan.

Sarfraz Ahmed starred with the bat for Pakistan.

Having set a steady rate in the early stages, Pakistan put the foot down in the final five overs.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed led the way as he racked up an impressive unbeaten 89 from just 49 balls, with Shoaib Malik grabbing 53 from 27 deliveries before Evans claimed his third wicket.

That left the Scots requiring a repeat show of the display which saw them run up a tally of 371 for five against England.

But this time the sparkle had gone.

Openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer made a decent start in reply, notching 50 runs from the first five overs.

But the introduction of Hasan Ali to the Pakistan attack provided the injection of pace they were looking for and when he removed Munsey for 25, the Scots looked in trouble.

With Calum MacLeod, Sunday’s star of the show with his 140 not out knock, trapped lbw by Shadab Khan for just 12, the fight quickly drifted out of the hosts’ showing.

However, the Scots will have a second attempt against the tourists, with the teams meeting again on Wednesday.

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Shadab Khan is too hot to handle and other takeaways as Pakistan beat Scotland in first T20I

Waseem Ahmed 12/06/2018
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Shadab Khan was the star with the ball for Pakistan.

Scotland were unable to add another No1 scalp to their name as they slumped to a 48-run defeat to Pakistan in the first of the two T20Is at the Grange Cricket Club at Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Having sensationally beaten England by five runs in an one-off ODI on Sunday, Scotland were unable to pull the same trick twice as Pakistan’s quality shone through.

Having elected to bat first, Pakistan put on 204-5 on the board in 20 overs before their bowlers restricted the hosts to 156-6 to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Here, we look at the key takeaways from Pakistan’s big win.

SARFRAZ PLAYS A CAPTAIN’S KNOCK

After a brisk start, both Pakistan openers fell within the powerplay itself to give Scotland an opening into the match. However, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed ensured that the visitors stayed well ahead in the clash with an innings laden with big strokes all over the park.

The wicket-keeper batsman first formed a promising partnership with Hussain Talat before coming together with Shoaib Malik to give the Pakistan innings an outstanding finish.

The right-hander finished the Pakistan innings with a flourish by scoring three boundaries and a six off the last four balls to remain unbeaten on 89 (49). His innings, which included a total of 10 boundaries and three sixes, is his highest score in T20Is.

Sarfraz notched up his highest T20I score.

Sarfraz notched up his highest T20I score.

SHOAIB MALIK PUTS ON THE LATE FIREWORKS

While Sarfraz and Talat had done well to keep the Pakistan innings ticking in the middle, there was a period between overs 11-13 which fetched only 20 runs. With the scoring-rate dropping down, in walked Malik and the veteran Pakistan batsman wasted no time in taking his toll on the bowlers.

The 36-year-old immediately upped the ante with some expansive strokes as Scotland’s bowlers found nowhere to hide. Dealing only in sixes, Malik registered his seventh T20I half-century with the help of five big hits over the fence.

His 23-ball half-century is the joint third highest for Pakistan in T20Is and it set the tone for a big finish for the visitors as the runs flowed in the death overs.

The veteran combined brilliantly with his skipper.

The veteran combined brilliantly with his skipper.

MUNSEY AND COZETZER GET SCOTLAND OFF TO A FLYER

Having been set a daunting target of 205 runs to win, Scotland’s openers George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer started in exactly the fashion required off them.

Carrying on from their good form in the ODI win over England, the two openers showed no respect for the reputation of Pakistan’s bowlers as they went hell for leather in the powerplay.

None of the Pakistan bowlers, including Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali were spared as boundaries came willingly in the first five overs.  Even the world-class Amir found the going hard as Scotland skipper Coetzer lofted him for a straight six over his head in his very first over.

The two batsmen had raced away to 53 runs after five overs before Munsey fell to Hasan Ali in the first ball of the sixth over.

Munsey helped Scotland to a rapid start.

Munsey helped Scotland to a rapid start.

SHADAB TAKES THE GAME AWAY FROM SCOTLAND

The dismissal of Munsey was soon followed by Coetzer throwing away his wicket to a lazy shot against Mohammad Nawaz. Despite that, their blitz at the top had set the platform for the likes of Sunday’s ODI win hero Calum MacLeod.

Pakistan teenager Shadab Khan had different plans though, as the leg-spinner created havoc with his very first ball. Coming on to bowl in the eighth over, Shadab castled the dangerous Richie Berrington with an absolute ripper to set the alarm bells ringing for Scotland.

The 19-year-old youngster then all but won the game for Pakistan by trapping MacLeod plumb on the pads to reduce to 82-4 in the 12th over. By the time the youngster had bowled his full quota of overs, the game had already gone beyond the reach of the brave Scotsmen.

Shadab finished with excellent figures of 2-25 from his four overs on a pitch that was an absolute belter for the batsmen.

Shadab derailed Scotland's innings completely.

Shadab derailed Scotland’s innings completely.

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England's Moeen Ali unfazed by prospect of facing Ashes nemesis Nathan Lyon in ODI series

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Ali was dismissed seven times by Lyon in the Ashes series.

Moeen Ali insists he is ready to face up to his Ashes tormentor Nathan Lyon in England‘s one-day series against Australia.

Off-spinner Lyon dismissed Moeen seven times across Australia’s 4-0 Ashes series win, but now the Worcestershire star believes he can put those troubles behind him.

England will launch their five-match 50-over series against Australia at The Oval on Wednesday, with Moeen intent on letting nothing divert focus from his natural batting approach.

“He’s bowled really well and got me out a few times,” said Moeen of Lyon. “But you don’t get medals for getting guys out all the time. Who cares? I’m just moving on.

“When we played in the Ashes in England, he never got me out once and nobody said anything. You just get on with it.”

Lyon has revealed his stint at Moeen’s county Worcestershire allowed him to gain some important batting intelligence on the England man.

Moeen himself believes Lyon could have gained the same insight from any basic analysis of his batting traits – remaining intent on losing no sleep over the issue.

“If you look at a few of my dismissals, you’d probably know that anyway,” said Moeen.

“It doesn’t take Einstein to work that out. You don’t have to be that clever to work that out. Just get on with it.

“He bowled really well at me, I found him difficult in Australia but one-day cricket is different. I’m in a different mindset at the moment to what I was then.”

Ali is happy with his batting rhythm at the moment

Ali is happy with his batting rhythm at the moment

Moeen’s quick-fire 46 was not enough to stop England’s shock six-run defeat to Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday.

The 30-year-old miscued an attempt at a big hit for his dismissal at the weekend, but remained adamant he has nothing he needs to change in his technique, or mental preparation.

“It’s all right when you hit them for six, great shot; I’d hit two or three for six,” said Moeen.

“I’m going to stay true to myself and not worry about what people say. There is a lot of negativity around.

“Scotland played really well, we couldn’t stop them from scoring runs and they made it really hard for us and they deserved to win.

“When they are going for six and you’re playing well, everyone is trying to big you up. Mishit one, get out, all the negative people come out.

“From a personal point, I’m going to keep enjoying how I bat, I feel like I’ve found a bit of rhythm.

“Obviously, in an ideal world, you want to knock them off and win the game. The ball was there to hit and I just mishit it.”

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