Blockbuster finish in the final T20 as Lions clinch series
Dawid Malan sealed in a Super Over a match that he deserved to have won in normal time, as England Lions overcame a late-innings wobble to beat Pakistan A in a thrilling finale at the ICC Academy in Dubai. The result completed a come-from-behind 3-2 series win for the visitors, who were without the services of Steven Finn for the decider.
Set a daunting 166 for victory after winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Malan dictated England’s tempo for the fourth match out of five, making 81 from 55 balls with eight fours and two sixes. At the other end, Sam Billings once again displayed his power and range of strokes to make 50 from 31 and, between them, their third-wicket stand of 93 in 9.2 overs appeared to have broken Pakistan’s resistance.
However, a late fightback during Pakistan’s death overs, sparked by Billings’ dismissal in the 17th over, changed the face of the contest. Twenty runs were still needed from 21 balls when Ross Whiteley arrived at the crease, but his momentum-sapping contribution of 5 from 12 balls – including a crucial penultimate over of two runs from Rumman Raees in which Whiteley’s share was one run from five balls – left Malan high and dry as he was run out from the final ball of the contest, with the scores tied.
That required him to go straight back out and do the job again and, with Billings once again alongside him, his consecutive fours off Junaid Khan allowed England to post a competitive total of 12 in their Super Over. Tom Curran duly completed the job, conceding eight runs in return while claiming the scalp of Sohaib Maqsood, to cue jubilation on the sidelines.
The teams face each other in an ODI series in January 2016.
Pakistan and England are just two of the 13 teams to visit the ICC Academy in 2015. While the senior squads trained for the internationals played at the Dubai International Stadium, the Lions have called the ICC Academy home for nearly a month before the T20 series.
Earlier in 2015, national side United Arab Emirates were joined by Afghanistan, Scotland and Ireland in preparation for the ICC World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand.
As many as 17 International Teams made an appearance at the Home of Elite Cricket in 2015!