Jofra Archer’s Spectacular Return Inspires England to 23-run Victory Over Pakistan

Jofra Archer’s sensational return as England secured a commanding 23-run victory over Pakistan in the second T20I clash.

Despite Fakhar’s fireworks, Pakistan loses the second Twenty20 International at Edgbaston by 23 runs.

Jofra Archer’s Spectacular Return Inspires England to 23-run Victory Over Pakistan

Pakistan 160 (Fakhar 45, Topley 3-41) lost against England 183 for 7 (Buttler 84, Shaheen 3-36) by a margin of 23 runs.

In his first professional match in 385 days, Jofra Archer finished with a 2 for 28 score and a timed speed of 92 mph/148 km/h, overcoming a costly start to seal England’s victory over Pakistan at Edgbaston.

For the first time since the 2019 Ashes, Archer was playing in front of a worldwide audience in England. In a four-ball cameo of 12 not out, he smashed his first ball for four and crunched his third for six. But after Babar Azam had blasted Archer’s second delivery over mid-off, Fakhar Zaman swung him over midwicket for four and then scooped him for six, costing him 15 runs in his opening over.

After months of recovery, he finally smiled broadly when he struck with the opening ball of his next over, azam Khan chipping to short cover. In his final over, he had Imad Wasim caught at deep point, effectively securing the victory. Throughout his last three overs, he gave up just one boundary, and he was frequently timed at speeds of 90 mph or more.

After hitting 84 off 51 balls in his own innings, Jos Buttler was voted player of the match. He called Archer’s performance “brilliant”. Just two weeks after giving up his previous worst statistics of 0 for 54 against Ireland, Buttler looked shaky at first but mercilessly targeted Shadab Khan, who bowled four wicketless overs for 55. In the process, Buttler became the first Englishman to reach 3,000 T20I runs.

For the most part of their chase of 184, Pakistan managed to keep the needed rate reasonable, mainly because of Fakhar’s strong 45 off 21 innings from No. 4. But they were dismissed with four balls remaining after losing wickets far too frequently, with no partnership even reaching 30 balls.

Moeen Started Economically

It took Archer five more overs to be introduced into the assault, having not played for England for fourteen months. Buttler had thrown the new ball to Moeen instead, and Mohammad Rizwan had fallen into the trap. Rizwan failed to get Moeen over the leg side after defending the opening two deliveries of the session. Instead, he was able to pick up Livingstone at short midwicket.

In his second over, Reece Topley struck as Saim Ayub whacked his rising length ball straight to deep square leg after Archer had been held back. With the first ball he faced, Fakhar almost got out, edging it past Moeen at wide slip, but he recovered well, scooping his second for four and swatting his fourth through midwicket.

Archer’s Sensational Return

Archer hit the opening ball exactly at 86 mph/138 kph, but Fakhar quickly reached 27 off his first nine balls in his first over, the sixth, at a cost of 15. Babar, however, was dismissed without really hitting the target when Moeen trapped him leg before wicket for 32 off 26 balls. This kind of innings is what makes some wonder if he should still play for Pakistan in T20I cricket.

Fakhar persisted in his assault, swinging Moeen into the pavilion’s third tier, but he had trouble landing a blow. Playing in his first game since the ILT20 in February, Adil Rashid let up seven runs in his opening two overs and removed Shadab, whose rough afternoon ended with an errant slog-sweep to long-on.

Also Read: England’s T20 World Cup Triumph: Stokes and Curran Shine Bright

Jofra Archer’s Spectacular Return Inspires England to 23-run Victory Over Pakistan

Azam Khan (right) hit Jordan for two consecutive boundaries with a single pass, but England took the lead again when he misplayed Archer to short cover. After Fakhar fell for 45, swinging Livingstone down to long-on, Archer’s second over only cost a single, and the needed rate increased towards 12.

Iftikhar and Imad both gave a brief danger with huge sixes, but England’s seamers closed the score when the latter holed out off Topley. In the last twenty balls of the innings, Jordan, Archer, and Topley gave up a single boundary between them, and Shaheen was caught at deep midwicket, leaving Pakistan 24 runs short of their target.

England’s Middle Over Collapse

Jacks smashed Rauf to point, and in his last over, which cost 20, Jonny Bairstow slog-swept Shadab for six after putting four runs out of his opening ten balls. Shaheen was crunched over extra cover by him for four, and he flicked his full toss away for six. However, a collapse of 5 for 25 in 25 balls was caused by his top-edged draw to deep square leg.

Harry Brook was bowled by Imad, who bowled four economical overs for just 19 runs, as he backed away from second ball, and Buttler misplayed Haris’ slower ball to long-on, looking to launch at the last moment. His century against South Africa in February 2023 was his greatest score in any international cricket match before his 84.

In his penultimate over, Shaheen hit two boundaries: Chris Jordan top-edged to short fine leg and Moeen Ali was caught at wide long on. Thanks to Archer’s cameo, England managed to surpass 180 after appearing certain to reach 200, but Pakistan appeared to be in the game when Liam Livingstone could only toe-end the last ball of the innings back to Amir.

Buttler with a Captain’s Knock

Playing his record-tying 115th Twenty20 international for England, Buttler inside-edged his fourth ball past his leg stump. Despite trading boundaries with Phil Salt for the first three overs, Buttler and Salt both had trouble with timing. Imad Wasim’s opening ball was hauled by Salt early on, outside long on to Shaheen Afridi, but Will Jacks looked flawless at number three.

Playing in his first game since dislocating his shoulder in the PSL in February, he lofted the sixth ball he faced for a straight six off Haris Rauf. By the end of the Powerplay, he had hit 21 off 10 balls, smashing boundaries through the covers off both Haris and Mohammad Amir. Buttler had a calmer 19 off 17 at the same point.

However, Buttler’s strategy changed after Shadab was introduced. He smashed the legspinner’s first ball over for four, and the last one vanished over long-on. Buttler performed his repertoire, alternating between reverse-sweeping and reverse-slog-sweeping Shadab for four, then six, and then expertly scooping Haris for six. He removed 40 of the 15 balls that he faced overall.

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