Cricket Tips

England v Pakistan Second T20 Tips: Back Pakistan to pull off the upset

Haris Rauf
Rauf has a superb win rate

Ed Hawkins previews the clash from Edgbaston on Saturday and he likes the look of the visitors at a big price as well as bets at 12/5, 13/5 and 4/1

England v Pakistan
Saturday 25 May, 14:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports

England v Pakistan Second T20 team news

Mark Wood is an injury doubt with a knee problem. Jofra Archer looks certain to play as England must test his fitness as soon as possible ahead of the World Cup.

The big news, though, is that Jos buttler is a doubt due to paternity leave. Moeen Ali will lead if he is absent with room for Liam Livingstone who is fit.

It may also be beneficial to try Tom Hartley instead of Adil Rashid, whose qualities are well-konw. Hartley has yet to play a T20i.

England have imbalance in their batting in terms of style and combination if Buttler plays. They are expected to pick four specialist openers who may have to play a different way. All four are right-handers, too, so Moeen Ali could be parachuted in to break them up.

Possible XI: Buttler/Livingstone, Salt, Jacks, Bairstow, Brook, Moeen, S Curran, Jordan, Rashid/Hartley, Archer, Topley

Pakistan have released Hasan Ali from their squad which almost certainly means he will play no part in the World Cup. Similarly to England they have four openers in the front four.

One of them, Fakhar Zaman, is perhaps fortunate to be involved after a horrible PSL. Unleashing Usman Khan might be a good idea at some stage.

As ever, Pakistan will make a choice between speed and spin. A fit-again Haris Rauf could be part of a three-man pace attack with Iftikhar, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim playing as all-rounders. Leggie Abrar Ahmed may miss out.

Possible XI: Ayub, Rizwan, Babar, Fakhar, Azam Khan, Imad, Iftikhar, Shadab, Afridi, Amir/Rauf, Abbas

England v Pakistan Second T20 pitch report

Edgbaston was a surface which took wear and tear in the 2023 Blast. There were three scores of 200 or more in first dig in the first five. More than 145 was busted twice in the last five. New Zealand's 202 to beat England in a T20i last September is perhaps instructive. Showers are expected but they are not forecast to be heavy enough to warrant a loss of overs. The 20-over par line is set at 197.5. With a cumulative strike rate of 147 in the last 12 months England are the more aggressive batting side.

England v Pakistan Second T20 match prediction

England are short favourites at 1.4640/85 with Pakistan 3.1085/40. There doesn't seem to be a huge justification for such a gulf in odds.

It would be wrong to make out Pakistan are world beaters but this is a classic match up in T20 insofar as pits the brawn of England against the brains of Pakistan. And by that we mean the visitors are significantly shrewder in the field. Pakistan have an economy rate of 8.38 versus England's 9.1 in the last 12 months.

Pakistan will also be heartened to see that spin was important for the Kiwis in that victory in Birmingham. Ish Sodhi and Mitch Santner took three wickets between them.

England v Pakistan Second T20 Exchange strategy

England have lost ten from 18 in the last two years chasing. It's not a stat which screams that there's a problem but it is useful for trying to decipher which way the odds could go.

If Pakistan are not for you as a bet to let run, they could well flip these odds by batting first and batting well. England's poor economy and a possible flat track may help Pakistan greatly. Nine of the last 12 at the venue have been won by the side batting first, too.

Given that England go at more than nine an over it is hard to see Pakistan getting up to that 190 or more figure. By the break with something like that on the board they should be very close to jolly status.

England v Pakistan Second T20 player bets

Phil Salt strikes at 180 at Edgbaston and as opener 4/15.00 is chunky for top England bat. He also wins at a rate of 27.7%. Moeen Ali is 12/113.00 if you want to gamble on the southpaw breaking up the right-handed dominance. We also note fellow leftie Sam Curran is 16/117.00.

For Pakistan we put faith in Mohammad Rizwan at 12/53.40. Rizwan has an incredible hit rate of 45% over the last 40 matches. Haris Rauf is similarly impressive with the ball, winning 48% of his last 31. He is 13/53.60.

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