Pakistan v England
Tuesday 20 September, 15:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports
Pakistan are losing key players at the wrong time. Both Fakhar Zaman and Shaeen Shah Afridi are out of this series and their participation in the World Cup is in doubt.
Shan Masood, yet to play a T20 international, could replace Fakhar at No 3. Haider Ali would be unfortunate to be usurped given he's an original squad member rather than a call-up.
Haris Rauf will lead the pace attack alongside Naseem Shah. Mohammad Nawaz balances the XI with his canny spin and underrated hitting.
Possible XI: Rizwan, Babar, Masood, Iftikhar, Nawaz, Khushdil, Asif Ali, Shadab, Rauf, Naseem, Dahani/Hasnain
England have called on Alex Hales again after Jonny Bairstow broke a leg.He should partner Phil Salt in the opening berth after Jos Buttler's calf injury.
Harry Brook deserves a chance in the middle order. He could bat as high as No 4 although don't be surprised to see England get Moeen Ali in as soon as possible. As a spin hitter he is crucial to England's chances. Ben Duckett or Jordan Cox may come in for Liam Livingstone.
Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Reece Topley are likely to unavailable until game five in Lahore. So Richard Gleeson and Luke Wood could get a game.
Possible XI: Hales, Salt, Malan, Brook, Moeen, Cox, S Curran, Rashid, Willey, Gleeson, L Wood
The Karachi National Stadium is well-known from the PSL. In the January leg of the last tournament six from eight were won by the side batting second. In the February leg seven from eight were won by the team batting first. We put that down to worn surfaces in Covid times.
One would expect the pitch to suit the team chasing, reaffirming its reputation. It is also good for runs. Twelve of the last 16 first-innings have busted 170 or more. Bet the runs here.
How to play
We're going with the toss bias. That means England will be a bet from at least 2.26/5 post toss if the chase. We don't expect the market to react.
The shrewd move will be to wait, though. England could well concede 270, meaning they'll be creeping up on 3.02/1. If Pakistan chase, wait again for the break where the odds should flip from pre-toss jolly status at 1.774/5.
England should feel nervous about the flip. If it goes against them, they are likely to go behind putting them in danger of a fourth-straight series loss. Bet the match odds here.
Babar Azam has been boosted to 11/4 for top Pakistan bat and it could argued he is 'due'. Buttler has been boosted to the same. Nawaz is value at 25s considering he has been batting at No 5. Mr Reliable Mohammad Rizwan is 5/2. Moeen Ali is 11/2. Bet Sportsbook here.
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