Pak vs Eng: Staff member of Pakistan team tests positive for COVID-19

  • Confirming news, PCB says match between the two teams will be played as per schedule.
  • T20I will start at 7:30pm PST this evening.
  • England, with an upper hand, are leading seven-match series 0-1.

KARACHI: One of the members of the Pakistan team squad tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, just hours before the second T20I match between Pakistan and England.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed the report. It said that the high-octane match between the two teams will be played as per the schedule.

Pakistan will play the second match against England at the National Stadium, Karachi today. England, with an upper hand, are leading the seven-match series 0-1.

The T20I will start at 7:30pm PST this evening.

The seven-match Twenty20 International series is a historic event for the hosts as the England team is touring Pakistan after 17 years.

The tourists defeated Pakistan in the first match by six wickets. Wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan called upon the cricket fans to condone the mistakes and the match loss as the team is trying new combinations.

Interacting with media persons after the first match, he said mistakes will definitely happen, as the team is making certain changes so that it make capitalise on them in the upcoming T29 World Cup, starting in Australia next month.

The 30-year-old batsman said these mistakes should not be highlighted as the team seeks new combinations for the World Cup through these changes.

“By the grace of God, I and the skipper [Babar Azam] are performing well for quite some time, leaving a little room for our middle order to display their batting acumen,” he said. The power-hitters, across the world, can’t be expected to consistently hit 60 runs in every match, he said.

Pakistan cricket team’s spin bowler Usman Qadir feels that 158 was a total that his team should have defended, however, he is hopeful that Pakistan will bounce back in the series.

England had successfully chased the target of 159 for the loss of 4 wickets in 19.2 overs to win the first T20I by 6 wickets and take 1-0 lead in 7 match series.

But the 29-year-old Qadir feels that the total was good enough for bowlers to defend.

“I think it was a decent total, we should’ve bowled according to plans but unfortunately we bowled away from wicket and also England played very good cricket to chase the score,” he told Geo in an exclusive interview after the first T20I at National Stadium.

In the first of seven-T20I series, opener Alex Hales hit a 40-ball 53 — his first international after a three-year absence on a failed recreational drug test — to anchor England’s chase of a modest 159-run target in 19.2 overs.

Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan scored 46-ball 68 to help Pakistan to 158-7 in their 20 overs after England sent them in to bat at a capacity National stadium.

The win gave England a 1-0 lead in the seven-match series.

Probable playing XI

Pakistan: 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan/Mohammad Haris (wk), 3 Haider Ali, 4 Shan Masood, 5 Iftikhar Ahmed, 6 Khushdil Shah/Asif Ali, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Shahnawaz Dahani/Mohammad Hasnain, 9 Naseem Shah, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Usman Qadir

England: 1 Phil Salt (wk), 2 Alex Hales, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Ben Duckett/Will Jacks, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Moeen Ali (capt), 7 Sam Curran, 8 David Willey, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Luke Wood, 11 Olly Stone.

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