Pakistan eyes victory in second T20 to maintain 2nd spot in rankings


Dubai: After conceding defeat in the first T20 match, Pakistan must win the remaining two matches in the series to maintain its second spot in ICC T20I rankings.

However, if England can replicate its performance of the first match, spectators will be in for another pulsating contest.

England is on roll in the limited overs format at present. After winning the four-match One-Day International series against Pakistan by a 3-1 margin, the side pulled ahead in the first Twenty20 International of a three-match series with a 14-run win.

For both sides, this series marks an opportunity to try out combinations ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in India in March-April, as they begin preparations for the world event.

For Pakistan, the immediate objective will be to win so that the series is kept alive, and on the batting front, Shahid Afridi’s men will look for a much-improved performance. There is still an injury cloud over Shoaib Malik, who missed the first T20I, and Afridi said Malik was only a 50-50 chance for the next game.

Pakistan will hope that Ahmed Shehzad, who also missed the first match due to illness, is fit to play. Alternately, it could ask Mohammad Hafeez to open the batting and draft in Aamer Yamin, the hard-hitting allrounder, for a debut to beef up the lower middle order.