Tom Banton was fined 71 before Pakistan fights back for rain alone to reduce the match to a zero result.© AFP
England’s rising star Tom Banton was fined 71 before Pakistan fights back in the first Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Friday, only for rain to bring the game down to a failure. England had a massive total under threat as 21-year-old Banton assembled his first fifty in four T20s at this level. But his departure left England 109-3 and led to a collapse that caused the 50-over world champions to lose four wickets for 14 runs – all to turn – in 19 balls. Rain fell with England 131-6 from 16.1 overs.
The umpires held a lengthy inspection, but decided shortly after 9:00 PM (2000 GMT) that the outfield was too wet to get the game going again.
But Banton, who opened after Jason Roy was ruled out with a side injury, had at least one night to remember after being dropped at five when Iftikhar Ahmed flew a routine slip catch on hapless pacer Shaheen Afridi.
“It was a lot of fun,” Banton told Sky Sports. “I struggled to start, they threw really well and then I just backed up when the spinners arrived. There was a little line on one side.”
Pakistan hit five balls after captain Babar Azam won the toss when left arm spinner Imad Wasim caught and bowed Jonny Bairstow.
But Banton took the lead with two slog-swept sixes of consecutive balls from leg spinner Shadab Khan.
He went on to complete a 33-ball fifty with three fours and three sixes before scooping up paceman Haris Rauf for a bold six over fine leg, only to cut Imad to extra cover.
England captain Eoin Morgan was then sent to Iftikhar Ahmed before Moeen Ali was well caught by Mohammad Rizwan at Shadab.
Wicket-keeper Rizwan, who impressed during Pakistan’s recent 1-0 Test Series defeat to England, then punched Lewis Gregory at Imad, who took 2-31 from his maximum four overs.
The second game in this series of three games will take place on Sunday at Old Trafford.
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