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Livingstone's century in vain as Pakistan win opening T20I

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Nottingham, July 17 (IANS) Liam Livingstone slammed the fastest T20I ton by an England player but couldn’t take his side to victory as Pakistan notched a 31-run win in the opening tie of the three-match series at Trent Bridge.

Livingstone smashed nine sixes and six fours in a 43-ball 103 but Pakistan bowlers held their nerve to eke out a hard-fought victory on Friday night. Shadab Khan turned the tables in Pakistan’s favour, dismissing Lewis Gregory (10) and Livingstone in the 17th over to leave the hosts struggling on 183/7, 50 runs behind their 233-run target.

England’s chase lost steam after Livingstone’s dismissal as they were bowled out for 201 with four balls spare.

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Opener Jason Roy (32 off 13 balls, three sixes, two fours) was the only other batsman besides Livingstone to trouble Pakistan bowlers.

For Pakistan, Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan took three wickets each.

Earlier a record-setting batting performance by Pakistan saw them post 232/6 in their allotted 20 overs. The total was Pakistan’s highest in T20Is beating their previous best of 205 runs that was achieved against South Africa earlier this year and against West Indies in 2018.

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The foundation of the huge total was laid by a 150-run first-wicket stand between captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan.

Rizwan scored 63 off 41 balls (eight fours, one six) and was dismissed by Lewis Gregory in the 15th over.

Sohaib Maqsood then took the side to their mammoth score, scoring 19 off seven balls with the help of two sixes before falling to Tom Curran.

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Babar Azam played with authority to score 85 off 49 balls (eight fours, three sixes) before falling to David Willey.

Mohammad Hafeez and Fakhar Zaman then carried the momentum in a 46-run partnership off 16 balls. Hafeez hit three sixes and one four in his 24 (10 balls) while Fakhar smashed three sixes and one four in his 26 off eight.

Pakistan added 152 in the last 10 overs of their innings. A total of 27 sixes were hit in the match.

The second T20I will be played at Headingley Leeds on Sunday 18 July.

Brief scores: Pakistan 232/6 in 20 overs (B Azam 85, M Rizwan 63, F Zaman 26; T Curran 2/47) beat England 201 in 19.2 overs (L Livingstone 103, J Roy 32; S Afridi 3/30, S Khan 3/52) by 31 runs.

–IANS

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