Hasan Ali’s journey to the board of honor at Lord’s has been long and literally painful, but in the second game of this curiosity in a series between Pakistan and an alternative England XI imposed by Covid, he stamped his name among the legends with an excellent display. bowling. , and having outplayed so many home team hitters, he went on to surpass some of his own.
Hasan had thrown just 14 overs and taken a wicket in two ODI appearances since 2019, after a back injury ruled him out for more than a year, and on his return he quickly injured his groin, resulting in an absence of nearly 20 months in total. . The performance of the 27-year-old here, who brought his first ODI five-fer since 2017, will be a source of particular pride, given both the time he spent fighting to get back into shape and the quality of the bowling it earned him. The fact that it ended up being in vain as England rallied to win by 52 races and finish the series will only have taken some of the shine off it.
“There was a phase where I lost almost everything,” Hasan said in May of his absence. “It was a frustrating time and I used to cry. I had a goal and it was to return so that the world remembers me ”.
England’s hitters certainly will, after the sustained pace and aggression of this display. Each of his grounds was celebrated with great flamboyance, though there was a bit of extra cheer after he tore off the stumps of Ben Stokes, England’s captain. When he followed that up by firing John Simpson and Craig Overton in his next over England, they were 160-7 and in desperate trouble.
The standard had been set by Hasan in association with Shaheen Shah Afridi earlier in the day, which had been slightly delayed by an early drizzle. Between them, Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley scored 89% of England’s runs in the first game of the series, won with embarrassing ease. This time neither of them got either, with Malan caught on Hasan’s second slip and Crawley tossed Shaheen’s first ball. It was a nightmare installment to face the first, a yorker who struck the bottom of the bat desperately descending from the Englishman on his way, but was not deterred from his way.
But Phil Salt and James Vince brought England back into the game with a 97-for-80-ball partnership, peppered with aggressive shooting and smart runs. These were precious races for England, with only one other partnership, between Lewis Gregory and Brydon Carse, contributing over 22 races. Pitched with 10 balls to spare, England’s 247 total felt a bit light in case any of Pakistan’s key hitters found a way.
Imam-ul-Haq’s firing at the beginning of the second over of the tourist response was unfavorable, throwing Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman together with the score in one and both under pressure to act.
Azam, the captain of Pakistan, is the highest ranked ODI batsman in the world, with a career average of 55.46. In his last 11 ODI entries before this series, he reached four centuries and another three half centuries, including two scores in the nineties. He is a fearsome hitter in this format, aggressive and powerful. Here he was caught lbw by Saqib Mahmood, the star of the series’ opening game and outstanding again, in the fifth over. In the first two games of this series, Mahmood has thrown 10 deliveries at Azam and fired him twice while conceding four runs.
Meanwhile, Zaman has an ODI average of 48.31 and tends to score fast – only once did he hit more than three runs with a strike rate below 55 (and that was 41.93). Here he just never got going, and in over an hour in the area he faced 45 balls for 10 runs at a measly 22.22 hit rate.
It was pitched by Craig Overton with Pakistan enduring a series of 13 overs in which they scored just two limits. Overton was parsimonious throughout, but for a rogue that cost 15, including two Sohaib Maqsood sixes.
Pakistan’s entries, not for the first time, were unconvincing, but not without their highlights, and Hasan returned, bat in hand, to provide some of those. His 31 of 17 balls included a particularly brutal assault on Matt Parkinson, a four followed by three huge six in a row, but once Carse fired him, Pakistan’s hopes were dashed when they were ruled out for 195 with Gregory winning 3-44.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism