England make triumphant return to Pakistan, win 1st T20I

Alex Hales
England's Alex Hales (right) celebrates after scoring a half century during the first T20I against Pakistan at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Tuesday. Photo: AFP/ Asif Hassan

Karachi: England made a triumphant return to Pakistan after 17 years with a six-wicket win in the first Twenty20 on Tuesday.

Debutant left-arm fast bowler Luke Wood grabbed 3/24 to help limit Pakistan to 158/7 after captain Moeen Ali won the toss in his country of roots and elected to field.

Alex Hales, in his return to England colors after more than three years, smashed 53 off 40 balls and led the visitors to 160/4 in 19.2 overs.

Pakistan couldn't capitalize on Mohammad Rizwan (68) and captain Babar Azam's (31) aggressive opening stand of 85 off 57 balls before the middle-order capitulated against Wood in the death overs.

Mohammad Rizwan
Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan plays a shot against England in the 1st T20I. Photo: AFP/ Asif Hassan

Hales then benefitted from two dropped catches in his 20s before going down to fast bowler Haris Rauf soon after completing his half century.

Harry Brooks, who played for Lahore in the PSL earlier this year, made an unbeaten 42 off 25 balls to finish off the game with four balls to spare.

Both teams observed a minute of silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II before the start of play and England players also wore black armbands.

The series is a tune-up for next month's T20 World Cup in Australia with Karachi hosting four games and Lahore the remaining three from Sept. 28-Oct. 2.

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