Right then. The players are scampering out. Pakistan in blue (is that blue), England in red, national colours are irrelevant, we’re all set to tuck in. Should be tasty.
[Eye emoji] That’s outrageous actually.
How about the XIs, eh?
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Usman Qadir
England: Phil Salt (wk), Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.
Pakistan openers are top of the pops. The top two run scorers in T20 cricket over the last two years are Pakistan’s leading men. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam are top of the pops. They’re also first and fourth on the ICC’s rankings, respectively. Handy.
Unsurprising, after his heroics last time out, Babar gets the coin flip and chooses to chase again. His team is unchanged from their win last night.
Moeen would have bowled first as well but says he’s “not too disappointed” to front up with the bat. Three changes for England. Jacks, as we said, makes his debut. Mark Wood is back! That’s right folks. Sound the alarm. The quick man is back! One more change sees Reece Topley in the side.
Will Jacks to debut. According to Matt Roller from ESPNCricinfo, it’ll Will Jacks. The 23-year-old off-spinning batter from Surrey. What a week it’s been for the south London club. After clinching the County Championship with a thumping win over Yorkshire, there’s another England cap for one of their youngsters.
Someone’s getting a new cap
Hello and welcome to the live OBO report of the 3rd T20 international between Pakistan and England from Karachi. We’re all square in the series after Alex Hales bashed a breezy half century on his return match to get things going for the tourists before Babar Azam unfurled a majestic ton in an unbeaten opening stand of 203 to get the hosts on the scoresheet in emphatic fashion.
It’s been a fascinating match-up with England ably skippered by Moeen Ali, who told our man Andy Bull that he’s proud to lead his country:
It’s not just the England players who are making waves in Pakistan. A couple of English coaches have cast their gaze around 3,875 miles east. You can read all about that from our head honcho Ali Martin over here:
If you’re so inclined, and you don’t mind a bit of self indulgence on my part, you can take a gander at this week’s Spin column. In it I examine the ramifications of a new T20 franchise tournament, crammed into an already stuffed calendar, and why a national team captain has been forced to watch on from the outside.
Those three pieces should keep you occupied for now. I’ll be back with the toss and team reports in around 30 minutes (unless of course you get in touch with an email or tweet).
First ball is at 7:30pm local time/3:30pm BST.
Catch you in a few.