SUPER JORDAN SEALS SWEEP
ENGLAND’S tour came to a dramatic conclusion last night when they completed a 3- 0 Twenty20 clean- sweep over Pakistan with their first super-over finish.
Chris Jordan, a surprise choice to bowl the tie-break over after the scores had finished level, was near-perfect, conceding only three runs and bowling Umar Akmal with his final ball to leave england what should have been a straightforward task.
But eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler needed five balls to scramble the four needed off the extra over bowled by Shahid Afridi, who had done so much to ensure this third international had gone to an eliminator.
The Pakistan captain added 63 with Shoaib Malik, who made 75 off 54 balls, to lift his side to the brink of overtaking england’s 154 for eight before Sohail Tanvir was able to scamper just one of the two needed off the final ball.
What a thrilling finale and what a fillip for england, who will travel to india for the World Twenty20 in March believing they can make an impact with a young, vibrant side who never know when they are beaten.
‘it was a great way to end a fantastic tour,’ said england captain Morgan. ‘ We have seen so much development here and that was epitomised by Chris Jordan with that final over. i’m very proud of the team.’
James vince was the mainstay of the england innings after they had plummeted from 48 for one to 86 for six, Afridi dismissing Joe root, who became england’s leading runscorer in any calendar year, and Moeen Ali in successive balls.
it was a measure of vince’s struggle to find fluency that he was overtaken by No 8 Chris Woakes, who added much-needed impetus to the innings with 37 from 24 balls.
The pair hit 60 off 39 balls — Woakes being helped by another piece of comedy Pakistan fielding when he was dropped by Anwar Ali on 19 — but both fell in the final over to leave england 15 runs short of where they wanted to be.
Yet it looked enough when Pakistan lost two wickets in an eventful first over which saw another calamitous run out involving Mohammad Hafeez.
‘Boom Boom’ Afridi inspired the fightback with three sixes in partnership with Malik, but Woakes held his nerve again when Pakistan needed 10 off the last over to deny them a consolation victory at their favourite emirate ground.
Whitewash: Morgan (left) and Buttler celebrate a dramatic win