After a brutal drubbing in the ODI series, Pakistan made a sensational comeback in the first T20I. They amassed 232 and defended it successfully to bag their first win of the tour. But, their joy soon turned into sorrow. England bounced back strongly to win the next two encounters and sealed the series 2-1. There were plenty of records that were set or broken during the series, especially in the first T20I. And, here are a few of them:
Pakistan register their highest score
The 3-0 thumping defeat in the ODI series didn’t seem to hamper Pakistan’s approach in the first T20I. Two of their most successful batsmen got them off to a sensational start and some late cameos saw Pakistan post 232/6. This was their highest team total in this format, beating their previous best 205/3 against West Indies in 2018 in Karachi. There were few other records as well:
• This was also the third highest total against England in this format and the second highest total overall on English soil.
• Pakistan hit 12 sixes in that encounter, the joint most in an innings for them in T20Is.
• Pakistan scored 152 runs in the last 10 overs, which is their highest in T20Is. There have been only six instances of a team scoring over 150 in the second half. Sri Lanka in 2007 against Kenya scored 159, the highest.
Babar and Rizwan at it again
Two of the most successful batsmen of Pakistan were up to the task once again. Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam provided the Pakistan team with an exceptional start. A 150-run opening partnership was laid as the perfect platform for 232 runs to be scored. The only time a Pakistan pair had scored higher than 150 was in 2021. Yes, in this same year and it was this pair who did it against South Africa (197). The duo also joined an elite group alongside Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, as they notched up the second 150+ partnership.
Livingstone goes big
Chasing a mammoth target of 233, England's top four batsmen tumbled in an attempt to score quickly, apart from Jason Roy. Liam Livingstone coming into bat at number five, went big from the word go and was successful in converting the start to a grand century. On his way to the century, he broke the n-number of records. Him being the first England batsman to register a sub-20 ball half-century is the most prominent one. Here are some more of his achievements from his innings:
• Among the three England centurions, Livingstone has the fastest hundred – 42 balls. Dawid Malan took 48 balls.
• Livingstone registered the highest score for a batsman batting at number five or lower – Among the Test playing nation batsmen. Previously, David Miller against Bangladesh had smashed an unbeaten 101 in 2017.
• Livingstone hit nine sixes on route to his 103 against Pakistan, which is the most sixes hit by an England batsman in an innings in T20Is
• Livingstone had a strike rate of 247.4 against spinners in his innings. Among England players who have faced 15+ balls in an innings against spin, his strike rate is the highest.
• Livingstone became the first batsman in international T20s to score a 100 against Pakistan. The previous best was Solomon Mire (94) in 2018.
Mohammad Rizwan’s purple patch
The Pakistan wicket-keeper has just hit a purple patch that seems to be never ending. In the first T20I, he registered 63 and then followed it up by an unbeaten 76 in the third. That’s not it, the year 2021 has just been stupendous for Rizwan. He has scored 706 runs this year at an average of 100.8 with one century and seven half-centuries. This equals the record for the most 50+ scores in a calendar year alongside Paul Stirling. That doesn’t end there, there few more records that he set in the Third T20I:
• Rizwan is the fourth batsman in T20Is to score 700 runs in a calendar year. Stirling tops the list with 748 runs.
• Rizwan’s average of 100.8 in the year 2021 is the second best for a batsman who has played 10+ innings in a calendar year. Virat Kohli in 2016 had averaged 106.8 in 13 innings.
• Rizwan remained not-out for the fourth time as an opener after batting the whole of 20 overs. No other opener has remained unbeaten as many times as Rizwan after batting full 20 overs.
• In the third T20I, Rizwan reached to his 1000 T20I runs in 31 innings. Interestingly, from 500-1000 runs it took him only 10 innings to reach the landmark. His 10 innings to reach 1000 runs from 500 is the joint quickest for a batsman in T20Is. Glenn Maxwell is the other batsman.
Most sixes in a bilateral series in England
There were a plethora of sixes throughout the series, especially in the first T20I - 27. In the next two matches, there were only 23. Nevertheless, the 50 sixes hit in this series is the most in a bilateral series in England. Livingstone led the charge with 13 sixes in the series.