Wood and Hales shine as England open Pakistan T20I tour with victory
England celebrated the start of their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years with victory in the first of seven T20Is on Tuesday, with Luke Wood and Alex Hales leading the way.
Wood shone on his T20 debut for England with three wickets, while Hales marked his first appearance since March 2019 with a half-century.
The hosts flew out of the blocks to reach 109-1, Mohammed Rizwan scoring 68 off 46 balls, but they added only 49 runs thereafter to finish 158-7, Wood restricting the impact of the lower order by removing Mohammad Nawaz (4), Iftikhar Ahmed (28) and Naseem Shah (0).
England were slow to get going, Phil Salt caught by Haider Ali for just 10 with Dawid Malan (20) and Ben Duckett (21) also quickly dismissed, but a rhythm was found with Alex Hales and Harry Brook in to bat.
Hales struck 53 from 40 balls to put England back in the hunt before he too was caught by Haider, leaving stand-in captain Moeen Ali to come in and help chase the final 17 runs with more than three overs left to play.
It was Brook who hit thew winning runs, though, carving a high full toss over extra cover to bring up his seventh boundary in his 25-ball 42 to propel England to a six-wicket victory.
Hales shines on return
After a three-year absence from the international fold, Hales shone on his return in Karachi to hit a half-century and received a warm reception from the home crowd due to his Pakistan Super League involvement.
His exile in 2019 after failing a drugs test led to captain Eoin Morgan stating he had 'lost the trust' of the team but the performance on Tuesday will have gone a long way in rebuilding that relationship, with Hales showing the potential to be a key player at the T20 World Cup.
Rizwan reaches landmark
Rizwan required 57 runs against England to become the fourth player to hit 2,000 for Pakistan in T20Is and did exactly what was required.
Hitting the landmark on Tuesday, Rizwan tied with Babar Azam as the fastest player to do so, having taken 52 innings.