Stuart Broad believes England are on course to win the T20 World Cup after a dramatic victory over Pakistan.
England made it four white-ball series wins from four with a tense three-wicket success at Old Trafford on Tuesday that sealed a 2-1 T20I campaign triumph as they reached a target of 155 with two balls to spare.
Broad, a former England T20I captain, was watching as a member of the Sky Sports commentary team and the sight of skipper Eoin Morgan lifting silverware had him thinking ahead to October’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
“I was just watching Morgs lift the trophy there and I think we’re going to win the World Cup,” said Broad, now a Test specialist.
“We’ve got so many bases covered. We’ve got so much depth, they play fearless cricket, I just think we’re going to win the World Cup. It’s all looking pretty rosy,” the England pace great added.
‘Can’t get ahead of yourself’
But England opener Jason Roy, named player of the match after making 64 off 36 balls on a spin-friendly pitch, was rather more cautious.
“It’s pretty rosy in the garden until it’s not!” he said.
“It’s one of those games you can’t get too ahead of yourself, especially in T20 cricket.
“But for us to put in a huge performance like that, when Pakistan were champing at the bit to right some wrongs from the ODI series, was great.”
Meanwhile Morgan, who made a valuable 21 late on, was pleased by England’s performance on a surface far removed from their preference for flat pitches full of runs.
“For the style we play naturally, and which we’re best at, this is the worst possible wicket to play on,” he said. “So, it meant a huge amount, it’s a very proud day on a spinning, slow wicket.”
The foundation for England’s victory in Manchester was built on more impressive spin bowling, Adil Rashid taking a career-best 4-35 and Moeen Ali returning miserly figures of 1-19 in four overs.
Liam Livingstone, having bowled three overs of assorted spin, promptly hit his first ball for six amid all the tension of the finish.
Livingstone was out next ball on his Lancashire home ground but, having seen him strike England’s quickest T20I hundred in the series opener at Trent Bridge, Roy was in no doubt of his talent.
“He’s such a good player, he works hard and has got a lot smarter over the last few years,” Roy said.
“I’ve played with him at Perth Scorchers and knew what he was capable of. To see it first-hand is absolutely incredible.”
Pakistan improved as their tour went on, with several encouraging individual displays, but Pakistan captain Babar Azam was left lamenting a lack of runs on Tuesday.
“We were 10 to 15 runs short today,” he said.
“We need to do better against spinners, we haven’t struggled as much but haven’t batted as well as we could. Some days we have good days and some days we have bad days.”
©️ Agence France-Presse