England batsman Tom Banton was all over Pakistan bowling attack and hit a brilliant half century before rain abandoned the first T20I without results at the Old Trafford on Friday.
Opening the innings for the hosts, Banton played a fiery knock of 71 runs off 42 deliveries with five sixes. His batting nullified England’s slow start and had put them on course for a commendable first innings total.
Put into bat, England did not have a great start as they lost opener Jonny Bairstow in the very first over. Dawid Malan, who came in next, did try to steady the ship with Banton and slowly and cautiously took forward the England innings.
After seven overs, England had just 40 runs on the board, but Banton switched gears following the introduction of Shadab Khan. Banton and Malan took the team’s total to 71 before the latter was run out after a mix-up in the 10th over.
Skipper Eoin Morgan, who came to bat at number 4, scored some boundaries as he joined Banton in accelerating the innings. During the course of the partnership, the 21-year-old opener moved to his maiden T20I fifty and the hosts looked all set for a big total.
However, they lost wickets in a flurry and were 131/6 in 16.1 overs when rain came in. The weather didn’t relent for long enough at any stage for the players to return to the field, leaving the match to finish without any result.
The two teams will now lock horns in the second T20I to be played at the same venue on Sunday.
Brief scores: England 131/6 in 16.1 overs (Tom Banton 72, Dawid Malan 23; Imad Wasim 2/31)