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Twenty20 - Cricket: Pakistan v England fourth T20I preview

A see-saw seven-match Twenty20 series currently stands at 2-1 to England in Pakistan and the tourists will look to extend their advantage in Karachi on Sunday.

Sandwiched in between two highly impressive victories is a ten-wicket dismissal of the Three Lions, so picking a winner of the fourth match of the contest appears to be something of a lottery.

Of course Twenty20 cricket is often decided by one or two quality individual performances and England have a number of players who are battling to secure places at the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

What:

Pakistan v England, 4th Twenty20 Match

Where:

National Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan

When:

15:30, Sunday 25th September 2022

How to watch:

Sky Sports Cricket

Odds:Pakistan 10/11, England 10/11 

Batting options improving for England

New skipper Jos Buttler has been forced to sit out the entire series due to a calf injury and a possible doubt for the World Cup.

Should he miss out, the Three Lions will be looking for an all-new opening partnership, with Jonny Bairstow already a definite absentee due to a leg injury and Jason Roy jettisoned after a loss of form.

Not long ago that would have left a giant gap at the top of the order, but the recalled Alex Hales, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook have all shown they are up to the task against Pakistan side who are always blessed with plenty of decent bowling options.

Hales, back at the top of the order and now alongside Phil Salt, made a crucial 53 in the six-wicket win in the opening match of the series and 26 in the second before sitting out the win on Friday.

Left-hander Duckett - omitted from the World Cup squad - has scores of 21, 43 and 70 not out to his name, while new kid on the block Brook has shown all of his huge potential in making 42 not out, 31 and an unbeaten 81.

However, while that trio have all impressed, there may be some concerns that Dawid Malan has struggled at number three, with his best score in three knocks just 20.

Should he find his form then England will have a truly formidable batting line-up for the challenges ahead and Malan is 7/2 to be top team batter on Sunday.

Wood back with a major bang

Stand-in skipper Moeen Ali also has a good variety of bowling options to utilise, including fit-again paceman Mark Wood, who marked his return to the fold in the game on Friday by taking 3-24 in a comprehensive 63-run triumph.

He and the now consistently excellent Reece Topley accounted for Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam between them, with the Pakistan opening partnership having knocked off more than 200 to ensure an amazing 10-wicket win in the second T20I.

Wood has suffered a huge catalogue of injuries over the years, but is clearly still a massively important player for England, but is set to sit out on Sunday so as not to risk another setback.

And the fitness of the fast bowling group remains one of the major concerns for England, with Wood, Topley, Chris Woakes and Olly Stone having all suffered significant injury problems recently.

Should Wood miss out, then namesake Luke Wood may be afforded another opportunity to impress, having taken 3/24 on debut in the series opener, before finding things much tougher second time up as his four overs went for 49.

He is 5/1 to be top team bowler on Sunday, while leg-spinner Adil Rashid is available at 3/1, having taken two wickets in a match twice in the three games played to date.

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Openers so crucial for hosts Pakistan

A relatively inexperienced Pakistan unit clearly leans heavily on the outstanding opening pairing of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, who decimated the tourists' attack in the second T20I.

Rizwan has scores of 68, 88 not out and 8 to his name, while Babar has 31, an unbeaten 110 and 8 on his record.

The rest of the home batters have little to show in the way of major contributions, although Shan Masood - fresh from success in England with Derbyshire - did smack 65 not out in the loss in Karachi on Friday and is 11/2 to be top team batter on Sunday.

However, there remains the strong feeling that if England can make early breakthroughs with the ball, then they will go a long way towards winning again on Sunday and taking a healthy 3-1 lead in the series with three games left to play.

The two sides cannot be separated in the match win market, showing just what fine margins are involved in the winning and losing of T20 international contests.

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