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Twenty20 - Cricket: Pakistan v England seventh T20I preview

It has proved impossible to split Pakistan and England so far in a thrilling T20 series and the seventh and final game in Lahore on Sunday will be a winner-takes-all clash.

Pakistan thought they were closing in on a series victory after holding off England to win the fifth T20 and restore a 3-2 lead, but the Three Lions responded emphatically with an eight-wicket win on Friday.

Phil Salt was the star of the show for the tourists in their chase as he hit an unbeaten 88 off 41 balls, helping England surpass the total set of 169 with more than five overs to spare.

England will be optimistic that they can maintain the upper hand and are 8/11 to be crowned series winners, while hosts Pakistan are 11/10 to take the spoils and claim bragging rights ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup.

England can complete the comeback

WhatPakistan vs England, 7th Twenty20 Match
WhereGaddafi Stadium, Lahore
When15:30, Sunday 2nd October, 2022
How to watchSky Sports Main Event & Cricket
OddsPakistan 11/10, England 8/11

Chasing 170 for victory in Lahore, Salt reeled off a 19-ball half-century - the third fastest by an Englishman in a T20 international - and highlighted why he is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world over this format.

Salt hit 13 fours and three sixes during his innings and ultimately had the job done as England eased their foot off the gas to win with 33 balls to spare.

With Alex Hales opening alongside Salt and making 27 off 12 balls and Dawid Malan coming in at three and adding 26 from 18, England didn't need to call upon the services of either Harry Brook or Moeen Ali.

Coming in at four, Ben Duckett also showcased his batting talents with an impressive 26 from 16 deliveries and that top order makes England a formidable force in this competition.

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Head coach Matthew Mott is unlikely to call upon the services of Jos Buttler, who is an injury concern, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon, while Will Jacks would be a surprise inclusion given the manner of the team's latest performance.

Pakistan too have their batting qualities and have arguably the most dangerous opening partnership in world cricket at their disposal with Mohammad Rizwan and captain Babar Azam.

Those two have been a joy to watch throughout the series but Rizwan was given a breather in the sixth T20 and you fear for them as a batting unit if one of their wickets were to fall early.

That makes England worthy favourites to take the series at 8/11, especially as they also have a devastating bunch of fast bowlers to choose from with Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Luke Wood and Reece Topley having all been among the wickets in Pakistan.

Hales could steal the limelight

The style of batting from openers Salt (7/2 to top bat for England) and Hales means early wickets can occur, but they are also capable of racking up a high total very quickly.

Salt must be riding the crest of a wave after Friday's innings but Hales, who has worked his way back into the international ranks for the first time since 2019, is a determined character who may want to take some of the limelight for himself.

Hales has played in five of the six games in the series and top-scored in the opening clash in Karachi with 53.

The 33-year-old has been excellent all year over this format back on home soil and with him having to cement his place with Buttler soon to be back in contention, a positive innings looks likely. Hales has plenty of appeal at 3/1 to top score for the visitors.

Rizwan and Azam a cut above

Across the first six T20 internationals, Pakistan have made a total of 999 runs and openers Rizwan and Azam have combined to score 596 of them.

That highlights their importance to this Pakistan team and breaking up that opening partnership early is extremely important for England.

Even when Rizwan missed the most recent game, Azam stepped up with 87 off 59 balls and it is that pair that are rightly dominating Pakistan's top scorer market.

The two contrasting styles complement each other extremely well and they are the leading two scorers in the series, but Azam is the more destructive of the pair on his day and at a shade bigger odds of 11/5 looks the player to side with.

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