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England v Pakistan: First IT20 round-up

There was certainly an element of deja vu in Manchester last night as rain washed out the first game of England’s three-match IT20 series against Pakistan.

Abject weather did its best to hamper the Test series between the two sides and it struck again at Old Trafford on Friday evening, restricting us to just 16.1 overs.

After losing the toss and being put in first, England had reached 131-6 by the time the rain became too heavy for play to continue.

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With Jason Roy missing the series due to injury, Tom Banton was handed a chance to impress at the top of the order and that’s exactly what he did.

The 21-year-old batsman has shown just how explosive he can be in both the T20 Blast and BBL but was yet to really produce his best on the international stage.

Jonny Bairstow fell early and it took England a little while to get settled but once Banton had cleared the rope once, he seemed to shift up a gear.

What followed was a clinic of what modern T20 batting is all about – a brutal combination of flair, invention, and power – as the Somerset man claimed his first half-century in the shortest format of international cricket.

There can surely be no debate that Banton is a future star of England’s white-ball side but the breathtaking strokeplay he produced in a 42-ball 71 suggested that he’s ready to be centre stage right now.

Eoin Morgan’s side looked as though they may be on their way to a commanding first innings total but Pakistan reeled them back in, taking a string of wickets and slowing the run rate.

It looked set to be a fantastic end to the contest but frustratingly the rain came down to ensure a result wasn’t possible.

We’ve had a taste of what to expect from this IT20 series and it’s only left us more excited for Sunday’s clash.