Banton scores 71 before England-Pakistan T20 game rained off

Tom Banton’s explosive 71 off 42 balls proved to be in vain for England as the first Twenty20 international against Pakistan was abandoned as a no result because of rain in Manchester.

The opener smashed four fours and five sixes in an entertaining knock featuring lusty hitting and unorthodox scoops, helping England score 131-6 in 16.1 overs before it started to rain at Old Trafford on Friday.

Pakistan never got to bat in what would have ended up being an unsatisfactory five-over match, with the groundstaff unable to get the wet outfield in a fit state to play.

England will be concerned that Banton’s departure sparked the loss of four wickets for 14 runs in 19 balls before the stoppage.

Before that, opener Jonny Bairstow was out for 2 and Dawid Malan made a run-a-ball 23 after Pakistan won the toss and decided to field first under floodlights below gloomy skies.

England had scored just 34-1 after six overs, the team’s lowest powerplay total since the 2016 World Twenty20 final.

Imad Wasim (2-31) and Shadab Khan (2-33) were Pakistan’s best bowlers in Manchester, where there were no spectators because of coronavirus restrictions.

The other matches in the series are on Sunday and Tuesday. England won a rain-affected test series 1-0. (