Match Facts

September 7, Old Trafford
Start time 6.30pm (1730GMT)

Big Picture

The nights are drawing in, the kids are back at school, the summer's main international trophies have been tussled over and divvied up. All that remains now is an autumnal farewell in Manchester, as England and Pakistan do battle for one last time in a one-off floodlit T20.

It all makes for a low-key finale to an otherwise engaging visit from a popular Pakistan touring team. Their victory in the fifth and final ODI at Cardiff on Sunday spared them the ignominy of a 5-0 series whitewash but also, to a degree, deprived this contest of its edge. Not even the Super Series (currently 16-10 in England's favour) can keep up the pretence that there's anything tangible at stake.

That said, there's still plenty to prove for the personnel on both teams. England, of course, cemented their white-ball revival with their march to the World T20 final in Kolkata back in April, and for many of the main men of that tournament who sat out the one-off win over Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl in June - in particular Joe Root, Alex Hales and, of course, England's fall guy on that famous evening, Ben Stokes - this will be their first return to the format.

Pakistan have no reason to recall their most recent trip to Kolkata with any fondness, either, after a group-stage defeat to India derailed their own World T20 campaign, and in their first 20-over outing since March, they will embark on the start of their own new era, with Sarfraz Ahmed, one of their star campaigners of the England tour, leading his country for the first time outside of a single ODI as stand-in.

It promises to be a fun night out in Manchester, and who can quibble with that? But, given that the next World T20 is scheduled to take place in four years' time (notwithstanding the growing clamour for a 2018 event), anyone seeking pointers for the future directions of both teams can probably afford to let their attention waver for a few hours.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)
England WLWWW
Pakistan LLLWW

In the spotlight

There will be no escaping the memories of Eden Gardens when Ben Stokes takes hold of the ball in a 20-over contest for the first time since that fateful final over of the World T20. Carlos Brathwaite's four consecutive sixes ripped the trophy from England's grasp and left one of their most wholehearted campaigners on his knees and heartbroken. He's bounced back in all other formats since that day - injury notwithstanding - but it'll be fascinating to see if he's trusted to get back to on the horse again when it comes to the death overs.

After making his Pakistan debut in Ireland earlier this summer, Hasan Ali's waspish pace and wholehearted attitude made a decent impression in adversity during the ODI series, and having earned a late call-up to the T20 squad following Mohammad Irfan's short-lived recall, it seems likely that he'll be thrust straight into the fray for a shortest-form debut. He seems to be made of the right stuff - Mickey Arthur is already a visible fan - and for a team rebuilding from rock-bottom in limited-overs cricket, he looks worthy of investment.

Team news

England have named a strong squad, with Hales, Stokes, Root and Moeen Ali all expected to slot back into the starting line-up that is unlikely to look very different from the team that took the field for the World T20 final. Tymal Mills, who impressed with his speed on debut at the Ageas Bowl, is a doubtful starter, having played no cricket since July.

England (probable) 1 Alex Hales, 2 Jason Roy, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 David Willey, 9 Adil Rashid, 10 Chris Jordan, 11 Liam Plunkett

It's all change for Pakistan, who bid farewell to their ODI skipper, Azhar Ali (not to mention their less-than-match-fit substitute seamer, Irfan), and welcome instead Sarfraz to the helm. Khalid Latif and Sharjeel Khan have been tipped by their captain to open the batting, and there could be a debut for the 21-year-old fast bowler, Amad Butt.

Pakistan 1 Khalid Latif, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan, 5 Babar Azam, 6 Imad Wasim, 7 Shoaib Malik, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Amad Butt

Pitch and conditions

It's been a warm and dry Tuesday in Manchester, and with any luck we'll get more of the same for the match. The pitch, likewise, looks a typically dry Old Trafford surface, with reasonably bare ends that may encourage the spinners on both sides.

Stats and trivia

  • England have never yet lost a T20 international at Old Trafford - although they've failed on three occasions to get to the finish of a contest. In 2009, they staged back-to-back fixtures against Australia, but weather had the final say, as it did three years later when South Africa were the visitors.

  • Eoin Morgan, who passed 5000 career ODI runs last week, needs 54 to become the first England batsman to reach 1500 in T20s.

Quotes

"We'll be playing at a very high intensity, we've been playing some great white-ball cricket this summer and we want to continue that."
Chris Jordan promises no let-up as England seek to close out their summer with another win

"We did not talk about the past but this tour has been good, we have enjoyed it and found people have been welcoming. Inshallah we win the match and end on a high note."
Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistan's T20 captain, reflects on a happy tour and hopes for a positive ending