England display T20 World Cup credentials as Pakistan fail to flatter
England produced a superb team performance to clinch an emphatic 67-run victory and seal a 4-3 series triumph over Pakistan in Lahore.
It was a disappointing finale to an exciting series for Pakistan, with the hosts falling meekly in the seventh and final match to hand England a narrow 4-3 series triumph.
Pakistan badly missed star pacer Shaheen Afridi through injury and the ongoing concerns surrounding the fitness of teenage sensation Naseem Shah will be pivotal to their fortunes at the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
Pacer Haris Rauf (eight wickets) bowled superbly during the series, while veteran opener Mohammad Rizwan (316) and skipper Babar Azam (285) performed well for the majority of the seven matches and can be relied upon to do similar in Australia.
The issue for Pakistan might be what happens when their openers don't fire and this was front and centre in the final game against England as Rizwan and Babar combined for just five runs at the top of the order.
Babar was also guilty of dropping two chances in the field in the series decider and Pakistan won't be able to afford any sloppy mistakes if they are to claim a second T20 World Cup title Down Under.
England were without captain Jos Buttler for the entire series and regulars Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone were also sidelined due to injury.
But the likes of Harry Brook, Ben Duckett and Phil Salt produced standout performances at different times of the series to show the future is bright for Matthew Mott's side.
Dawid Malan (78*) found form in the final game of the series and is likely to be a key player at the upcoming T20 World Cup, while David Willey, Chris Woakes and Reece Topley have shown they capable T20I performers.
With Buttler and Livingstone in line to return for the T20 World Cup, England should be considered one of the favourites to win the four-week event.
England travel to Australia for a three-match series against the T20 World Cup hosts, before a one-off warm-up match against Pakistan at The Gabba on October 17.
Their first match at the T20 World Cup comes against Afghanistan in Perth on October 22.
Pakistan, meanwhile, travel directly to New Zealand for a quickfire tri-series against the Kiwis and Bangladesh, before warm-up matches in Brisbane against England and Afghanistan.
Then all eyes will turn to the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23 when Pakistan and India lock horns in the most eagerly awaited clash at the T20 World Cup.