Liam Livingstone is pushing his case for T20 World Cup selection, with the explosive batter turning heads during England’s white-ball series against Pakistan.
Australian cricket fans will recognise Livingstone from Big Bash League, where he has opened the batting for the Perth Scorchers over the past two seasons.
The 27-year-old has struggled to cement his place in the international outfit, but an untimely Covid-19 outbreak in England’s squad opened the door for Livingstone to make his ODI debut last week.
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On Friday evening, Livingstone rewrote the record books by slapping 103 off 43 balls against Pakistan in the first T20 at Trent Bridge, his ferocious knock featuring nine sixes and six boundaries.
He backed up that performance with a quick-fire 36 in the second T20 at Headingley, the highlight coming early in the 16th over of England’s innings.
Facing Pakistan seamer Haris Rauf, Livingstone cleared his front leg and punished an overpitched delivery back over the bowler’s head.
The ball sailed over Headingley’s redeveloped three-tier football stand and landed on a rugby pitch next to the cricket ground.
Some estimated the colossal six travelled more than 120 metres.
Have you ever seen a six bigger than this? 🤯
They couldn't measure its length because the ball went way OUT of the ground 🔥#ENGvPAKpic.twitter.com/c4UVNEtpop
Am I the only one getting goosebumps watching this? Livingstone's six-hitting is other-worldly. Always has been.#ENGvPAKpic.twitter.com/VnEY5xTkr9
I think Livingstone just hit the biggest six in the history of cricket. #ENGvPAK 🏏
“Where has that ended up?” Sky Sports commentator Ian Ward cried.
“That’s massive! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a six bigger than that.”
England teammate Moeen Ali said after the match: “It was huge, but I’ve seen him do that a couple of times now. I played with him in (South Africa’s) Mzansi Super League and he hit one out of Johannesburg.”
The Leeds Rhinos squad train on the rugby pitch next door, and the club’s official Twitter account posted: “Good job for (Livingstone) that back garden cricket rules are not in play, as everyone knows if you hit it over the neighbours fence it’s six and OUT! We’ll leave the side gate open, he can pop round and get it.”
Footage of the mighty blow quickly went viral on social media, even catching the attention of some American media outlets.
Liam Livingstone 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱 oh my god. What a shot!!! Wow #ENGvPAK
Liam Livingstone is a freak of nature. Ridiculous hitting #ENGvPAK
England’s spinners took centre stage during Sunday’s 45-run win over Pakistan, which saw the hosts level the three-match series at 1-1 ahead of Tuesday’s finale at Old Trafford.
England broke with convention by fielding two leg-spinners in Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson, and the decision was vindicated when the duo combined to take 3/55 from their eight overs.
Jos Buttler, captaining England in place of the rested Eoin Morgan, marked his return to international duty by top-scoring with 59.
“I don’t think it was a game plan, it was just Jos playing the conditions,” Ali said after the victory.
“I don’t think it was risky at all. Today it was great conditions to be a spinner.
“I thought our leg-spinners bowled fantastically well, Parky and Rash complemented each other brilliantly.
“They’re both very different but both very skilful.”
Moeen Ali was named Player of the Match for his classy all-round performance.Source:Getty Images
Pakistan captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan shared an opening stand of 50 before the skipper was caught at mid-off after driving at paceman Saqib Mahmood.
Rashid struck on his Yorkshire home ground when he had Sohaib Maqsood stumped by Buttler before a brilliant one-handed caught and bowled accounted for Rizwan.
With the tourists falling behind the run rate, Moeen had Mohammad Hafeez caught in the deep by Jonny Bairstow before clean bowling a charging Fakhar Zaman.
Pakistan finished on 155/9 in pursuit of the 201-run target.
“We started well, but they got 20 or 30 runs extra,” Azam said.
“We were trying to chase. After six overs, we couldn’t continue the partnership and lost wickets.”
The third T20 will commence at 3.30am (AEST) on Wednesday morning.
– with AFP
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