England beat Pakistan by 45 runs to level T20 series
England’s stand-in skipper Jos Buttler top-scored with 59 before their spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali ripped through the Pakistan batting unit to seal a 45-run win in the second Twenty20 International and level the series at 1-1 on Sunday.
Chasing 201 runs to win at Headingley, Pakistan’s openers made a bright start with the bat but lost their way after England fast bowler Saqib Mahmood dismissed captain Babar Azam (22) in the sixth over.
England tightened their grip in the middle overs as leg-spinner Rashid removed Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood in his second spell.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali joined the fun picking up two crucial wickets to leave Pakistan in all sorts of trouble against the rising required run rate.
Ali first removed batsman Mohammad Hafeez (10 off 12), caught by fielder Jonny Bairstow, before cleaning up batsman Fakhar Zaman (eight off eight).
Young batsman Azam Khan (one off four) stepped out of his crease but missed a Rashid Khan delivery that was collected by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler for an easy stumping.
All-rounder Imad Wasim played a quick-fire 20-run knock off 13 balls, before falling to pacer Tom Curran, caught by fielder Jason Roy.
Mahmood then removed tailender Shaheen Shah (two off four), caught by fielder Chris Jordan, and clean bowled tailender Haris Rauf for a golden duck.
In the end, Pakistan could only manage 155 runs for the loss of nine wickets in their allotted overs, losing by 45 runs, as all-rounder Shadab Khan remained unbeaten after scoring 36 runs off 22 balls.
Saqib Mahmood was the most successful bowler for his side picking up three wickets at the expense of 33 runs in his allotted overs.
Earlier, after losing the toss and being asked to bat first, England were off to a shaky start. Opener Jason Roy (10 off 4) went hard after all-rounder Imad Wasim, only to sky the fourth delivery of the match into the hands of fielder Mohammad Hafeez.
Imad returned in his next over to remove batsman Dawid Malan (one off five) as Pakistan looked to tame the explosive England batting line-up.
The fall of wickets however did not impact England’s intent as batsmen Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler combined for a whirlwind 67-run knock off just 31 balls to provide a solid foundation for their side.
Pacer Mohammad Hasnain got the better of Moeen Ali, caught by fielder Babar Azam, after he had raced to 36 runs off 16 balls.
Batsman Liam Livingstone then joined the explosive Buttler on the way to a 52- run partnership off 34 balls as England looked to impose themselves in the match.
Mohammad Hasnain then returned to provide a crucial breakthrough for Pakistan removing Jos Buttler, caught by Babar Azam, after he had raced to 59 runs off 39 balls.
The opening paved the way for more wickets as Pakistan looked to stem the flow of runs from the bat of the Englishmen.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan removed dangerous batsman Jonny Bairstow (13 off seven balls), caught by fielder Fakhar Zaman, as the batsman tried to clear the boundary but failed.
Liam Livingstone (38 off 23) appeared to be in sublime form, similar to his incredible touch in the first T20I, before falling because of a mix-up with fellow batsman Tom Curran.
Curran (nine off seven) himself fell shortly after off the bowling of Mohammad Hasnain, caught by fielder Sohaib Maqsood.
Pacer Haris Rauf then removed tailenders Chris Jordan (14 off eight) and Adil Rashid (two off four) in quick succession to further dent England’s onslaught.
Tailender Matt Parkinson was the last wicket to fall, bowled by pacer Shaheen Shah, as Pakistan managed to restrict England to 200 runs in 19.5 overs despite the fireworks from the batsmen.
Hasnain was the pick of the bowler for his side, taking three wickets at the expense of 51 runs.