Buttler, bowlers help England thump Pakistan in second T20I

BIRMINGHAM   -   Jos Buttler’s swashbuckling 84-run knock, followed by a combined bowling effort led England to a comfortable 23-run victory over Pakistan in the second T20I here at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Set to chase 184, Pakistan’s batting unit unfolded on 160 in 19.2 overs despite Fakhar Zaman’s quickfire 45.The visitors had a dismal start to the pursuit as both their openers Mohammad Rizwan (0) and Saim Ayub (2) perished cheaply inside four overs with just 14 runs on the board.Following the slump, Fakhar joined Babar Azam in the middle and stitched a counterattacking partnership.

The 53-run stand remained majorly dominated by the left-handed batter, who was scoring boundaries at will, while Babar played an anchoring role until falling victim to Moeen Ali in the ninth over.The captain scored 32 off 26 deliveries, hitting four boundaries in the process.The touring side then lost three more wickets in quick succession as Shadab Khan (3) and Azam Khan (11) fell after making modest contributions.

Pakistan then sustained a massive blow to their run chase when Fakhar Zaman skied one off Liam Livingstone to walk back after playing a fighting knock.He remained the top-scorer for the Green Shirts with a 21-ball 45 which included five boundaries and three sixes.With the touring side reeling at 100/6 in 12.3 overs, Imad Wasim joined Iftikhar Ahmed in the middle and the pair put together an important partnership.

Imad and Iftikhar added 40 runs for the seventh wicket and had themselves going when they smashed Reece Topley for 16 runs off the first five deliveries of his third over.But the pacer hit back on the final delivery and removed Iftikhar, who scored 23 off 17 deliveries.Imad followed in his footsteps, scoring 22 off 13 deliveries.

Following their dismissals, Pakistan’s toothless batting tail surrendered against a disciplined England bowling attack and the touring side was consequently bundled out on a meagre total.Topley led the bowling attack for England with three wickets, followed by Jofra Archer and Moeen Ali - two wickets each.Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone chipped in with a wicket apiece.

Put into bat first, England had a scratchy start to their innings as opener Phil Salt (13) fell victim to Imad Wasim on the first delivery of the fourth over.Will Jacks then joined captain Buttler in the middle and the duo recovered England with a solid 71-run partnership for the second wicket.Their brisk partnership had taken England to 96/1 at the halfway mark. Haris Rauf then got rid of Jacks in the 11th over. Hesmashed four fours and two sixes on his way to a 23-ball 37.

Buttler then added 48 runs for the third wicket with Jonny Bairstow, who scored 21 off 18 deliveries, laced up with one four and two sixes before perishing in the 15th over.Following his dismissal, England began to lose wickets at an alarming rate and their mainstay Buttler also walked back to the dugout in the 18th over.

Buttler top-scored for England with a 51-ball 84 which featured eight fours and three sixes.Pakistan bowlers, who were at the receiving end in the middle phase of the innings, bowled tight in the death overs to refrain England from amassing the 200-run mark, which at one stage seemed achievable.Shaheen Afridi led the bowling charge for Pakistan with three wickets, followed by Imad Wasim and Haris Rauf, who bagged two each.

Scores in Brief

ENGLAND 183-7 (Buttler 84, Shaheen 3-36) beat PAKISTAN 160 (Fakhar 45, Topley 3-41) by 23 runs.

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