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Bowlers aid England victory; series level at 1-1

Bowlers aid England victory; series level at 1-1
July 18, 2021

LEEDS – A solid bowling performance from Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Saqib Mahmood after Jos Buttler's 59 helped England level the three-match T20I series 1-1.

England's total of 200 proved to be more than enough for Pakistan as the visitors were restricted to 155/9, giving the hosts a comfortable 45-run victory in the second T20I. The win also meant that the series is still alive with the decider on Tuesday, 20 July.

Chasing 201, Pakistan had got off to a perfect start with their openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam batting confidently. The half-century stand came in the sixth over and a mouth-watering contest was on the cards. However, England ensured that they put an end to Pakistan's hopes there itself.

Saqib Mahmood removed Babar (22) and the visitors never recovered from the blow. Sohaib Maqsood hit a couple of lusty blows but fell to Adil Rashid, getting stumped in the ninth over. Rizwan (37) followed suit, becoming Rashid's second victim.

Moeen Ali then struck a destructive blow when he dismissed Mohammad Hafeez (10) and Fakhar Zaman (8) in the same over.

With Pakistan slipping to 96/5 in 13 overs, the chances of a win looked even more grim. Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim attempted to fight back but it was too little, too late for the visitors.

Tom Curran gave away only a single in the final over to hold Pakistan on 155/9. Moeen Ali was the Player of the Match for his figures of 2/32.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan opted to field in the second T20I and reduced England to 18/2 within three overs. Imad Wasim got Jason Roy after he slammed a four and a six in the first over of the day. Dawid Malan followed within a space of 10 balls, also falling to Imad as he top-edged a slog sweep straight to short third man.

Jos Buttler, who was captaining for England in absence of Eoin Morgan, had other plans. The flamboyant batsman combined with Moeen Ali and began playing some fantastic shots. 19 runs came off Mohammad Hasnain's first over, then Moeen milked another 19 in the next, off Haris Rauf.

The duo brought up their fifty partnership in just 24 balls. Just when the pair began looking dangerous, Hasnain got his revenge, removing Moeen for a 16-ball 36.

The next man in Liam Livingstone continued in the same vein, straightaway getting into the action. Buttler, meanwhile, brought up his half-century off 33 deliveries. He, however, failed to capitalise on that innings and perished on 59 in the 14th over, giving Hasnain his second wicket.

Livingstone was unlucky as he was run out while attempting a risky single on 38. Jonny Bairstow (13), Tom Curran (9), Chris Jordan (14) all began well but could not hold on. England were eventually bowled out for 200 in the final over. Hasnain finished with three wickets, while Rauf and Imad got two each.-ICC