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England win after Buttler's Edgbaston blitz

Birmingham, 25 May 2024: Shaheen Shah Afridi and Imad Wasim’s excellent bowling figures, along with Haris Rauf’s impressive return to competitive cricket, were overshadowed by Jos Buttler’s sparkling half-century as England defeated Pakistan by 23 runs in the second T20I on Saturday.

Shaheen, Imad and Haris shared all seven England wickets between them and limited the hosts to 183 after the home side, put into bat, had raced to 96 for one at the halfway stage and 144 for three after 15 overs.

Fakhar Zaman then led Pakistan’s fightback with a signature 45 but lacked support from the other end as the visitors ended up at 160 in 19.2 overs. Fakhar’s 21-ball innings included five fours and three sixes. Together with captain Babar Azam (32, 26b, 4x4), Fakhar put on 53 runs for the third wicket off 28 balls.

After Babar departed, leaving Pakistan at 67 for three in 8.1 overs, the visitors lost Shadab Khan (three), Azam Khan (11) and Fakhar to slip to 100 for six in 12.3 overs. Iftikhar Ahmed (23, 17b, 1x4, 2x6) and Imad Wasim (22, 13b, 2x4, 1x6) put on 40 runs for the seventh wicket, but the target continued to get stiffer with every over.

For England, Moeen Ali, who dismissed opener Mohammad Rizwan in his opening over and then accounted for Babar, finished with two for 26, while Reece Topley was the pick of the bowlers with three for 41. Jofra Archer, returning after almost a year, picked up the wickets of Azam and Imad, finishing with two for 28.

Earlier, Shaheen Shah Afridi returned figures of 4-0-36-3 and Imad Wasim had analysis of 4-0-19-2 as England managed only 39 runs in the last five overs for the loss of four wickets to finish at 183 for seven.

Haris Rauf, playing his first match in nearly three months, also bowled well to finish with figures of 4-0-34-2.

England’s total revolved around skipper Jos Buttler’s punishing 84 that came off 51 balls and included eight fours and three sixes. Buttler reached his 23rd half-century from 34 balls with five fours and two sixes.

Buttler and Will Jacks, who scored a 23-ball 37 with four fours and two sixes, put on 71 runs for the second wicket off 42 balls. For the third wicket, Buttler and Jonny Bairstow (21, 18b, 1x4, 2x6) added 48 runs from 29 balls.

After Bairstow departed at the score of 144 for three in 15 overs, Pakistan bowlers took control of the proceedings as Imad conceded five runs in the 16th over, Amir gave away eight runs in the 17th over, Haris went for seven runs in the 18th over, and Shaheen picked two wickets for five runs in the 19th over. Amir’s final over yielded 14 runs.

Scores in brief

England beat Pakistan by 23 runs

England 183-7, 20 overs (Jos Buttler 84, Will Jacks 37, Jonny Bairstow 21; Shaheen Shah Afridi 3-36, Imad Wasim 2-19, Haris Rauf 2-34)

Pakistan 160 all-out, 19.2 overs (Fakhar Zaman 45, Babar Azam 32, Iftikhar Ahmed 23, Imad Wasim 21; Reece Topley 3-41, Moeen Ali 2-26, Jofra Archer 2-28)

Player of the match – Jos Buttler (England)

1st T20 – abandoned without a ball being bowled

3rd T20I – 28 May, Cardiff

4th T20I – 30 May, The Oval, London