Jos Buttler leads England to beat Pakistan by 45 runs and level the series

Jos Buttler, Six Sports

England skipper Jos Buttler top-scored with 59 runs and beat Pakistan by 45 runs. English spinners ripped through the Pakistan batting unit to seal the 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 they lost their way after England fast bowler Saqib Mahmood dismissed captain Babar Azam (22) in the sixth over.

Remarkable Return of Jos Buttler

Buttler marked his return to the national team with his 14th T20I fifty. Buttler was declared fit after a calf injury and took the captaincy. Eoin Morgan chose to rest himself in a bid to rotate his squad ahead of this year`s T20 World Cup.

The hosts lost Jason Roy and Dawid Malan in the opening three overs. Buttler and Ali restored order with a brisk 67-run partnership.

Ali eventually fell for 36, scooping fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain to mid-off, but Buttler accelerated the England run rate alongside the hero of the last match Liam Livingstone.

English Spinners ruled over Pak batting

England tightened their grip in the middle overs as leg-spinner Adil Rashid removed Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood in his second spell.

Off-spinner Moeen Ali removed Mohammad Hafeez and Fakhar Zaman cheaply. At that time Pakistan were left tottering at 95-5. Azam Khan was stumped off Matt Parkinson`s leg-break before Mahmood returned to rip through the lower order and restrict the tourists to 155-9 in 20 overs.

Livingstone managed the biggest hit of the day, tonking Haris Rauf`s delivery straight over the newly built Football Stand.

The right-handed batsman was run out for 38 off 23 balls before the lower order added another 35 off the last four overs to take England`s score to 200 for the second consecutive game – this time to secure victory.

Both teams now head to Manchester for the series decider on Tuesday.

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