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18-Jul-2021 17:14:00 GMT
Eng vs Pak - 2nd T20I, Leeds

Buttler, spinners help England level series

England 200 (Buttler 59, Livingstone 38, Hasnain 3-51) beat Pakistan 155 for 9 (Rizwan 37, Shadab 36*, Mahmood 3-33, Rashid 2-30) by 45 runs

Leeds: England's spinners squeezed Pakistan to claim an emphatic 45-run victory in the second Twenty20 and level the series at 1-1.

Though Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone - who twice hit sixes out of Headingley - all sparkled with the bat, England failed to post a total that would have put Pakistan out of the game.

From 137-3 in the 14th over and 164-5 in the 16th, England lost their last five wickets for 36 runs to be bowled out for 200.

However, England's trio of spinners, led by Adil Rashid, superbly exploited a pitch that rapidly deteriorated.

Rashid claimed 2-30, fellow leg-spinner Matt Parkinson 1-25 and off-break bowler Moeen 2-32 as Pakistan lurched to 155-9.

The series decider is on Tuesday at Old Trafford.

After the thrilling entertainment of Pakistan's 31-run win in the series opener, this was another thoroughly enjoyable contest, played in front of a full house on a baking hot day.

England stuck with their plan of experimenting with the World Cup in mind. Captain Eoin Morgan was rested, Jonny Bairstow shifted down the order to number six and Moeen's off-spin employed after he did not bowl on Friday.

And, with that tournament set to be played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, most encouraging will be the combined performance of leg-spinners Rashid and Parkinson, who lined up in the same England team for the first time.

The hosts' total looked no more than par, only for Rashid and Parkinson to stifle Pakistan on a pitch that became increasingly responsive to the slow bowlers.

Fresh from his dazzling 42-ball century on Friday, Lancashire's Livingstone was again striking the ball with awesome power.

Buttler, captaining in his first match for a month because of a calf injury, added the early impetus with his 59 from 39 balls, putting on 67 with Moeen, who crashed 36 from 16.

But it was Livingstone, himself sharing 52 with Buttler, who provided the stand-out moments.

A first six out of the ground, off spinner Imad Wasim, was handsome, but a second, off the pace of Haris Rauf that went over the new stand and onto the rugby ground, was a massive hit.

Livingstone was run out for 38 from 23 balls when he failed to respond to Tom Curran's call, a signal for England to lose momentum against a Pakistan side that held their length with the ball and caught well in the field.

Still, England have never lost a T20 when they have posted 200 batting first, a record that never looked in danger.

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