England were dominated in the first T20I, and they treated Pakistan in a similar fashion in the second encounter to level the three-match series 1-1 at Headingley on Sunday (July 18). Jos Buttler starred with the bat in his comeback game before spinners took control in the second innings and propelled England to a 45-run victory.
England broke with convention by fielding two legspinners in Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson, along with offspinner Moeen Ali. The trio took five wickets between them and knocked Pakistan out after England slammed 200 in their first innings. Moeen, who smashed 36 off 16 and took two wickets, was named Player of the Match. Chasing 201, the visitors could only manage 155/9 in their 20 overs.
Buttler, captaining England in place of the rested Eoin Morgan, marked his return to international duty by top-scoring with 59. Moeen praised Buttler's faith in spin bowling by saying: "I don't think it was a game plan, it was just Jos playing the conditions. I don't think it was risky at all. Today it was great conditions to be a spinner. I thought our leg-spinners bowled fantastically well, Parky and Rash complemented each other brilliantly. They're both very different but both very skillful."
Earlier, Liam Livingstone -- fresh from scoring England's fastest T20I hundred on Friday -- launched Pakistan quick Haris Rauf for a colossal six that soared over the stands and out of the ground. "It was huge! But I've seen him do that a couple of times now. I played with him in (South Africa's) Mzansi Super League and he hit one out of Johannesburg!"
Buttler added 67 runs for the third wicket with Moeen after left-arm-spinner Imad Wasim dismissed Jason Roy (10) and Dawid Malan (1) inside the first 15 balls of the match. Moeen smoked six fours and a maximum during his stay in the middle, while Livingstone slammed 38 off 23 balls with the help of three towering sixes and two fours.
England were 164/5 in 15.2 overs but lost their last five wickets for 36 runs and were bundled out in 19.5 overs. Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf took five wickets between them but both conceded runs at an economy of more than 12.
In reply, Mohammad Rizwan (29-ball 37) and Babar Azam (16-ball 22) added 50 runs for the opening wicket. However, after Babar’s dismissal, Pakistan’s chase fell away as the tourists lost wickets at regular intervals. Sohaib Maqsood (15), Mohammad Hafeez (10), Fakhar Zaman (8) and Azam Khan (1) fell to England’s spin bowling trio of Rashid, Parkinson and Moeen.
Saqib Mahmood took three wickets and finished the job for England. Shadab Khan (22-ball 36*) did smoke a couple of boundaries at the end but the game was over way before.
The decider will be played on Tuesday (July 20) in Manchester.
(With inputs from PCB release)