Openers Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif both bludgeoned half centuries as Pakistan defeated England by nine wickets in their one-off Twenty20 international on Wednesday.
Left-hander Sharjeel scored an electrifying 59 off 36 balls, while Latif made an unbeaten 59 off 42 in an unstoppable run-chase that reached 139-1 in 14.5 overs after England had been restricted to 135-7.
The openers put up a 107-run stand off 67 balls against the same England XI that lost the World Twenty20 final against the West Indies in India earlier this year.
Earlier, Wahab Riaz took 3-18 while debutante seamer Hasan Ali grabbed 2-24 as England’s big hitters – Jos Buttler (16), Ben Stokes (4) and captain Eoin Morgan (14) – were denied any chance of building real momentum.
“Yesterday we decided to bowl short balls and slower balls, and we executed our plans very well,” said Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who was leading the team for first time in a T20 international.
“We had to play positive cricket and the morale is very high after we won the last game on tour.”
Together, Pakistan’s openers struck 15 boundaries and five sixes in a dominant run-chase that none of England’s seamers or spinners was able to slow down.
Earlier, after electing to bat, Alex Hales (37) and Jason Roy (21) had provided England with a confident start of 56 off 40 deliveries. But left-arm spinner Imad Wasim (2-17) dismissed both of them in his successive overs and the seamers then tied down England’s strong middle-order.
Riaz and Ali both bowled at a deceptive pace and England’s batsmen lost their way in the last 10 overs, managing only one boundary.
“We needed about 185 on that wicket. It’s hard to believe it’s the same team that scored 444 a few games ago,” said England captain Eoin Morgan, referring to the side’s world record-breaking ODI total at Trent Bridge against Pakistan.
“Pakistan outplayed us in the conditions, but I still like to think we are on an upward curve,” Morgan added.
Sharjeel hit David Willey for four boundaries in his first two overs and Latif blasted Chris Jordan for four boundaries from the other end in Pakistan’s swashbuckling start.
Ben Stokes also conceded 20 off his first two overs and Joe Root went for 10 as Sharjeel and Latif raised Pakistan’s 100 in 10 overs.
England’s lone success came when Sharjeel top-edged Adil Rashid to Moeen Ali with the total on 107, sparing the hosts from their worst ever defeat in a T20 international.
The victory rounded off Pakistan’s lengthy tour of England after drawing the test series 2-2 and losing the five-match one-day international series 4-1.