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England put Pak in a spin to level series

England spinners took centre stage during a 45-run win over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 international at Headingley on Sunday.

Victory saw England level the three-match series at 1-1 ahead of Tuesday’s finale at Old Trafford.

England broke with convention by fielding two leg-spinners in Adil Rashid and Matt Parkinson, with off-spinner Moeen Ali also included. The hosts’ decision was vindicated by the leg-break duo taking a combined 3-55 from eight overs, with player of the match Moeen adding 2-32 to his useful 36 in England’s total of 200.

That proved more than enough for England to defend, with Pakistan finishing on 155-9. Jos Buttler, captaining England in place of the rested Eoin Morgan, marked his return to international duty by top-scoring with 59.

Buttler fell when he drilled a catch to mid-off with Livingstone’s innings ending on 38 thanks to a needless run out. Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan shared an opening stand of exactly 50 before the skipper was caught at mid-off after driving at paceman Saqib Mahmood.

Rashid struck on his Yorkshire home ground when he had Sohaib Maqsood stumped by Buttler before a brilliant one-handed caught and bowled accounted for Rizwan.

With the tourists falling behind the run-rate, Moeen had Mohammad Hafeez caught in the deep by Jonny Bairstow before clean bowling a charging Fakhar Zaman.

Parkinson had a deserved wicket when Azam Khan became Buttler’s second stumping of the innings before Mahmood took his figures to 3-33 by bowling tailender Rauf for a duck.


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