|Second Twenty20 International, Karachi|
|England 199-5 (20 overs): Moeen 55* (23), Duckett 43 (22); Rauf 2-30|
|Pakistan 203-0 (19.3 overs): Babar 110* (66), Rizwan 88* (51)|
|Pakistan win by 10 wickets; 1-1 level series|
Babar Azam’s 110 not out and Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 88 as Pakistan recorded a remarkable 10-wicket victory over England to level the sides’ Twenty20 series at 1-1.
Chasing 200, Pakistan’s opening pair produced a batting masterclass in Karachi to seal victory with three balls to spare.
Babar hit a magnificent century off 62 balls to the delight of a raucous home crowd, while Rizwan hit four sixes in a whirlwind 51-ball knock.
This meant Pakistan set a new record for the highest chase in all men’s T20s without losing a wicket.
England, who had never previously lost a T20 by 10 wickets, were put to the sword – Alex Hales’ fall of Rizwan in the 23rd over was decisive.
The tourists looked heavy favorites at the middle stage when they scored 199-5, with Moeen Ali making 55 not out from 23 balls and Ben Duckett making an enterprising 43.
The sides will play again in less than 24 hours for the third match of the seven-match series on Friday, again in Karachi.
Babar and Rizwan have achieved a famous victory
This series was already historic as it was England’s return to Pakistan for the first time in 17 years. Babar and Rizwan, Pakistan’s supreme captain and vice-captain, have secured their place in the record books.
In the end, the challenge was easily won, a reflection of the excellent way the pair chased each other.
The previous highest target scored without losing a wicket was 169 by New Zealand against Pakistan in 2016.
Breaking that record Pakistan’s openers, who now hold a record seven centuries at the top of the order, got off to a good start without being too destructive – they were 87-0 after 10 overs – before launching their attack.
They took 21 off 13, bowled by England skipper Moeen Ali, including three big-leg sixes.
Babar put on 91, Sam Curran dived one-handed on the midwicket rope, but by the time that tough chance arrived the game was all over.
More important was Hales’ failure to return to mid off off the bowling of left-arm spinner Liam Dawson, and Phil Salt’s missed chance to Rashid, which would have seen Rizwan go for 32.
Pakistan needed three from the final and, after taking two singles, Babar took David Willey from the third ball to win the match.
He silenced doubts about his form – Babar failed to hit a fifty in seven T20 innings – and sets up the series perfectly after England’s comfortable win in their opener on Tuesday.
More to follow.