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Match Report – ENG vs PAK 2nd T20I, May 25, 2024

In England 183 for 7 (Buttler 84, Shaheen 3-36). Pakistan 160 (Fakhar 45, Topley 3-41) by 23 runs

Jofra Archer took 2 for 28 and was clocked at 92mph/148km/h in his first professional match in 385 days, as he overcame a costly start to seal England’s win over Pakistan at Edgbaston.

Playing in front of an international crowd in England for the first time since the 2019 Ashes, Archer hit his first four and third six in a four-ball 12 not out. But his first overs cost 15 runs, as Fakhar Zaman bowled him over midwicket for four and got him for six after Babar Azam bowled Archer’s second ball at mid-off.

But he struck with the first ball of his next over when Azam Khan bowled a short ball – which brought a big smile after months of conditioning – and sealed victory when he caught Imad Wasim at deep in his last over. He conceded just one boundary in his last three overs and was regularly clocked at 90mph/145kph or more.

Jos Buttler, who described Archer’s performance as “brilliant”, was named man of the match for his innings of 84 off 51 balls. Buttler looked scratchy at the start but mercilessly directed Shadab Khan, who bowled a four-over wicketless 55, just two days after making his previous worst figures of 0 for 54 against Ireland. Buttler racked up 3,000 T20I runs in the process, the first Englishman to reach the milestone.

Pakistan kept the required standard under control while chasing 184, thanks in large part to Fakhar’s powerful innings of 45 off 21 from number 4. But they lost wickets regularly, with no partnership lasting even 30 balls, and were eventually bowled out. . and four unused balls.

Buttler goes through the gears

Buttler, who has scored a record-equaling 115 for England in T20Is, kept his fourth ball in the middle over his leg stump and although he and Phil Salt traded boundaries in the first three overs, both struggled to time it. Salt went down early, pulling Imad Wasim’s first delivery to Shaheen Afridi at wide, but Will Jacks looked to touch innocently at number 3.

He lifted the fifth ball he faced behind Haris Rauf – playing his first match since February, when he dislocated his shoulder in the PSL – and had 21 from 10 balls at the end of the Powerplay, hitting boundaries at covers. both Haris and Mohammad Amir. At the same time, Buttler had a more sedate 19 for 17.

But Shadab’s introduction brought about a change in Buttler’s approach: he hit the first ball of the legspinner over four, and the last ball disappeared over long-on. Buttler went through his repertoire, collecting Haris in six overs between Shadab’s twists and turns-slog-sweeps for four and then six. In all, he made 40 off the 15 balls he faced.

England’s middle slider

After Jacks hit Rauf on target, Jonny Bairstow conceded four runs in his first 10 balls before Shadab hit a six over his final over, taking 20. He bowled Shaheen over extra cover for 4 and bowled all sixes. , but his mid-on pull to deep square leg nearly curled for 5 for 25 in 25 balls.

Imad – whose miserly overs cost just 19 runs – bowled Harry Brook as he backed off the second ball, while Buttler mishandled Haris’s slow delivery to long-on as he looked to slot it at the death. His 84 was his highest in any international cricket since his century against South Africa in February 2023.

Shaheen struck twice in his last over, Moeen Ali caught at long-on and Chris Jordan leading the way at fine short leg. Looking to reach 200, England at least passed 180 thanks to Archer’s dismissal but when Liam Livingstone managed to close the last ball of the innings to Amir, Pakistan looked in the game.

Strong start for Moeen

After 14 months since his last game for England, Archer had to wait another five overs until he was brought into the attack: Buttler bowled the new ball to Moeen instead, and Mohammad Rizwan fell into the trap. After defending the first two balls of the innings, Rizwan struck down to pull Moeen over the crease but managed to pick Livingstone at short.

Reece Topley shared the new ball with Archer in reserve, and bowled his second over when Saim Ayub swung his length ball up towards deep square leg. Fakhar was almost dismissed with the first ball he faced, went past Moeen at the slips, but again curled his second for four and wandered for four at midwicket.

Archer’s return

Archer’s first ball was right on the money at 86mph/138kph, but his first over – his sixth – cost 15 as Fakhar raced to 27 from his first nine balls. But Babar fell without much bending of the wicket, trapped in Moeen’s sweep of 32 runs from 26 balls: the kind of innings that sparks debate about his role in Pakistan’s T20I squad.

Fakhar went on the attack, bowling Moeen into the third leg of the pitch, but he struggled to strike. Adil Rashid – who made his debut since the ILT20 in February – conceded seven runs in his first two overs and accounted for Shadab, whose torrid afternoon came in a slog-sweep that didn’t suit the forwards.

Try [Khan] hit Jordan for consecutive boundaries for a point but when he fooled Archer at short cover, England were back on top. Archer’s second over costs just one, and after Fakhar falls for 45 – bowling Livingstone down to long on – the required standard rises to 12.

Imad and Iftikhar both threatened briefly, both delivering towering sixes, but after removing Topley, England’s seamers closed things down. Jordan, Archer and Topley conceded a boundary between them in the last 20 balls of the innings, with Shaheen caught at deep midwicket leaving Pakistan 24 all out.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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