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Buttler steers Poms to series win – Pakistan fall short in decider

England’s players pose with the trophy after winning the fourth One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and England at Dubai Sports City in the Gulf Emirate on Nov 20. England won the series 3-1. (AFP)
England’s players pose with the trophy after winning the fourth One Day International (ODI) cricket match between Pakistan and England at Dubai Sports City in the Gulf Emirate on Nov 20. England won the series 3-1. (AFP)

DUBAI, Nov 20, (AFP): Jos Buttler hit the fastest one-day hundred by an Englishman to guide England to an 84-run win over Pakistan in the fourth and final day-night international in Dubai on Friday for a 3-1 series triumph.

Buttler’s 52-ball 116 not out — his hundred coming off just 46 deliveries — coupled with a maiden century by opener Jason Roy lifted England to an imposing 355-5 before Pakistan were bowled out for 271 in 40.4 overs.

The win gave England their second series win since the World Cup disaster earlier this year where they failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

They also beat New Zealand 3-2 at home but lost to Australia by the same margin.

Pakistan won the first match of the four-game series by six wickets while England took the second by 95 runs and the third by six wickets.

Pakistan needed to improve upon their best-ever run chase — 327 against Bangladesh in March last year — but despite good knocks from Babar Azam (51 off 51 balls), Shoaib Malik (34-ball 52) and skipper Azhar Ali (44 off 32 balls) they fell short.

Mohammad Hafeez made 37 and Anwar Ali 24 as spinners Moeen Ali (3-53), Adil Rashid (3-78) and seamer David Willey (2-34) took wickets at regular intervals to stop Pakistan from pulling out a series-levelling win. Azam and Hafeez added 65 for the third wicket while Azam added 47 for the fourth with Malik but that was never enough to overhaul a stiff target.

It was Buttler who stole the limelight ahead of Roy.

Buttler smashed medium-pacer Anwar for his eighth six to complete his third one-day century off just 46 balls — also the joint-seventh fastest one-day hundred — to help England score 129 in the final ten overs. He improved his own record of a 61-ball hundred — the previous fastest hundred for England — made against Sri Lanka at Lord’s in May last year.

In all Buttler, who finished with 116 not out from 52 deliveries, clobbered eight sixes and ten boundaries to pulverise Pakistan’s bowling.

Buttler’s batting heroics overshadowed Roy’s 117-ball knock after England, who won the toss and batted, thrived on a batsman-friendly pitch. Roy added 140 for the second wicket with Joe Root (71) to set an ideal platform for Buttler.

Roy took a single off leg-spinner Yasir Shah to complete his three figures off 113 balls but two runs later was caught off the same bowler.

Roy, whose previous best of 67 came against Australia at Southampton in September, hit eight boundaries and a six.

Root ably supported Roy, hitting three boundaries and two sixes during his run-a-ball innings before he was stumped off Pakistan’s skipper Azhar Ali who finished with 2-26. Roy and fellow opener Alex Hales laid the platform for England as they took the score to 54 in the 12th over.

But it was Buttler who lifted the tempo, reaching 50 off just 30 balls and taking 22 off Anwar’s 46th over in a demonstration of clean hitting.

Fast-rising allrounder Imad Wasim has been ruled out of the three-match Twenty20 series against England starting next week after failing to recover from a hand injury, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Friday.

While Wasim will be absent from the pitch, batsman Umar Akmal has been included on the team’s roster after being temporarily axed on disciplinary grounds.

Wasim, 26, who made his debut earlier this year, fractured a finger in a domestic first-class match and was included in the squad subject to his recovery.

Pakistan cricket chief Shaharyar Khan Friday said England supported the resumption of ties between India and Pakistan stalled for seven years due to strained relations.

Pakistan and India are scheduled to play two Tests, five one-day and two Twenty20 matches in United Arab Emirates (UAE) next month but the series is under serious doubt after a deadlock between the two boards.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) last week invited Pakistan to play the matches on their grounds but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) insisted the series should be held in UAE, under the Memorandum of Understanding signed last year.

Scoreboard

DUBAI, Nov 20, (AFP): Complete scoreboard of the fourth day-night international between Pakistan and England played at Dubai stadium on Friday:
England
J. Roy c Malik b Shah 102
A. Hales c Malik b Irfan 22
J. Root st Ahmed b Ali 71
J. Buttler not out 116
E. Morgan st Ahmed b Ali 14
J. Taylor c Shehzad b Irfan 13
Moeen Ali not out 4
Extras: (lb4, nb1, w8) 13
Total: (for five wkts; 50 overs) 355
Did not bat: C. Woakes, Adil Rashid, D. Willey, R. Topley
Fall of wickets: 1-54 (Hales), 2-194 (Roy), 3-201 (Root), 4-227 (Morgan), 5-306 (Taylor)
Bowling: Irfan 10-0-64-2 (2w), Anwar 9-0-75-0 (1w), Riaz 9-0-70-0 (6w), Shah 10-0-57-1, Malik 7-0-59-0, Ali 5-0-26-2
Pakistan
Azhar Ali c and b Willey 44
Ahmed Shehzad c Ali b Willey 13
Mohammad Hafeez run out 37
Babar Azam c Hales b Rashid 51
Shoaib Malik c Hales b Topley 52
Mohammad Rizwan c Buttler b Rashid 11
Sarfraz Ahmed c Willey b Rashid 24
Anwar Ali c Adil b Ali 24
Wahab Riaz c and b Ali 1
Yasir Shah c Woakes b Ali 5
Mohammad Irfan not out 0
Extras: (lb2, w7) 9
Total: (all out; 40.4 overs) 271
Fall of wickets: 1-45 (Shehzad), 2-64 (Ali), 3-129 (Hafeez), 4-176 (Azam), 5-194 (Rizwan), 6-228 (Malik), 7-249 (Sarfraz), 8-259 (Riaz), 9-271 (Shah), 10-271 (Anwar)
Bowling: Willey 6-0-34-2, Topley 7-0-58-1 (4w), Woakes 8-1-46-0, Moeen 9.4-0-53-3, Rashid 10-0-78-3 (2w)
Result: England won by 84 runs, take series 3-1
Toss: England
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL) and Ahsan Raza (PAK)
Tv umpire: Johan Cloete (RSA)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

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