DUBAI, Nov 28, (AFP): Paceman Chris Woakes held his nerve in the final over to give England a hard-fought three-run win in the second Twenty20 international over Pakistan in Dubai on Friday.
Woakes conceded just seven runs in the 20th over to restrict Pakistan to 169-8 and help England defend a 173-run target to give his team an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series at Dubai stadium.
The 24,000 fans, mostly expats from Pakistan, had expected their team to pull off a sensational win after skipper Shahid Afridi smashed a blistering eight-ball 24 with three sixes and a boundary.
But Anwar Ali failed to connect on the last delivery off which Pakistan had needed four for victory.
Afridi took 22 off the 18th over by Woakes but his dismissal on the last ball left Pakistan to score 25 off the last two overs.
Pakistan’s batsmen were once again reckless as most of them got good starts but failed to capitalise.
Ahmed Shehzad top-scored with an 18-ball 28 with two fours and as many sixes.
Mohammad Hafeez made 25, Raffatullah Mohmand scored 23, Shoaib Malik managed 26 off 21 balls while talented Umar Akmal managed just three and Sohaib Maqsood only two.
England paceman Liam Plunkett bowled with fire and venom to finish with 3-33 while leg-spinner Adil Rashid grabbed 2-18 in his four probing overs.
England won the first match — also in Dubai — by 14 runs. The final match is in Sharjah on Monday.
England were lifted to 172-8 by a quickfire 24-ball 38 by James Vince and 22-ball-33 by skipper Jos Buttler as they upped the tempo by notching 58 in the last five overs.
Leg-spinner Shahid Afridi, who took 3-15 in his four overs, derailed the England batting after they looked well-set at 32-0 in the fourth over.
Afridi trapped Alex Hales leg before for 11 and then had Jason Roy caught behind for 22-ball 29 (two sixes and a four) to leave England at 47-2.
Joe Root made 20 before Buttler and Vince lifted England with a 35-run partnership for the fourth wicket. Afridi returned for his last over to have Vince caught in the deep.
Vince hit two sixes and three boundaries.
- Roy c Ahmed b Afridi 29
- Hales lbw b Afridi 11
- Vince c Anwar b Afridi 38
- Root c Afridi b Malik 20
- Buttler c Ahmed b Tanvir 33
- Billings c Umar b Riaz 11
- Willey c Maqsood b Anwar 4
- Plunkett c Ahmed b Anwar 1
- Woakes not out 15
- Adil Rashid not out 3
Extras: (lb1, w6) 7
Total: (for eight wkts; 20 overs) 172
Did not bat: S. Parry
Fall of wickets: 1-32 (Hales), 2-47 (Roy), 3-74 (Root), 4-109 (Vince), 5-136 (Billings), 6-150 (Buttler), 7-151 (Plunkett), 8-154 (Willey)
Bowling: Anwar 4-0-27-2 (2w), Tanvir 4-0-43-1 (1w), Riaz 4-0-44-1 (2w), Afridi 4-0-15-3, Shehzad 1-0-10-0, Malik 3-0-32-1 (1w)
Ahmed Shehzad st Buttler b Parry 28
Rafatullah Mohmand st Buttler b Rashid 23
Mohammad Hafeez c Willey b Plunkett 25
Shoaib Malik c Root b Plunkett 26
Sohaib Maqsood b Rashid 2
Umar Akmal c Buttler b Plunkett 3
Sarfraz Ahmed b Woakes 20
Shahid Afridi c Plunkett b Woakes 24
Anwar Ali not out 3
Sohail Tanvir not out 6
Extras: (lb1, nb2, w6) 9
Total: (for eight wkts; 20 overs) 169
Did not bat: Wahab Riaz
Fall of wickets: 1-51 (Shehzad), 2-60 (Mohmand), 3-90 (Hafeez), 4-93 (Maqsood), 5-017 (Umar), 6-120 (Malik), 7-148 (Afridi), 8-162 (Ahmed)
Bowling: Willey 4-0-44-0 (1w), Woakes 4-0-40-2 (3w), Plunkett 4-0-33-3 (1nb, 1w), Parry 4-0-33-1, Rashid 4-0-18-2
Result: England win by three runs
Umpires: Ahmed Shahab (PAK) and Shozab Raza (PAK)
TV umpire: Ahsan Raza (PAK)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)