Captain Moeen Ali led the way with a frantic half-century as England went 200 for five in the second Twenty20 against Pakistan in Karachi.
After chasing 159 in Tuesday’s opener, the Tourists left a much tougher hunt for their opponents as Moeen hit four sixes and four fours in a midrange assault that earned him 55 steps in 23 balls.
He relied on the good work of Ben Duckett, who shot 43 at a nearly 200 strike rate at number four to make his recall for this series.
England got off to a good start after winning the coin toss, Phil Salt and Alex Hales making 42 from the first five overs. Salt hit his fourth delivery for six longer and Hales saw a thick advantage over Mohammad Hasnain in third deep, with four limits to keep the score moving.
Shahnawaz Dahani seriously dented his progress in the sixth, shaking the stumps with successive balls. Hales, fresh off a half-century in his return game, was foxed by an in-cutter as his bails were cut on 26 and new hitter Dawid Malan was knocked down around his legs for a golden duck then that he was going through.
The hat-trick ball was well-headed by Dahani but well-defended by Duckett, who backed up to step up a gear. He showed his range with some deft scoops on the keeper, nailed his reverse sweeps and at one point took four limits from eight balls as England accelerated. However, Salt had slowed down and he was knocked out by Haris Rauf for 30 minutes.
Duckett followed in the next game, launched a fine leg kick attempt as Mohammad Nawaz ended a costly spell with something to show for his efforts.
Pakistan’s success backfired as the middle duo of Harry Brook and Moeen upped the ante with a flurry of four sixes. The skipper attacked the spin, launching Usman Qadir twice in a row, while Brook picked up the pace as Rauf and Hasnain covered the distance.
Brook paid the price for a misjudged ramp, falling for 31 for 19, but Moeen was dropped hard by Khushdil Shad and made the defenseman pay as he finished the innings with two more hits for six.