Rizwan and Rauf star in thriller as Pakistan level T20I series against England

Rizwan and Rauf star in thriller as Pakistan level T20I series against England

Mohammad Rizwan and Haris Rauf starred as Pakistan clinched a three-run victory over England to level their T20I series at 2-2 after a stunning match in Karachi.

Captain Babar Azam and Rizwan combined for an opening partnership of 97 as Pakistan posted 166-4, setting a target that England would have fancied chasing down.

Yet the visitors were unable to get there, despite a determined rally from Liam Dawson, leaving Pakistan to celebrate victory in what was their 200th T20I.

Rauf picked up three prized wickets, including that of Dawson, to take the player of the match award.

After both made just eight in the third match, Babar and Rizwan this time rekindled the form they showed in the second contest of this series when Pakistan swept to a 10-wicket win.

Babar made a handy 36 before being caught by Ben Duckett off Dawson's bowling, but Rizwan ploughed on to reach 88, eventually falling to Reece Topley in the final over.

Shan Masood made 21 and Asif Ali clattered two late sixes in 13no from three balls, as Pakistan pushed up their score.

The home team had work to do with the ball but came out firing, taking early wickets to dismiss Phil Salt (8), Alex Hales (5) and Will Jacks (0) in the first two overs of England's reply, as Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Hasnain made inroads.

England found batting rhythm through Duckett, striking three consecutive boundaries, although Nawaz put down a sitter to drop Harry Brook before he dismissed Duckett lbw for 33 in the eighth over.

Captain Moeen Ali made 29 and Brook fell for 34, before Dawson looked like winning it with a gallant effort for England. He reached 34 at breakneck speed, but a brilliant over from Rauf (3-32) halted the fightback as he had Dawson caught before bowling Olly Stone with the next delivery.

It meant England went from 162-7 to 162-9, and Masood ran out Topley in the final over to finish the contest, with three matches remaining in the series as the teams head for Lahore.

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Rizwan and Babar set record

Pakistan's opening pair of Babar and Rizwan became the first batting duo to register 2,000 runs as partners in men's T20I cricket, coming into the day with 1,946 and smashing their way through the landmark figure.

The duo also equalled Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul's record of 14 partnerships scoring above 50 in T20Is.

Dawson drives recovery

England looked to be down and out heading into the final few overs, but Dawson's blistering display with the bat took advantage of some lacklustre bowling to briefly change the tide of the game.

His runs came from just 17 balls and contained five fours and a six, providing a glimpse of a comeback, but he was unable to finish the job.

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