Karachi, Sep 26 (IANS) Wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan made 88 while Haris Rauf had an exceptional time in the death overs as Pakistan sealed a dramatic three-run win over England in the fourth T20I at the National Stadium to level the seven-match series 2-2.
After Rizwan's 88 off 67 balls, laced with nine fours and a six, helped Pakistan post 166/5, a total which looked below-par at half-way stage of the match, England's left-arm spin all-rounder Liam Dawson had put England on the doorstep of victory.
Dawson's 34 off just 17 balls, including five successive boundaries in the 18th over against Mohammad Hasnain, left the visitors needing five runs to win off the last 10 balls, with three wickets in hand.
But Rauf brought Pakistan back into the match as Dawson gave a top-edge on pulling a fiery short ball and ended up holing out to mid-wicket.
On the very next ball, Rauf (3/32) castled debutant Olly Stone to leave England in absolute trouble. In the final over, Reece Topley was run out by an alert Shan Masood, who gathered the ball at mid-on, ran towards the non-striker's end and dislodged the bails with an underarm flick in the final over as England were all out for 163 in 19.2 overs, with Pakistan pulling off a heist in their 200th T20I game.
Despite having 166 on board, Pakistan seemed to have got the match in their favour when they ran through the top three to leave England at 14/3 in two overs. Ben Duckett (33), Harry Brook (34) and captain Moeen Ali (29) led the recovery with nice counter-attack for the visitors.
But when the trio fell to leave England at 113/6 in 14.2 overs, Pakistan once again appeared to be in control of the proceedings. Dawson's stunning cameo meant that England were cruising to victory, before Rauf turned the tables in stunning fashion to seal a close win for Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistan had an opening stand of 97 in 11.2 overs as Rizwan and captain Babar Azam looked set to get a big stand. But Azam fell to Dawson in the 12th over, which started a slowdown for Pakistan. Over next five overs, the pair of Rizwan and Masood added only 40 runs, as the hosts failed to capitalise on the death overs.
Masood was trapped lbw in the penultimate over off David Willey while Khushdil Shah and Rizwan fell on the first two balls of the final over off Topley. But Pakistan had a perfect finish as Asif Ali hit two gigantic sixes off the three balls he faced to lift Pakistan to 166, which was enough to seal a dramatic win.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 166/4 in 20 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 88, Babar Azam 36; Reece Topley 2/37, David Willey 1/31) beat England 163 all out in 19.2 overs (Liam Dawson 34, Harry Brook 34; Haris Rauf 3-32, Mohammad Nawaz 3-35) by three runs.
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