Splendid half-centuries from Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan helped England register a comfortable five-wicket win over Pakistan in the second game of the T20I series played at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on Manchester.
In perfect batting conditions, England Captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and opted to bowl first. The decision did not go too well as Pakistan openers Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam got off to an excellent start. The duo put on a 72-run partnership for the opening wicket to lay down foundation for the likes of Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik to play their natural game.
Fakhar Zaman perished in the eighth over of the innings to see lose their first wicket. Left-hander looked fluent in his innings and scored 36 runs off 22 balls with the help of five boundaries and one six.
Captain Babar Azam led from the front with the bat and stitched crucial partnerships with Fakhar Zaman to keep the scoreboard ticking for Pakistan.
Azam notched up his 14th half-century of his T20I career and smashed seven fours in his innings. He was dismissed by Leg-spinner Adil Rashid to see Pakistan lose their second wicket in the 12th over.
All-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik came together and put on a 50-run partnership to help Pakistan post a competitive total on the board.
For Pakistan, Muhammad Hafeez was the standout performer with the bat and finished the innings with the top-score of 69 runs off 36 balls with the help of five fours and four sixes. He was well supported by Malik, who chipped in with 14 runs off 11 balls.
Chasing 196 runs for victory, England openers Tom Banton and Jonny Bairstow got the side off to a brisk start. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan trapped Tom Banton in front of the stumps to see England lose their first wicket.
Jonny Bairstow looked in mesmerizing form and smashed quick-fire 44 runs off 24 balls with the help of four boundaries and two sixes.
England Skipper Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan came to the crease and formed a match-winning partnership of 113 runs to see the home side inch close towards victory.
For England, Morgan was star performer with the bat and finished the innings with the top-score of 66 runs off 33 balls with the help of six fours and four sixes. He was well supported by Dawid Malan, who chipped in with unbeaten half-century to his name.
Malan remained till the end and struck the winning runs to see England complete the chase in the final over of the innings.
For Pakistan, Leg-spinner Shadab Khan claimed three wickets, whereas Haris Rauf took important wickets of Eoin Morgan and Sam Billings.
For his blistering half-century, Eoin Morgan was named player of the match. The third and final game of the T20I series will be played at Manchester on Tuesday.