Karachi, Sep 24 (IANS): England scored a thumping 63-run win over Pakistan in the third T20I, with middle-order batters Ben Duckett (70 not out) and Harry Brook (81 not out) first helping the visitors to a mammoth 221/3 and then the hosts being restricted to 158/8 at the National Stadium here on Friday evening.
With the victory, England have taken a 2-1 lead in the series, and the triumph comes just a day after the visitors had suffered a humiliating 10-wicket thrashing at the same venue.
This was England's highest T20I score at this stadium, and came on the back of a scorching undefeated 139-run stand between Duckett and Brook.
The pair was unforgiving throughout their stay in the middle scoring at an amazing rate of over two runs per ball. Duckett made his unbeaten 70 off 42 balls with eight fours and a six, but it was Brook who was at his devastating best in the death, smashing 44 off only 17 in his 81 not out off 35 (eight fours and five sixes).
England were 89/3 and shifted gears after the drinks break at the halfway stage of the innings, scoring in double-figures every over. The pair added 132 in the last 10 overs, with 69 of them being added to the visitors' total in the last five.
Mohammad Hasnain was superb with the new ball, hitting perfect line and length consistently, as his first two overs leaked only 10 and got the wicket of Phil Salt, who was beaten by the pace trying to pull the right-armer's short-pitched delivery.
Will Jacks, the debutant who replaced Alex Hales at the top of the order, announced his arrival at the international stage with a 22-ball 40 (eight fours) and made sure his team continued at an imposing run rate during the powerplay, hitting half of his boundaries in his 36 off 17 by the end of the first six.
Usman Qadir provided the breakthrough on the second ball of his first over -- the seventh of the innings - by bowling a googly and taking the pace off it against Dawid Malan, who holed out to deep midwicket after an inside edge while attempting a reverse sweep had gone for four.
Duckett began his innings with two fours in four balls, and seemed to be building a partnership with Jacks, but the latter holed out on another Qadir googly. Qadir finished with two for 48 in four. On a day when England scored at a run rate of over 11 an over, Mohammad Nawaz (none for 34) and Haris Rauf (none for 39) finished under the economy rate of 10.
Pakistan required a solid start, but Mark Wood, playing his first international since November 2021 because of an injury lay-off, struck fourth ball (in the third over of the run chase) with the wicket of Babar Azam, who handed an easy catch to Reece Topley playing an uppercut.
Topley struck next over rattling Mohammad Rizwan's stumps, before Adil Rashid grabbed a stunning catch at square leg off Wood, the next over, to send Haider Ali back, according to pcb.com.pk. The sixth over brought the wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed as Pakistan lost four wickets in the powerplay.
Brief scores: England 221/3 in 20 overs (Harry Brook 81 not out, Ben Duckett 70 not out, Will Jacks 40; Usman Qadir 2/48) beat Pakistan 158/8 in 20 overs (Shan Masood 65 not out, Khushdil Shah 29; Mark Wood 3/24, Adil Rashid 2/32) by 63 runs.