Jos Buttler blasts century as England edge Pakistan in run-fest

Jos Buttler blasts century as England edge Pakistan in run-fest

Eoin Morgan lauded Jos Buttler for his "freakish" 55-ball knock that helped England to victory over Pakistan in the second one-day global. Fakhar Zaman's 138 and fifties from Babar Azam and Asif Ali followed by an unbeaten 41 from skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed nearly got Pakistan home before a 19 run target in the last over proved too much for the visitors, who finished with 361/7.

Joe Root fell for 40 following a brief rain interruption, bringing Morgan and Buttler together and the pair put on 162 for the fourth wicket with the captain contributing an unbeaten 71 off 48 balls. "I don't have it but it's great to watch". "I certainly don't have it". Imam was soon dismissed for 35 as Moeen Ali had him caught and bowled, though.

But when both batsmen fell in successive overs, it seemed their chance of an improbable win had gone with them. "We've seen other guys around the world show it's possible".

"It's definitely hard to take, getting so close, the way my team responded because it was not an easy target to chase", he said.

Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman scored 138 in a losing cause against England.

Earlier, such was Buttler's command his second fifty took a mere 18 balls, with the wicket-keeper making a "rocking the baby" gesture - after the birth of his daughter two weeks ago - to celebrate his century.

Alterations in field and bouncer restrictions, a reduction in the number of overs in an ODI, generally shorter boundaries and the change to a ball from each end as opposed to just one for a full duration of an innings, make comparisons across the generations arguably even harder than they would be in Test cricket.

He also swept and drove Adil Rashid for two fours in the leg-spinner's first over.

The plaudits will fall, and rightly so, to Buttler, who ended on 110* from 55 balls, the second-fastest ODI hundred by an Englishman - after his own 46-ball record - and demonstrated his exquisite power and timing as he dispatched six fours and nine sixes during his beguiling innings. However, just as it looked that the pair would comfortably take Pakistan to a win, Zaman slashed out to a ball from Chris Woakes that was declared wide.

The series continues at Bristol on Tuesday.

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