Moeen Ali heroics in vain as Pakistan take series lead over England
Stand-in skipper Moeen Ali came close to hitting England out of trouble at the death only to be bested by a debutant as Pakistan took control of the Twenty20 series for the first time.
The hosts were bowled out for just 145 in Lahore, Mark Wood excelling again as he took three for 20 and hit 95mph, but an England batting line-up missing the likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone mis-fired for the second game in a row.
Moeen took them within one blow of victory, hitting 51 not out in 37 balls, but newcomer Aamer Jamal sent down some superb wide yorkers after being trusted with the final over of the match and closed out a five-run win.
Having failed to make 167 last time out they finished on 139 for seven, slipping 3-2 behind with two to play.
Both of England’s free-hitting openers fell cheaply as a modest chase endured a rocky start, Alex Hales slashing Mohammad Nawaz to backward point and Phil Salt pulling Haris Rauf’s first ball to deep midwicket.
Their combined return was four runs from nine balls, enough to give England pause over what had seemed a simple equation.
Ben Duckett appeared to have the answers, stroking two of his first four deliveries to the boundary, but he was gone for 10 when he threw the bat at width from Mohammad Wasim and failed to clear deep third.
Dawid Malan was the last man standing from the top order, but was living on his luck as he mixed a handful of boundaries with even more plays and misses outside off. He emerged from the powerplay on 25, having yet to really find his rhythm.
Any hopes that England’s leading run-scorer on the trip would bring some fluency ended as Harry Brook played around a straight one from Shadab Khan and fell lbw after a shrewd DRS call.
Malan had always looked an unlikely saviour, hanging in rather than dictating, and his battle ended when Iftikhar Ahmed trapped him leg-before from round the wicket.
Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, back after a six-month absence, came and went but Moeen was hitting the ball sweetly enough to give his team a chance.
The ask went from 49 off four overs to 15 off the last, but while Moeen smashed his fourth six to ensure it would go to the last ball, it was Jamal who showed real steel as he snuck through three dots.
Middlesex relegated from Division One as Kent survive on dramatic final day
Middlesex fell just short of the victory they needed at Nottinghamshire to stay up instead of Kent.
England captain Jos Buttler believes India are favourites for World Cup
The last three editions of the Cricket World Cup – India in 2011, Australia in 2015 and England in 2019 – have been won by the host nation.
Surrey retain County Championship title after Essex batting collapse
The holders have been crowned champions for the 21st time.
Geoffrey Boycott: Everybody in Newcastle hates Mike Ashley amid Headingley links
The PA news agency understands the Frasers Group, where Ashley is chief executive, is one of the parties interested in purchasing Headingley.
Essex’s slim hopes of winning County Championship dented by Northamptonshire
Essex need at least 400 to have any chance of claiming top spot.
Matthew Mott: Jofra Archer ‘desperate to play but realistic’ ahead of World Cup
The 28-year-old is not expected to be ready to return to action until the tournament is close to a conclusion.
Umpire Sue Redfern makes history in County Championship match at Glamorgan
Redfern became the first woman to stand as an umpire in a men’s first-class match in England and Wales.
England’s summer ends in soggy fashion and prompts a call for innovation
The one-day international against Ireland at Bristol was abandoned.
England win ODI series against Ireland after play is abandoned at Bristol
Ben Duckett had scored a century and Phil Salt 61 off just 28 balls before rain stopped play.