Buttler's ton eclipses Fakhar's blitz as England edges past Pakistan

Fakhar Zaman's riposte — 138 off 106 balls — plus useful contributions of 51 each from Babar Azam and Asif Ali took Pakistan to the doorsteps of victory before it fell short by 12 runs, Pakistan’s innings ending at 361 for seven in its allotted 50 overs.

Buttler’s 110 not out featured nine sixes, including a straight drive off Hasan Ali that took him to three figures.   -  AFP

Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman almost pulled off the improbable with a blistering display of fireworks with the bat against England here on Saturday. The host seemingly had the second One-Day International against Pakistan all but sewed up when Jos Buttler’s stunning 50-ball century took it to 373 for three.

But Fakhar’s riposte — 138 off 106 balls — plus useful contributions of 51 each from Babar Azam and Asif Ali took the visitor to the doorsteps of victory before it fell short by 12 runs, Pakistan’s innings ending at 361 for seven in its allotted 50 overs.

Earlier, Buttler’s 110 not out featured nine sixes, including a straight drive off Hasan Ali that took him to three figures.

Such was his command that Buttler’s second fifty took him a mere 18 balls, with the new father making a ‘rocking the baby’ gesture to celebrate bringing up a century that also included four fours.

An extraordinary ‘inside out’ six off Hasan over long-off was arguably the pick of his shots, although a pull off Shaheen Shah Afridi that cleared the rope and took him into the 90s was almost as impressive.

Together with England captain Eoin Morgan (71 not out), he shared an unbroken partnership of 162.