Manchester, Aug 30: Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan struck brilliant half-centuries as England made their highest Twenty20 International total against Pakistan to win a thriller by five wickets and take a 1-0 series lead.
Mohammad Hafeez (69 off 34 balls) and Babar Azam (56 from 44) took Pakistan up to an imposing 195-4 in the second match of the series at Old Trafford, two days after the opener was abandoned due to rain.
Jonny Bairstow laid the platform for England with a rapid 44, but they were 66-2 in the seventh over with Shadab Khan on a hat-trick after dismissing the wicketkeeper-batsman and Tom Banton.
Morgan blasted 66 off 33 balls in a third-wicked stand of 112 with Malan (54 not out), who hit the winning runs off the first ball of the last over to complete their third-highest successful T20 chase.
Babar and Fakhar Zaman (36) got the tourists off to a flyer after Morgan put them in, but Adil Rashid (2-32) ended an opening stand of 72 in the ninth over when the left-hander was taken by Banton.
The captain crunched Rashid for his seventh boundary wide of extra cover to reach a 37-ball half-century and Hafeez reached 2,000 T20I runs landmark by hooking Mahmood over the ropes.
Babar fell tamely to Rashid, but Hafeez took centre stage, imperiously launching Tom Curran for two sixes in a 16th over that cost 23 before departing in the last over of a brilliant innings for Pakistan.
Bairstow struck two sixes as England raced to 50 off 29 balls in a great start to the run chase, but his swashbuckling 24-ball knock ended when he top-edged Shadab to Imad Wasim.
Banton (20) was trapped in front off the next ball and Morgan survived a big lbw later in that brilliant over, an umpire's call verdict that Pakistan were left to rue along with the loss of Mohammad Amir to a hamstring injury.
Morgan and Malan cashed in on a great track to take England well on their way to victory, the captain facing just 27 balls to make his 13th T20I half-century.
The powerful Morgan cleared the ropes four times and although he was sent on his way by Haris Rauf in the 17th over, the composed Malan sealed it with a four after Sam Billings put England on the verge of victory with a couple of sublime boundaries.
A message from the skipper!— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 30, 2020
A fantastic chase by our batsmen today 🔥 pic.twitter.com/cIe5fYUVQH
Hafeez makes up for lost time, more brilliance from Babar
All-rounder Hafeez had not batted in a competitive match since featuring in the Pakistan Super League in March, but the veteran made up for lost time.
Hafeez turns 40 in October, but showed he has plenty of cricket left in him yet as he took the England attack to all parts, including drives and swats down the ground for four as he made a 12th T20 half-century for his country.
Babar timed the ball majestically from the start, showing how he rose to the top of the rankings in another high quality innings after making two half-centuries in the Test series loss to England.
Morgan and Malan masterclass
England needed a rebuilt when Shadab saw the back of both openers with, Banton - who scored a blistering half-century on Friday - foxed by a top spinner to follow Bairstow into the pavilion.
Experienced left-handers Morgan and Malan showed they were just the men for the job, the skipper taking the role of chief aggressor with some stunning clean striking.
Malan showed what great touch he is in when he creamed Shaheen Afridi for a sixth four of a classy knock to give England a series lead with one match to play at the same venue on Tuesday.