Morgan leads England to 5-wicket win vs Pakistan in 2nd T20

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — England captain Eoin Morgan smashed 66 runs off 33 balls to help his side to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the second Twenty20 international on Sunday.

Pakistan scored a challenging 195-4 after losing the toss at Old Trafford before England finished on 199-5 in 19.1 overs.

England openers Jonny Bairstow (44) and Tom Banton (20) shared a 66-run partnership. When they departed in the space of two balls, Morgan came in to hit six fours and four sixes to keep the momentum going.

He was dismissed with 18 required in the last three overs but Dawid Malan, the junior partner in a match-changing 112-run stand with Morgan, went to another fifty to help England over the line with five balls to spare.

Malan’s unbeaten 54 in 36 balls — his seventh 50-plus score in only 12 T20 innings — helped England move into a 1-0 series lead on a day when the BBC screened live coverage of a cricket match for the first time in 21 years.

Morgan is averaging 48.4 with a strike-rate of 174.1 in the 14 T20s he has played for England since the start of last year, and the Irishman put his form down to the security he feels in his role.

“Even before the series started, within T20 cricket in the last two years in internationals and some domestic are my best numbers to date which is great,” Morgan said. He added: “Before I became captain, jumping up and down the order I didn’t feel that comfortable with it, but now that it’s my decision I feel more at ease.”

Pakistan’s innings, bolstered by 56 from 44 balls from captain Babar Azam and a more belligerent 69 from 36 deliveries by Mohammad Hafeez, was in vain and it now must win the third and final T20 on Tuesday to avoid a series defeat.

The first T20 was abandoned as a no result because of rain in Manchester on Friday.

England won a rain-affected test series 1-0.

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