KARACHI: Openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s unbeaten 203-run partnership helped Pakistan record a stunning 10-wicket victory over England in the second T20I in Karachi on Thursday.
Azam scored an unbeaten 110 for his second T20I century while Rizwan scored an unbeaten 88 as the pair completed the 200-run chase in 19.3 overs at a packed National Stadium.
With a combined 1,929 runs, the Azam-Rizwan partnership has become the most impressive in T20Is, surpassing Indian stars Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma’s record of 1,743 runs in 51 matches.
Azam and Rizwan have achieved this record in just 36 matches.
The win leveled the seven-match series 1-1 after England won the first match by six wickets in Karachi on Tuesday.
Azam, who scored just 68 runs in six matches at the Asia Cup earlier this month, hit five sixes and 11 fours in 66 balls, while Rizwan hit four sixes and five fours in his 51-ball innings.
Azam’s century came off 62 balls, adding to his 122 against South Africa at Centurion last year.
The pair reached 100 in just 11.2 overs – their seventh centuries together in T20I cricket.
Rizwan, who was dismissed by Alex Hales off Liam Dawson on 23, completed his half-century in 30 balls while Azam scored a half-century in 39 balls.
It was Pakistan’s second 10-wicket win in the format after their first win against India in the T20 World Cup last year.
The pair also improved on their 197-run opening innings against South Africa last year.
Earlier, England’s stand-in captain Moeen Ali scored a blistering half-century to take his side to 199-5 after batting first after winning the toss.
Moeen hit four sixes and as many fours on his unbeaten 55 off 23 balls.
Ben Duckett (43), Harry Brook (31) and Hales (30) also contributed as England scored 119 runs in the last 10 overs.
Moeen hit two brilliant sixes on the last two balls of fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain’s innings.
Fast bowlers Harris Rauf (2-30) and Shahnawaz Dahani (2-37) were the pick of Pakistan’s bowlers.
England is on its first tour to Pakistan in 17 years.
The next matches will be held in Karachi on Friday and Sunday.