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ENG vs PAK, 4th T20: Buttler, Salt power England to win over Pakistan in World Cup warm-up


England cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the fourth T20 international at The Oval on Thursday to claim the rain-affected series 2-0 ahead of the T20 World Cup starting next week.

Jos Buttler, returning to the side after the birth of his third child, won the toss and opted to bowl under grey clouds which promised plenty of movement for England’s quick bowlers.

Mark Wood hit 154 kph (96 mph) in his opening spell while Jofra Archer showed pace as he continues his return to England duty, though Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam propelled Pakistan to 59-0.

But Babar (36) fell off the final ball of the powerplay and Rizwan (23) was out in the following over as the visitors slumped to 86-5, with spinner Adil Rashid (2-27) exerting control.

Usman Khan (38), in the Pakistan side for the out of form Saim Ayub, showed some fight to bolster his World Cup chances as the visitors posted a below-par total of 157.

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Phil Salt (45) and Buttler (39) broke the back of the chase, smashing 78 from the first six overs, both caught off the bowling of the impressive Haris Rauf (3-38).

Will Jacks (20) hit a massive six and was clean bowled by Rauf next ball, before Jonny Bairstow (28 not out) and Harry Brook (17 not out) took England to a comfortable win, the latter finishing off the chase in the 16th over with a six.

Thursday’s contest was both sides’ final game before they depart on Friday for the T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.

England begin its title defence against Scotland in Bridgetown on Tuesday while Pakistan get its campaign underway against the U.S. in Dallas on June 6.

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