Leeds - Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow both made fifties as
England beat Pakistan by four wickets in the fourth one-day international at
Headingley on Thursday.
England, now 4-0 up in this five-match series, slumped to 72
for four pursuing a target of 248.
But Stokes (69) and wicket-keeper Bairstow (61), only
playing on his Yorkshire home ground after Jos Buttler was ruled out in the
warm-up with a hamstring injury, got the innings back on track with a
fifth-wicket partnership of 103.
Neither batsman was in at the finish of this day/night
fixture, with Moeen Ali (45 not out) hitting Pakistan captain Azhar Ali for six
to win the match with 12 balls to spare.
"I'm pleased to get a go," Bairstow told BBC
"It's unfortunate that Jos suffered an injury, and I
got told 32 minutes before the start that I was playing so to contribute was
"We thought it was an attainable target and if we're
honest, we cruised home. There was no panic at any point in that chase,"
England were chasing a target that seemed all the more
modest after their world ODI record total of 444 for three during a 169-run win
in the third match at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.
But they lost four wickets inside 15 overs of their reply to
a Pakistan total of 247 for eight built on Azhar's 80 and all-rounder Imad
Wasim's unbeaten 57.
"It was a bit more of a competitive game," said
Azhar at the presentation ceremony. "Again we were a few runs short...The
wicket was turning but it was still a good pitch. But we lost wickets
Giant fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, a late-call up to the
squad, marked his first match of the series by removing both England openers.
The 7ft 1in (2.16m) Irfan produced a rising delivery that
Jason Roy (14) could only edge and Mohmammad Rizwan held a fine catch diving to
his left at second slip.
Alex Hales, who had made an England ODI record 171 at Trent
Bridge on Tuesday, then fell for eight when he was caught behind off Irfan, who
was twice warned for running on the pitch.
Irfan took two for 25 in five overs but then twice went on
and off the field and bowled only one more delivery, a wide, before, after
pulling up in delivery stride, he walked off for the final time.
"Irfan on his comeback game bowled well with the new
ball, but his calves were cramping up," said Azhar.
"We would have loved for him to bowl a second and third
spell. A few more wickets and the game could have been different," he
Joe Root, bidding for a new outright England record of six
consecutive ODI fifties, again looked in superb touch while making 30.
But Root, one of five Yorkshire players in the side, fell
when his top-edged pull off Hasan Ali was safely caught at fine leg by Irfan.
England captain Eoin Morgan then gave his wicket away on 11
when he guided Umar Gul straight to Sharjeel Khan at slip.
Left-hander Stokes went on the offensive by driving Wasim
for six over long-on.
Man-of-the-match Bairstow followed suit by skipping down the
pitch to drive Mohammad Nawaz, Pakistan's other left-arm spinner, for another
Stokes, with England 116 for four, was fortunate on 35 when
a diving Nawaz at backward square could not hold a top-edged sweep off Wasim.
He went on a run-a-ball fifty, including five fours and a
Stokes was out when he slog-swept Wasim to Babar Azam at
Bairstow completed a 64-ball fifty with his fourth four, a
fierce drive off Nawaz.
However, going for a risky single, he was run out by Azhar's
direct hit from mid-off.
Earlier, England slow bowlers Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali
shared five wickets between them after Azhar won the toss, with Yorkshire
leg-spinner Rashid taking three for 47.
Azhar held firm as wickets tumbled around him. His 104-ball
innings featuring two sixes and five fours, eventually ended when he lofted
Rashid to David Willey on the long-off boundary.
The series concludes in Cardiff on Sunday.