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England get World Cup lift with big win over Pakistan

England will head into the defence of their T20 World Cup title on the back of a 2-0 series victory over Pakistan after coasting to a seven-wicket win at The Oval.

After restricting Pakistan to 157 all out, England powered to their target with 27 balls remaining largely thanks to Phil Salt's 45 and Jos Buttler's 39 in their opening stand of 82.

Harry Brook (17 not out) saw England home with a six, with Jonny Bairstow, in the middle with him, on 28 off 16.

Two of the matches in the series were washed out, denting the World Cup preparations of both teams.

The tournament staged jointly in the United States and the Caribbean starts on Saturday, with England's opening match against Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday and Pakistan playing for the first time on June 6 against the US.

On this evidence, it will be England fighting for the title and not Pakistan.

"There's a good feeling around the squad," Buttler said, "and they are all stepping up and performing."

Put in to bat, Pakistan went hard early in the rain and reached 0-59 by the final ball of the powerplay - the opening six overs - when Jofra Archer (1-31) removed Babar Azam (36 off 22) in the fit-again fast bowler's second over.

Pakistan lost three wickets in nine balls to slump from 2-83 to 5-86 before going off for rain on 5-91 after 10.4 overs.

On the resumption, Liam Livingstone had a double-wicket maiden, starting with Usman Khan (38) departing to a brilliant diving catch from Chris Jordan at long-on.

England were clinical in the field and ruthless with the bat, not least Buttler on his return to the squad after leaving to be present for the birth of his third child early this week.

Buttler hit 84 in the second match of the series, which England won by 23 runs, and smashed seven fours and a six at The Oval as he and Salt raced along at a similar rate.

They were 0-78 after the powerplay, before Salt holed out in the deep to be the first of three wickets for Haris Rauf (3-38 off 3.3 overs).

Will Jacks struck 20 at No.3 before Bairstow and Brook - two more big hitters in England's powerful top five - finished off Pakistan.