Jos Buttler hits 84 as England set Pakistan 184 to win

Jos Buttler smashed 84 to help England set Pakistan 184 to win the second match of the Vitality T20 international series at Edgbaston.

Buttler’s second highest T20 international score proved the foundation of England’s 183 for seven, but it could have been even better had Pakistan not produced an impressive fightback.

England collapsed from 144 for two to 169 for seven before Jofra Archer marked his long awaited comeback with 12 not out, which included a six off Muhammad Amir to help the hosts post their second best T20 international score in Birmingham.

Jos Buttler plays a reverse hit against Pakistan
Jos Buttler starred for England (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Archer was the headline news before the start of play when he was included in the XI by Buttler to make his first international appearance on English soil since 2020 after a string of injury-hit years.

Babar Azam ensured Archer would not get an immediate run-out after he won the toss and put the hosts into bat.

Buttler soon signalled his intent with two scorching fours down the ground off Shaheen Afridi’s second over, but the introduction of left-arm spinner Imad Wasim after four overs accounted for Phil Salt.

Shaheen produced an excellent catch after he ran in from long-on to dismiss Salt for 13, which sparked huge celebrations from those in green at Edgbaston and brought Will Jacks to the crease.

Jacks blitzed 15 runs off Haris Rauf, including a sumptuous drive for six, to help England reach 53 for one at the end of the powerplay.

The runs continued to flow with Buttler quick to target Shadab Khan, sweeping him for six before three fours were crashed off the second over of the Pakistan leg-spinner to bring up the half-century partnership with Jacks.

Haris Rauf, centre, celebrates the wicket of Will Jacks
Haris Rauf, centre, celebrates the wicket of Will Jacks (Bradley Collyer/PA)

England’s momentum was checked when Rauf returned with a slower delivery to end Jacks’ fine knock on 37 from 23 balls and deny him a maiden T20 international fifty.

Jonny Bairstow entered the fray at four and survived a poor review from Babar, but it remained the Buttler show.

A wonderful ramp shot for six brought up the England captain’s half-century off 34 balls before a reverse sweep for another maximum proved the catalyst for a 20-run over off Shadab.

Bairstow had started to get into his groove with a flick off his pads for six off Shaheen, but a slower ball by the Pakistan seamer sent him back to the dugout for 21 and Harry Brook was bowled cheaply by Imad, who finished with two for 19.

Buttler remained at the crease and after he pulled Amir to the boundary rope, he sent Rauf back over his head for four to move on to 84.

The England captain would be denied a second T20 international hundred through when he holed out to long-off where Shadab claimed the catch to leave the hosts on 164 for five.

Shaheen accounted for Moeen Ali and Chris Jordan to finish with three for 36, which allowed Archer an entertaining cameo with the bat.

Archer hit 12 off Amir’s final over, cutting the seamer away for four from his first ball before he smashed him over long-on for six to help England set 184 to win in sunny conditions in Birmingham.