Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow struck fifties as England beat Pakistan by four wickets in the fourth One-Day International between the two sides at Headingley, Leeds on Thursday (September 1).
England, which went 4-0 up in the five-match series with the win, sank to 72 for 4 pursuing a target of 248. But Stokes (69 in 70 balls) and Bairstow (61 in 83), who was only playing on his Yorkshire home ground after Jos Buttler was ruled out with a hamstring injury, got the chase back on track with a fifth-wicket partnership of 103.
Both were dismissed some way off the finish, and Moeen Ali (45 not out in 48) hit Azhar Ali, the Pakistan captain, for six to win the match with 12 balls left.
England was chasing a target that seemed small following its 444 for 3 in the third ODI, but it lost lost four wickets inside 15 overs after Pakistan scored 247 for 8, Azhar's 80 and Imad Wasim's unbeaten 57 the main contributions.
Mohammad Irfan marked his first match of the series by removing both England openers. He produced a rising delivery that Jason Roy edged to Mohmammad Rizwan at second slip, and Alex Hales, fresh from his 171 at Trent Bridge, was then caught behind.
Irfan took 2 for 25 in five overs but then twice went off the field with cramps in his calves and bowled only one more delivery, a wide, before, after pulling up in delivery stride, he walked off for the final time.
Joe Root again looked in superb touch while making 30. But Root fell when his top-edged pull off Hasan Ali was safely caught at fine leg by Irfan. Eoin Morgan then gave his wicket away on 11 when he guided Umar Gul straight to Sharjeel Khan at slip.
Stokes went on the offensive straightaway by driving Wasim for six over long-on. Bairstow followed suit by skipping down the pitch to drive Mohammad Nawaz for another six.
Stokes, with England 116 for 4, was fortunate on 35 when a diving Nawaz at backward square could not hold a top-edged sweep off Wasim. He went on to get a run-a-ball fifty, including five fours and a six, before slog-sweeping Wasim to Babar Azam at mid-wicket.
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. His innings included four fours and a six.
Earlier, Adil Rashid and Moeen shared five wickets between them after Azhar won the toss, with Rashid taking 3 for 47.
Azhar held firm as wickets tumbled around him, his 104-ball innings featuring two sixes and five fours, before ending when he lofted Rashid to David Willey on the long-off boundary. The only other innings of substance in the Pakistan batting effort came from Wasim, who came in at the fall of Azhar’s wicket at 169 for 6, and lifted Pakistan to a competitive score with his unbeaten half-century, scored off 41 balls with seven fours and a six.