Phil Salt was at his brutal best as he hammered a belligerent 88 not out off just 41 and England chased down 170 with 33 balls to spare in the sixth T20I against Pakistan in Lahore. With the eight-wicket win, Moeen Ali's men leveled the series 3-3.
Salt and his opening partner Alex Hales came out all guns blazing and England's score at the end of the powerplay was 82 for one, their second-best in the first six in T20Is.
Salt's fifty came off 19 balls, the third-fastest by an England batter. The right-hander was very strong down the ground and also square of the wicket on either side. At one stage, it looked like he would break Liam Livingstone's record of fastest T20I hundred by an Englishman but Salt slowed down a bit into the 70s.
He hit 13 fours and three sixes in his career-best T20I knock and bagged the player-of-the-match award. England chased down 170 in 14.3 overs which was the third-quickest 160-plus chase in T20Is (in terms of overs faced).
Babar Azam, after a couple of below par outings, returned to form. The Pakistan captain, en route to his brilliant unbeaten 87 off 59 balls, reached the milestone of 3000 T20I runs as the fifth batter. The right-hander became the joint-fastest batter to achieve the feat (in terms of innings) - in 81 innings.
Only Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Martin Guptill and Paul Stirling had scored 3,000 runs before Babar in the shortest format of the game. Former Indian skipper Kohli is the quickest batter to score 3,000 runs in T20I cricket. Kohli achieved the massive milestone in 81 innings. Babar matched Kohli's feat on Friday.
Babar reached his fifty off 41 balls but accelerated later to take Pakistan to 169 for six. Babar's next 37 runs came off just 18 balls. He hit seven boundaries and three sixes in his unbeaten knock.
In the absence of Mohammad Rizwan, Babar anchored Pakistan's innings and got decent support from Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz.
The two teams will meet each other in the series decider on Sunday.