|Second one-day international, The Ageas Bowl|
|England 373-3 (50 overs): Buttler 110*, Roy 87, Morgan 71*|
|Pakistan 361-7 (50 overs): Fakhar 138, Willey 2-57, Plunkett 2-64|
|England won by 12 runs|
England clung on to win an action-packed second one-day international against Pakistan by 12 runs in Southampton.
The home side were powered to 373-3 by Jos Buttler’s spectacular 50-ball century, the second-fastest by an England batsman in ODIs.
That came after Jason Roy (87), Eoin Morgan (71 not out), Jonny Bairstow (51) and Joe Root (40) all made contributions.
Pakistan remained in the game through a brutal hundred from opener Fakhar Zaman.
Even after he was out for 138 (106 balls) at the end of the 33rd over, Asif Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed kept the tourists in touch.
However, under extreme pressure, England pace bowlers David Willey and Liam Plunkett held their nerve and the wickets they took saw the required rate become unmanageable.
Nineteen were needed from the final over, delivered by Chris Woakes, who expertly sent down a series of wide yorkers to leave Pakistan 361-7.
England take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. The third game is in Bristol on Tuesday (13:00 BST).
England’s World Cup qualities tested
With only three matches to go before they must finalise their World Cup squad, tournament favourites England were given a thorough examination by a spirited Pakistan.
On a day when bowlers of all kinds struggled for assistance, England’s batting once again demonstrated its embarrassment of riches, with Buttler, whose newborn daughter Georgia was in the stands, as the crown jewel.
But the identity of their first-choice pace attack is still a way from being decided and, in the batter-friendly conditions, those on show in Southampton were given a real test of nerve.
Indeed, without the hostility of the rested Jofra Archer, the pace of Mark Wood and the skills of Tom Curran, for long periods England looked one-paced and lacking in variety.
However, Woakes returned to remove Fakhar, while Plunkett and Willey delivered at the death when the pressure was really on.
Plunkett hammered his length and trusted his slower balls for 2-64, while Willey’s yorkers left him with excellent figures of 2-57.
Brilliant Buttler lifts England
England will arrive at the World Cup with the strongest top seven in the tournament, and here they decimated a wayward Pakistan attack without even having to call on Ben Stokes or Moeen Ali.
Roy displayed on-side power and made lofts over cover, Bairstow scored off his pads and harried between the wickets, Root accumulated with anonymous efficiency and Morgan cracked handsome drives.
But it was the outrageous hitting of Buttler that left the fielders redundant and the spectators vying to take catches.
The wicketkeeper arrived at the beginning of the 36th over when England were 211-3. Thanks to a diet of long-hops from leg-spinner Yasir Shah, he hit his second ball for six and the next two for four.
From then on, there was nowhere to bowl at the right-hander. First the leg-side rope was cleared with ease, then the ball was flicked and ramped over his shoulder and finally he lofted glorious maximums over long-off.
His first 50 came from 33 balls, the second 50 from 17. At the end of the devastation, he was left unbeaten on 110 with the thrilled Southampton crowd on their feet to applaud him back to the pavilion.
The unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 162 between Buttler and Morgan came from only 89 deliveries.
England resist Pakistan assault
Despite England’s massive total, left-hander Fakhar took Pakistan to a position from which they could, and probably should, have won.
As the home pacers erred too regularly on to the pads, Fakhar peppered the leg-side boundary, sharing stands of 92 with Imam-ul-Haq and 135 with Babar Azam.
Just as England seemed out of answers, Fakhar reached for a wide delivery from Woakes and gave a feather to Buttler that was only detected on review.
When Babar was caught and bowled by Adil Rashid in the following over for 51, England looked to have taken control, only for Asif to pick up the assault.
He smashed four sixes while also mixing breathless running between the wickets with Sarfaraz. Even after Asif was caught at long-off off Willey, Rashid went for 17 in the 46th over to keep the contest just about alive.
However, Imad Wasim miscued Willey to Buttler in the 48th over and Faheem Ashraf chipped Plunkett to mid-off in the 49th, leaving too much for Sarfaraz and Hasan Ali to do in the 50th.
Willey impresses in battle for a World Cup place
England Test bowler James Anderson on Test Match Special: “David Willey executed his skills brilliantly. He was the pick of England’s bowlers today.
“They aren’t the best figures but as a bowler you are happy with anything under 60 off your 10 overs in ODI cricket these days.
“It puts another doubt in the selectors’ minds. Do you leave Willey out if Jofra Archer is going to come in?”
Test Match Special commentator Daniel Norcross: “David Willey bowled quite superbly at the death today.
“Until those last couple of overs, England looked like they sorely missed Jofra Archer’s pace and Tom Curran’s variety, but came good in the end.
“I genuinely have no idea whom they’ll pick come the WC. Good arguments for all the seamers.”
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed: “It’s hard to take when we are very close.
“I’m very proud of the team – the way Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Asif Ali are playing, it’s a great sign for upcoming matches.
“T20 cricket is definitely helping us. If you play that, you know how to play in these type of matches.