Chasing 201 races to win in HeadingleyPakistan’s starters got off to a brilliant start at bat, but lost their way after England fast pitcher Saqib Mahmood fired captain Babar Azam (22) in the sixth over.
England tightened their grip in the middle when Adil Rashid eliminated Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood in his second spell.
Spinner Moeen Ali knocked out Mohammad Hafeez and Fakhar Zaman for little money as Pakistan staggered at 95-5.
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Azam Khan was stumped by Matt Parkinson’s broken leg, before Mahmood returned to break the lower order and restrict tourists to 155-9 in 20 overs.
Earlier, Buttler marked his return to the national team with his fourteenth T20I fifty when England was eliminated by 200 with a ball to spare.
Buttler was declared fit after a calf injury and took the captaincy as Eoin Morgan He chose to rest himself in an attempt to rotate his team ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup.
After the hosts lost Jason Roy and Dawid Malan in the first three overs, Buttler and Ali restored order with a spirited 67-race partnership.
Ali eventually fell by 36, catching fast pitcher Mohammad Hasnain halfway, but Buttler picked up England’s race pace alongside late-game hero Liam Livingstone.
Buttler chose the second half of Hasnain’s innings, but Livingstone, who had just scored the fastest 100 in England history, went on to produce another entertaining inning for home fans.
Livingstone had the biggest hit of the day, toning up Haris Rauf’s delivery directly onto the newly constructed football bleacher.
The right-hander was left without 38 of 23 balls before the bottom order added another 35 of the last four overs to bring England’s score to 200 for the second straight game, this time to secure the victory.
Both teams now head to Manchester for the decisive match of the series on Tuesday.