England recorded an emphatic eight-wicket win in their sixth T20 international in Pakistan, levelling the series at 3-3 ahead of Sunday’s decider.

Phil Salt hit 87 off just 41 balls while fellow opener Alex Hales raced to a rapid 27, this after Sam Curran took a pair of wickets as Pakistan were limited to 169-6 for their innings in Lahore.

Set a target of 170 to win after putting the hosts in to bat, the tourists cruised to victory with 33 balls to spare.

Following captain Moeen Ali’s criticism of his side’s top-order batting in the six-run loss on Wednesday, England’s batters raced out of the blocks as Salt clipped Mohammad Nawaz’s spinning opening two deliveries for a pair of fours.

The Lancashire batter showed no mercy when faced by recalled quick Shahnawaz Dahani, with the hosts’ second over going for an expensive 22.

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England’s half century was upon them after only three overs before Shadab Khan dismissed Hales with a tricky googly, edged to short third man. Undeterred, Salt carried the visitors to a powerplay score of 82-1.

Salt pulled Dahani, Nawaz and Aamer Jamal for sixes on the way to his impressive tally, before landing the killer blow with the winning run to bring up the unbeaten 87.

Sunday’s decider determines whether England can improve their record of three out of three losses in T20 series this year – they have never lost four series on the bounce.

Matthew Mott’s side will then head to Australia for a three-match T20 series next week before another clash with Pakistan, all of which forms part of their preparations for the T20 World Cup (England 4/1 outright).

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