Dubai - England thumped Pakistan by 14 runs in the first Twenty20 international of the three—match series at Dubai International Stadium.
England, after winning the toss and electing to bat first, set a tough 161-run target for the green caps. Pakistan’s top order of debutant Rafatullah Mohamand (16), Sarfraz Ahmed (1), M Hafeez (7) and M Rizwan (6) all perished to suicidal shots. If that wasn’t enough, Umar Akmal’s catastrophic run out after an enterprising 32-run stand with Sohaib Maqsood triggered a sensational mini-collapse where the Greenshirts lost Umar for 19, captain Shahid Afridi for nought and Sohaib for 24.
Afridi who went wicket-less in his four over spell conceding 33 runs, was sent back on his second ball, the game proving to be an absolute nightmare for the aging all-rounder who has set his sights on bowing out of the game after next year’s World Twenty20 in India.
All-rounder Anwar Ali (20) belted two sixes in one over from Stephen Parry, before being snapped by England’s most successful bowler Liam Plunkett who took three wickets in his first international match on the tour.
Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz delayed the inevitable with a 45-run stand. Wahab fell for 21 in the final over, but after the batting implosion from the established batters their efforts still kept Pakistan well short of the target.
Earlier, England made a superb recovery to post a score of 160. Pacers Tanvir and Anwar got Pakistan off to a rousing start. The duo removed Jason Roy, Alex Hales and Moeen Ali inside the first four overs. England were tottering at 19 for three at this stage as a partisan Pakistan crowd at the Dubai International Stadium roared for the opening bowlers.
All three players holed out inside the thirty yard circle as they tried to clear the in-field. Sam Billings scored a magnificent 25-ball 53 that was studded by five fours and two sixes to lead England’s recovery with captain Eoin Morgan contributing an unbeaten 45 off only 38 balls. James Vince also played his part, scoring 41 off 36 balls. For Pakistan Tanvir was the pick of the bowlers claiming two wickets in his four overs spell. Anwar and Wahab took a wicket each.
England have now won three out of the five Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan at this venue, while their overall record against their Asian rivals is an imposing eight wins against a mere three defeats in the instant format.


JJ Roy c Imran b Sohail Tanvir 9
AD Hales c Afridi b Anwar Ali 8
JM Vince b Wahab Riaz 41
MM Ali c Umar b Sohail Tanvir 0
EJG Morgan not out 45
SW Billings run out 53
EXTRAS: (lb 2, w 2) 4
TOTAL: (5 wickets; 20 overs) 160
FOW: 1-16, 2-18, 3-19, 4-95, 5-160,
BOWLING: Anwar Ali 4-0-19-1, Sohail Tanvir 4-1-31-2, Wahab Riaz 4-0-33-1, Shahid Afridi 4-0-33-0, Imran Khan 4-0-42-0.
Rafatullah Mohmand c Billings b Plunkett 16
Sarfraz Ahmed c Plunkett b Topley 1
M Hafeez c Topley b Plunkett 7
M Rizwan b Parry 6
Sohaib Maqsood st Billings b Ali 24
Umar Akmal run out 19
Shahid Afridi c Roy b Parry 0
Anwar Ali c Morgan b Plunkett 20
Sohail Tanvir not out 25
Wahab Riaz c Ali b Topley 21
Imran Khan (1) c Billings b Topley 0
EXTRAS: (lb 1, w 6) 7
TOTAL: (all out; 20 overs) 146
FOW: 1-8, 2-20, 3-25, 4-42, 5-74, 6-74, 7-75, 8-100, 9-145, 10-146.
BOWLING: CJ Jordan 4-0-37-0, RJW Topley 4-0-24-3, LE Plunkett 4-0-21-3, MM Ali 4-0-30-1, SD Parry 4-0-33-2.
TOSS: England
UMPIRES: Ahsan Raza and Shozab Raza
TV UMPIRE: Ahmed Shahab
RESERVE UMPIRE: Khalid Mahmood