Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen led England’s recovery as they chased down T20 World Champions Pakistan’s total of 129 for the loss of seven wickets in Abu Dhabi.
Morgan smashed Umar Gul for consecutive boundaries of four, four, six to see England home with nine balls remaining to take the innovative Irishman to 67 not out from 51 balls.
Openers Joe Denly and Jonathan Trott earlier fell inside the first three overs as first Denly failed in his attempt to clear mid-on and Trott dragged on.
T20 captain Paul Collingwood fared little better, run out for a duck by Imran Farhat’s throw from the midwicket boundary, to leave England reeling at 18/3.
Pietersen however, looking for time in the middle after a lengthy rehabilitation from an Achilles injury, steadied the ship and in so doing, no doubt, regained some of his trademark confidence.
While Pakistan lacked their usual captain, Shahid Afridi, serving a ban for ball tampering, their bowling was no less dangerous with the World’s leading T20 seamer Gul and doosra-exponent Saeed Ajmal.
And Afridi’s temporary replacement as captain, Shoaib Malik, was aggressive in his defence of Pakistan’s lowest total in T20s – introducing Gul early into the attack.
The fourth-wicket pair however first negotiated the middle overs before Morgan injected pace at the crucial moment, taking the 14th over by Abdul Razzaq for 14 in one over including three boundaries.
Pietersen was subdued by his standards, especially against the spin of Saeed Ajmal, but crucially scored a run-a-ball 43 as second fiddle to Morgan’s fireworks.
Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan earlier set the tone with accurate bowling, and exposed the inconsistent bounce on offer, to help England restrict the World Champions to 129/8.
The new ball pairing were ably abetted by Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, who took two wickets apiece, while Luke Wright chipped in with a wicket.