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England hold their nerve to seal series victory

England pulled off an amazing comeback to seal a 2-1 series victory over Pakistan thanks to a thrilling five run victory in the deciding match of the series which came down to the last ball of the game at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan looked on course to claim the victory thanks to Misbah-ul-Haq (28) and Umar Akmal (22) but with the game edging towards a tense finish England held their nerve to seal victory.

With three overs remaining Pakistan needed just 23 more runs to win but Stuart Broad and Jade Dernbach lead the fight back with some tight bowling to leave the hosts needing six runs from the final delivery of the match.

It proved to be too much for Pakistan as Dernbach bowled Misbah-ul-Haq t ospark wild celebration on the field as England defended a total of 150 or less for the first every time.

Asad Shafiq (34) and Awais Zia (23) got Pakistanís run chase off to the perfect start despite the lose of Mohammad Hafeez (0) but it was Misbah-ul-Haq and Akmal who had seemingly steered the hosts to victory.

The pair shared a 4th wicket stand of 37 but the course of the game changed in the final few overs thanks to Broad who removed Akmal in the penultimate over.

Danger man Shahid Afridi (3) was run out at the start of the final over which saw England take control as they signed off their tour of the UAE with victory thanks to the bat of Kevin Pietersen.

The worldís number one t20 batsman held Englandís stuttering innings together with another important innings to help the t20 World Cup champions posts a total of 129-6 on a slow difficult wicket which assisted spinner Saeed Ajmal (4-23) who picked up four wickets.

Pietersen (62) only scored six boundaries and one six which came from the final ball of the innings but his presence at the crease throughout the innings highlighted the new found maturity the batsman has found during Englandís tour of the UAE.

The Pietersen of old would most likely have found himself back in the dugout early on he played another selfless innings to give England bowlers a chance of securing victory and the series.

With the exception of Pietersen who made batting look easy at times, Englandís top order struggled with only Craig Kieswetter making any sort of progress with a quick fire 17 before he was dismissed by Saeed Ajmal in the 5th over.

Thanks to the runs from Pietersen, Englandís innings slowly inched alone with Ravi Bopara (1), Eoin Morgan (9), Jonny Bairstow (3) and Jos Buttler (3) falling by the wayside.

With the top order struggerling to find any momentum, Samit Patel showed them how to do it with a quick fire cameo of 16 to help England set Pakistan a tricky run chase on a difficult pitch.


source - cricket20.com
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