1st Twenty20

Pakistan v England, 2011-12

Chris Stocks

At Dubai, February 23, 2012 (floodlit). Pakistan won by eight runs. Toss: England. Twenty20 international debuts: Awais Zia, Hammad Azam.

England were denied by some exquisite death bowling from Umar Gul. Needing 35 from 30 balls with seven wickets in hand, they failed to hit a single boundary as Gul took three for seven in two overs of high-class, full-pitched deliveries. After Pietersen had given them a flying start, Bairstow's struggle was symptomatic: he could not reach the fence once in 21 balls. Swann had kept Pakistan in check as they slipped to 73 for five in the 11th over, only for Shoaib Malik to give them a total to defend. One-day captain Alastair Cook was a late inclusion in England's squad, ostensibly as cover for Bopara, who had missed the final 50-over match with a back injury. Though Cook did not play, his presence raised questions about the authority of Twenty20 captain Broad, who - because of injury - had previously led England only twice in five matches since his appointment in 2011.

Man of the Match: Umar Gul.

© John Wisden & Co.