Pakistan vs England

Match info: One Day International Series 3rd Match at Dubai International Stadium - Third Match

Date: 18th Feb 2012 Umpires: Aleem Dar and S J A Taufel

50-over match

Home team and score Away team score

Pakistan

222/10 (50.0 Overs)

Result

England

226/1 (37.2 Overs)

England won by 9 wickets.

  • Last Updated: February 18 2012, 18:44 GMT

Centurion Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook stole the show as England surged to a nine-wicket win to clinch their one-day international series against Pakistan.

Steven Finn: Three more wickets
Steven Finn: Three more wickets

A stand of 170 - England's best against Pakistan - between their new openers upped the ante after previous partnerships of 57 and 67.

As Pietersen (111no) registered his eighth ODI hundred, and first for more than three years, England duly cruised over the line with 12.4 overs to spare after bowling Pakistan out for 222 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

The resulting 3-0 margin means they have won the series a match early, their first success away to Pakistan in this format for 25 years.

England's ODI superiority has been in stark contrast to their hugely disappointing 3-0 Test series whitewash on this tour.

The ease of the latest victory made a mockery too of those Test travails, twice over, on this same ground against most of the same bowlers.

Pietersen became the seventh England batsman to pass 4,000 ODI runs when he hit Mohammad Hafeez for a straight six, repeating the dose he had earlier handed out to Shahid Afridi.

By then, after being dropped on 45 by Azhar Ali at deep square-leg off Aizaz Cheema, he was well set for a breakthrough innings in his new guise at the top of the order.

Cook was on course for his third successive hundred until he feathered a catch behind pushing forward to Saeed Ajmal on 80.

That would have put him in elite company in world cricket, and out on his own for England.

But again trading heavily on his favourite cuts and sweeps throughout, the captain could still be happy with another riposte to those who doubted his credentials as an ODI batsman.

It was Pietersen who completed the century, though - dominating from the outset with a display of clean front-foot striking for 10 fours and those two sixes from 98 balls.

Yet England had done the hard work much earlier, thanks to Stuart Broad (three for 42) and the increasingly impressive Steven Finn (three for 24) - and despite Afridi's and Umar Akmal's 50s on a pitch of fair pace.

After Cook had lost his first toss in three, his team had to withstand an early onslaught and then keep their cool to contain a recovery from 97 for five.

The loss of three wickets for one run to stumble to 50 for four and then those of both Umar (50) and Afridi (51), for the addition of four runs, undermined Pakistan's efforts.

Openers Hafeez and Imran Farhat soon made the most of several boundary opportunities, but both were to fall to Finn.

He found enough movement across the left-hander to take the edge and have him well-caught behind.

First change Broad endured a nightmare first over - not quite in the class of Umar Gul's bizarre third, full of no-balls and free-hits to set up Cook and Pietersen - but one which nonetheless cost 16 runs.

One of three offside boundaries for Hafeez came from a free-hit, after Broad was rightly called for a marginal no-ball by Aleem Dar when the opener cut him straight into the hands of gully on 21.

But Broad hit back in his second over to have Azhar caught behind poking at a good-length ball just outside off stump.

Finn quickly ensured Hafeez's let-off would not be costly, pinning him lbw as he aimed to leg, then Misbah-ul-Haq pushed out at some full-length swing from Broad and was caught at second slip.

Umar was dropped on 28 by a diving Craig Kieswetter off Broad but he played watchfully and against type, as he had to, first in a stand of 47 with Asad Shafiq and then to add 79 with Afridi.

Shafiq was unluckily run out when he dashed back into his crease to beat Cook's throw but failed to ground his bat as Kieswetter took off the bails.

Umar continued a scampering innings, reaching his 50 from 88 balls and hitting just one boundary.

But barely had the 21-year-old completed extravagant celebrations of his 13th ODI half-century, and Afridi reached his 34th at near a run-a-ball, than both were gone in the blink of an eye.

Umar mistimed a clip to midwicket and fell to a memorable, one-handed catch by a diving Samit Patel off Broad, and Afridi ended an innings of uncharacteristic responsibility by missing a mow to leg to be bowled by James Anderson.

The tail were therefore left to muster what they could in the last 10 overs - and thanks mostly to Gul's sensible hitting, it turned out to be 45.

Sadly for Pakistan, their number one seamer was to have significantly less success with the ball as England's batsmen turned on the style.