England held their nerve to pull off a thrilling 5-run win in the third and final T20I at Abu Dhabi. Fast bowler Jade Dernbach with all his variations in his speed bowled brilliantly to take 2 for 24 in 4 overs to help England to a close victory. In the final over, Dernbach kept his cool and prevented Pakistan from getting the 13 runs needed to win despite the presence of Shahid Afridi and Misbah-ul-Haq. Pakistan came second finishing the match at 124 for 6.
Pakistan chasing 130 to win were cruising along towards a victory with plenty of wickets in hand following a couple of handy partnerships. Asad Shafiq played well for a solid 34 (from 32 balls) while opener Awais Zia (23 from 28 balls) and Umar Akmal (22 from 23 balls) played crucial roles.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq was the calming factor for Pakistan in the middle but a couple of superb overs from Dernbach in the end spoilt his team’s chances of a victory. Misbah-ul-Haq scored 28 from 32 balls before getting bowled in the final ball of the match with a six needed to be hit off Dernbach.
Kevin Pietersen for his beautifully fifty early on got the Man of the Match award. KP also got the Player of the Series award. England with this thrilling win today at Abu Dhabi have clinched the T20I Series 2-1.
England Innings : England look to be the favourites to win the third and final T20I after posting a fighting total of 129 for 6 on what is a sluggish pitch at Abu Dhabi. Opener Kevin Pietersen carried his bat responsibly to ensure that England got what they wanted on a pitch that was very slow with low bounce. Pietersen batted all the 20 overs to remain unbeaten on 62 from 52 balls with 6 fours and a last ball six of the English innings.
Apart from Kevin Pietersen, none of the English batsmen really got going on a difficult pitch to bat on at the Sheik Zayed Stadium. Pietersen who has been in-form scoring two centuries in the One Day Series batted according to the pitch conditions and played most of his big shots perfectly after picking up vacant spots in the outfield. Saeed Ajmal was once again amongst the wickets for Pakistan taking 4 for 23 in four overs.
Toss and Teams : England under Stuart Broad has clinched a hat-trick of winning tosses in this 3-T20I Series and will bat first in the third and final match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Today’s match will be the decider of the Series after England had leveled it at 1-1 following an impressive victory day before yesterday at Dubai.
England : KP Pietersen, C Kieswetter (Wicket Keeper), RS Bopara, EJG Morgan, JM Bairstow, JC Buttler, SR Patel, GP Swann, SCJ Broad (Captain), JW Dernbach, ST Finn
Pakistan : Mohammad Hafeez, Awais Zia, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema