Morgan steers England to victory
Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen shared England's best ever stand in Twenty20 cricket to down world champions Pakistan by seven wickets in Dubai today.
Dublin-born Morgan hammered 67 not out from 51 balls, including a match-winning six, and Pietersen a more restrained 43no as they dragged their side back from 18 for three.
The bowlers had earlier impressed with a disciplined effort in the field, restricting Pakistan to 129 for eight.
Morgan and Pietersen's fourth-wicket partnership was worth a record 112.
Opener Joe Denly came into the match with just 14 runs in his four Twenty20 internationals to date and improved that total by just one before succumbing to Yasir Arafat.
Abdul Razzaq then dismissed Jonathan Trott, bowled playing an ugly shot having apparently misjudged the length. Pietersen, in at number three, drove his sixth ball back over Arafat's head to register England's first boundary in the fourth over but their early troubles were not over.
Captain Paul Collingwood was needlessly run out for a duck with just 18 on the board.
By the time the fielding restrictions were lifted at the end of the sixth over the total was just 25, the same as in the Pakistan innings for the loss of an extra wicket.
Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik eased the pressure with a loose seventh over that cost 14.
Pietersen was lucky not to edge Umar Gul's first delivery but he and Morgan nudged England past 50 in workmanlike fashion.
Morgan was initially subdued but sprung to life with a dismissive six over fine leg to take his score to 20.
Pietersen looked steady rather than spectacular but drove Malik imperiously into the onside to pick up his third four of the evening.
Morgan then took 14 off Razzaq's fourth over to put a big dent in the target.
The Dubliner helped himself to two fours in three Gul deliveries as he retained the initiative but was centimetres away from being run out before the job was done.
Instead of being sent back, the third umpire's verdict allowed him to celebrate a measured half-century. The pair needed 14 off the last two overs but Morgan was in a hurry , thrashing Gul for consecutive fours before clinching it with a mighty pulled six.
Pakistan's innings also started slowly and when Imran Nazir tried to up the ante he was only able to top-edge to Denly.
Imran Farhat briefly helped the run-rate with successive fours off Tim Bresnan's second over but would have been run out moments later had Collingwood been on target.
The lesson was not learned, though, and Pietersen's direct hit sent him back for 14 after a second poor call.
Pakistan's score of 25 for two after six overs represented their lowest total in a Twenty20 powerplay and Luke Wright increased their woes when he snared Khalid Latif (four) behind the wicket.
An unconvincing Umar Akmal was next to go, Stuart Broad taking a sterling catch as the batsman slashed at Graeme Swann's third delivery.
Fawad Alam hoisted Collingwood for the first six of the match in the 13th over, while Malik compiled a busy 33 before chipping Swann tamely to mid-on.
Morgan gave Razzaq (22) a life with a dropped catch in the deep but was not made to pay too heavily as the all-rounder joined Sarfraz Ahmed (five) in being dismissed by Tim Bresnan in the penultimate over.
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