Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez and teenage debutant Haider Ali both starred with the bat before Pakistan held their nerve with the ball as they ended their tour of England with a five-run win in the third Twenty20 international at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
It was Pakistan’s first victory in 66 days in England and meant they squared this three-match series at 1-1 after they suffered a 1-0 loss in last month’s three-Test series.
Hafeez made 86 not out and Haider 54 in Pakistan’s 190-4.
There was a 20-year age gap between the 39-year-old Hafeez and the 19-year-old Haider but it was hard to notice the difference as they shared a stand of exactly 100 after coming together at 32-2.
Hafeez’s knock followed his 69 in England’s five-wicket win in the second T20 at Old Trafford on Sunday and was his fourth half-century in his last five T20 international innings.
England were 69-4 in their chase before Moeen Ali, who should have been out for seven, revived their hopes with 61.
But when veteran paceman Wahab Riaz, in for the injured Mohammad Amir, ran out Chris Jordan and then caught and bowled Moeen, England were 174-8 with seven balls left.
They needed 12 off two balls when Tom Curran hit a six.
But Curran could not repeat the shot when Haris Rauf bowled a yorker with the last ball of the match.
England suffered a setback just four balls into their chase when Jonny Bairstow was bowled for a duck by a superb yorker from left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi.
Dawid Malan, fresh from his unbeaten 54 on Sunday, was brilliantly caught by a leaping Fakhar Zaman near the boundary rope after hoisting left-arm spinner Imad Wasim.
England captain Eoin Morgan looked in good touch following his 66 on Sunday but he was run out for just 10 after a dreadful mix-up with Tom Banton.
And when Banton was lbw for 46, featuring eight fours, on review to Rauf, England were struggling at 69-4.
Moeen should have been out when he went down the pitch to Imad but former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, selected in place of in-form wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, fumbled the easy stumping.
It was the cue for left-handed batsman Moeen to launch a blistering assault as he compiled a 25-ball fifty, including two fours and four sixes.
After Morgan won the toss, off-spinner Moeen bowled Fakhar with his first ball of the match.
But Haider slog-swept his second ball in international cricket, from Moeen, for six.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 batsman, followed his 56 on Sunday with a brisk 21 before he was bowled by Curran.
Haider struck all-rounder Lewis Gregory’s first ball for an elegant legside pick-up six that soared over the longest boundary.
Hafeez followed up with two sixes off successive deliveries from leg-spinner Adil Rashid before Haider went to a 28-ball fifty with a pulled four off Gregory.
Hafeez then drove Rashid for six and swept him for four to complete a 31-ball fifty before Haider was bowled by Jordan.