Thanks for your company over the last few hours. I've been been your host Neil Leverett @the91stneil until next time, keep following VAVEL for all the best cricket coverage. Goodbye!
There's something about this current England side. Their harrowing showing in the Cricket World Cup back in March has seemingly been a turning point in their approach to cricket as a whole. Even without Jos Buttler and Joe Root, England threw caution to the wind once more. It looks very promising, as England look to win their first T20 World Cup since 2010.
They will look to bounce back straight away and how better than in Friday's second T20 tomorrow, again in Dubai.
Pakistan still have huge concern in on-field communication. Another run out. This time at the same end. There something faintly Benny Hill about that dismissal...
All-round the performance was solid. James Vince and Stephen Parry showed discipline and real maturity with key runs and wickets, as was Liam Plunkett in his return to the side. Sam Billings also played a real gem of an innings, surpassing 50 and with some good wicketkeeping also.
Excellent showing again from England, showing fight and character from 19/3 at one stage.
Overs 20: PAK 146 ENG WIN BY 14 RUNS
WICKET: Khan b Topley c Billings. Top edge! Its all over. Pakistan bowled out in 20 overs!
Overs 19.5: PAK 146/9
WICKET: PAK 145/9 Wahab 20 b Topley c M Ali Surely that's all she wrote? Moeen holds onto Wahab as he drives down the ground. Gone.
Overs 19.2: PAK 145/8
Four. Again Wahab.
Overs 19.1: PAK 141/8
Pakistan need 20 off the final over...Reece Topley.
Overs 19: PAK 141/8
Nicked for four again by Wahab. Jordan under pressure. 21 from 7 balls. No wides please, Chris.
Slashed by Wahab for four. Hope? 25 from 8 needed.
Not forthcoming. 29 from 10...9.
Pakistan need a ball(s)-to-the-wall over...
Overs 18: PAK 130/8 Another yorker from Reece Topley. Good spell. Pakistan need 30 from 2 overs.
Wide from Topley, but then a great slower ball. Then a yorker. Terrific bowling.
SIX! BOSH! Tanvir batters the ball for a lengthy six runs.
39 off 16
Pakistan need 40 off 18 balls.
Overs 17: PAK 121/8 Pretty tidy from Plunkett there. 4-3-21 figures there. Great return.
Tickled down leg side for four by Wahab. Ahead of the rate again Pakistan. By 5.
Overs 16: PAK 114/8 Pakistan need 47 off 24.
Two successive wides from Jordan. pesky.
And another, driven for four. PAK need 53 from 28.
OOf! Wahab strikes the ball high and bounces just short of Moeen Ali. Four.
Overs 15: PAK 102/8
WICKET: PAK 100/8 Anwar 20 b Plunkett c Morgan Anwar Ali's cameo comes to an end and possibly Pakistan's hopes also.
100 for Pakistan
Overs 14: PAK 95/7 The run chase is close, but Pakistan have just 3 wickets in hand.
SIX! Anwar even bigger! Same direction. More gusto. Shame for Parry. With that Pakistan move ahead of the run rate
SIX! Anwar whoomps the white ball down the ground, just clearing the boundary.
Overs 13: PAK 79/7 Will Pakistan make 20 overs? Unrelenting from England.
WICKET: PAK 75/7 Maqsood 24 b Ali st. Billings Pakistan are crumbling like a block of weetabix. Maqsood stumped by the swift reflexes of Sam Billings.
Overs 12: PAK 74/6 Two wickets off the Parry over. Tremendous.
WICKET: PAK 74/6 Afridi 0 : b Parry c Roy The captain goes without scoring. A dolly for Roy. Super from Parry. Huge wicket
WICKET: PAK 74/5 Akmal 19 (run out Billings) Extraordinary. What did we say about Pakistan's running. Akmal is officially run out, but not before both Pakistani batsman are running TOWARDS THE SAME END. Words fail me.
SIX! Parry is hacked for the big heave by Akmal.
Overs 11: PAK 68/4
Precise cut shot from Umar Akmal for four.
Overs 10: PAK 60/4 Pakistan need 101 off another 10 overs. Very interesting chase here.
Overs 9: PAK 56/4
SIX. BANG! Paul Collingwood nearly takes a doozey on the England bench. Maqsood and Pakistan's first six.
50 for Pakistan
Overs 8: PAK 45/4 Run rate is 9.80.
WICKET: Rizwan 6 b Parry A superb swinging reverse delivery bamboozles Rizwan. Lovely. England on top.
Stephen Parry's left arm spin is on
Overs 7: PAK 38/3 England are five runs ahead of the rate.
Rizwan off the mark with a cover drive. Four.
Overs 6: PAK 32/3
Four for Maqsood. Forlorn dive from Topley squirts over the rope.
WICKET: PAK 25/3 Rafatullah 16 b Plunkett c Billings Bottom edge. two for Plunkett!
Overs 5: PAK 25/2 Just five from the over. Rafa on 16. Rizwan yet to score.
Overs 4: PAK 20/2
WICKET: PAK 20/2 Hafeez b Plunkett c Topley. Almost an action replay but its Topley who makes the catch on the fence from Plunkett's bowling.
Liam Plunkett is on
Overs 3: PAK 17/1
Four from Hafeez off the final (wide) ball of the over.
Overs 2 : PAK 10/1
WICKET: PAK 6/1 Sarfraz 1 b Topley c Plunkett This ball is zipping up off the turf. Sarfraz misjudges and plays straight into the hands of Liam Plunkett. Setback for Pakistan.
Reece Topley begins
Overs 1 : PAK 6/0
DROPPED CATCH! Wicket keeper Billings can't quite hold Rafa's drive that is also edged and goalkeeper-like palms it over at some pace. Wrong sport Sam. Tough chance though.
Rafa' off the mark with a edged shot for four.
England with Chris Jordan...
Pakistan will open with Rafatullah Mohmand and Ahmed Sarfraz. Sarfraz is the key for me..
As a former resident of Canterbury, I feel robbed for not seeing 'Billo' in his pomp. England have some firepower in their ranks no? Does this also mean the city have a claim to the sport other than Robert Key...?
Impresive recovery then from England, who were 19/3 at one stage. Sam Billings' place in the line-up was questioned as was James Vince. Both came to the party. Pakistan need 161 to win of 8.05 an over the first Twenty20 International. We'll be back shortly...
ENG INNINGS: 160/5
WICKET: Billings 53 (RUN OUT Sarfraz) Sam Billings' innings is over and what a good one it was.
50 for Billings. Terrific knock. joint second fastest Twenty20 fifty for England.
Overs 19: ENG 152/4 : 16 from the penultimate over. Billings has a record on his mind here. Dont look Ravi..
Make that 45 from 19. Sam Billings take a bow. Same shot just a little more air and grace. Jos Buttler looks on with a wry grin..
Four more for Billings. Steps aside from the crease and wraps the bat around the ball. four. 39 from 18 balls.
Overs 18 : ENG 136/4 : 19 off the over for England. profitable. Morgan moves past 40.
Morgan 41, Billings 35
SIX: KAPOW! Its 14 from 3 balls as Sam Billings finds the Dubai crowd. terrific stuff. Who needs Jos...
And again! a straight club down the ground. four more.
Billings again, thwack. one bounce and over the fence.
Overs 17 : ENG 119/4 just six more from the over. 3 to go.
DROPPED CATCH! Imran Khan should take the scalp of Morgan, but the fielder's hands are all over the shop. England captain survives. Will Pakistan rue that moment?
Overs 16 : ENG 113/4
Nice clip into the off-side from the Kent man. four more.
Lovely cheeky sweep by Sam Billings. four up.
whose going big for England? or is anyone?
15 Overs: ENG 101/4
100 for ENG
Overs 14 : 95-3 Excellent over from Wahab. just one run and a wicket to boot off the over.
WICKET: ENG 95/4: Vince 41 b Wahab. Wahab Riaz' slower delivery fools James Vince and the debutant is back in the hutch.
Overs 13 : 94-3
And now Vince adds a boundary. nice over for England.
SIX. Morgan. standard whack from the skipper. crashes into the Dubai night air.
Overs 12 : ENG 81/3 just three off the over. 8 to go.
Overs 11 : ENG 77/3 Vince 34, Morgan 23
another 4 up for the growing in confidence Vince.
Overs 10 : ENG 67/3: We are half way. James Vince on 29 playing some nice stuff.
SIX. HEAAAVVEEEE HOOO! Vince goes hard after it. just carries.
Overs 9 : ENG 56/3 : Morgan goes for the reverse sweep and nearly gets trapped on his stumps. he then finds the ball and gets a couple.
lovely shot from James Vince, flat shot. timing. fence. four.
Overs 8 : ENG 49/3
Four for Morgan. Khan slower ball is dispatched.
Overs 7 : ENG 43/3 : Just three off the seventh. good work from Afridi.
the youthful Shahid Afridi is on.
Overs 6 : ENG 40/3 : Vince hits his third four and England have hit their collective straps. 15 off the over.
boundary no 2 for Vince. tasty.
Morgan first four of the day. More please. Oh and just survives. clips just over Mohammad Hafeez. eek.
Wahab is on for PAK
Overs 5: ENG 25/3 : Finally Vince gets it right. Third time lucky for the debutant reaches the rope.
Overs 4 : ENG 19/3 : Eoin Morgan has some work to do here. We know how he's gonna play. But can he tame this livewire Dubai deck?
WICKET: Overs 3.5 19/3 Moeen Ali b Tanvir c Akmal : Oh dear oh dear. This is a tad familiar. Ali goes big but mistimes. Akmal bucket hands. England could do with Jos Buttler now. Oh wait...
Overs 3 : ENG 18/2 : This pitch has a bit of bounce in it
England pair both on 0
WICKET : Overs 2.3: ENG 18/2 Hales b Anwar c Afridi : It's slightly slower from Ali this time. Darting in. its almost a carbon copy of Roy's dismissal on the opposite side. Hales goes.
Hales goes big. Skyward. Safe. Two from it
James Vince is in..
WICKET: Overs 2: ENG 16-1 Roy 9 b Tanvir c Khan: Roy clubs a four to the boundary but next ball is caught by holing out to Imran Khan.
DROPPED CATCH! Tanvir shells one. or two! Hales chips the ball up to the lefty and Tanvir juggles it, once twice and drops it! Hales punishes him with a four the next ball. First of the day.
Tanvir on for PAK
Overs 1 : ENG 5/0 : Interesting start. three off the first ball through mid-on from Roy, before his partner Hales is nearly run out after galloping down the crease. Ali shies at the stumps. misses. Hales was a gonner.
Pakistan will open with Anwar Ali. Play
Alex Hales and Jason Roy stride out at The Dubai International Cricket Stadium..
ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS
So. Its number 2 in the world versus number 8. Pakistan versus England. Lets do this!
In the warm up game before this first T20, Jason Roy continued his rise to prominence, with a hit of 59 versus the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Keep an eye on him.
No Buttler then, but don't go anywhere. There is plenty on show for your viewing this afternoon. We get going in about 5 mins..
I can tell you Sky Sports' Nick Knight is not a happy bunny. As am I ...
So James Vince makes his Twenty20 debut. Bumble, as ever, is the eager beaver..
Suffice to say the decision has split opinion.
Pakistan are without Shoaib Malik who is injured. As is Ahmed Shezhad. Rafatullah Mohmand comes in.
The first thing to digest is that Jos Buttler has been rested after his fifth quickest ODI innings in history. James Vince is on debut! Joe Root is also taken out out of the action for Sam Billings.
Pakistan: Mohmand, Sarfraz, Hafeez, Rizwan, Maqsood, Akmal, Afridi, Ali, Tanvir, Riaz, Khan
England: Hales, Roy, Vince, Morgan, Billings, Ali, Rashid, Jordan, Plunkett, Parry, Topley
Shahid Afridi flips the coins in the air, Eoin Morgan call heads; Heads it is. ENGLAND WILL BAT FIRST. Afridi is of the opinion that the dew around the pitch could help the opening bowlers..
here comes the toss...
106 days to go then until the Twenty20 World Cup in India. will today be a marker for what is to come?
We are all set for what should be a cracking couple of hours of willow on ball. So join us from about 3.25, when we will have team news to get things under way. See you then!
England were unable to train at the stadium and were forced to move to the ICC academy, which rather irked their juniors by usurping them for use. Could the weather play a part in events this afternoon?
In particular for England. This was the view from inside, as Dubai was hit by a freak weather phenomenon more known to residents of Manchester.
Both sides preparation for today has being thrown a curve ball in the form of the rather unlikely conditions in Dubai, however..
"We want to settle down before the World Twenty20. Besides that we are ranked number two so it's an important series for us in many ways and we will do our best to win it." Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Returning captain Shahid Afridi will be keen to make his mark also, 19 years after making his debut. In the lead up to today's the game, the opening batsman wants his side to build and form a basis, for the World Cup in March.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Hafeez will be the main source of power for his side, but will not be able to bowl due to his ban. Sarfraz Ahmed remains the enigmatic figure, but is able to produce fireworks that an average bonfire display would be proud of.
Then there is Jason Roy. Roy's contribution last Friday was rather overshadowed after Buttler on-field pyrotechnics. Nevertheless, it was the Surrey man's first international hundred, with signs that his potential was finally being realised and a stuttering start to his career. So can Roy push on?
Aside from Jos Buttler, England have a plethora of batting talent in their midst. Captain Eoin Morgan is capable of the ultimate set of firecrackers, with the sweep an reverse sweep six. Alex Hales - like Buttler - exudes sheer power and speed. James Taylor is akin to a certain Mexican rodent between the stumps, but also packs a punch, whilst Moeen Ali is very capable down the order.
So who should we be keeping an eye out for this afternoon?
Twenty20 however, is often the most fickle and unpredictable of mistresses and with the Twenty20 World Cup in March taking place this time in India, both sides will be keen to show some form with less than four months until the tournament starts. Let us not forget, Pakistan are currently ranked second in the world also. England are eighth...
On the flip side, Pakistan seem to have taken a turn for the worse. Whenever we speak about the Pakistani's we always seem to return the rather thorny issue of running between the wickets and in more specifically, run-outs. That once again showed its rather un-aesthetic features, once more last Friday evening.
England, since their disastrous campaign at the Cricket World Cup back in May, have come on leaps and bounds in the shorter version of the game. New coach Trevor Bayliss has come in and together with Paul Fairbrace, England seem to have thrown the shackles off and now, with one of the most explosive batting lineups in world cricket, have began to make a statement.
As mentioned, this is the first of three T20 matches played between now and Monday. Two of which take place at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, with the potential decider in Sharjah in four days time.
I'm fairly sure Pakistan will have something to say on the matter...
I say spectacular, in the light of last Friday's final ODI between the sides. In particular for Jos Buttler, who broke all sorts of records as England eased to a 3-1 series win. In the shorter, much livelier format of the game, will Jos and indeed England be in similar mood this afternoon?
Hello and welcome to VAVEL's coverage of the first of a three-match Twenty Twenty International series from Dubai, where Pakistan will play England. I am your esteemed host Neil Leverett @the91stneil and I will be guiding over the course of what should be pretty tasty fare.