Pakistan dispensed with England 2-0 in the Test series and after restricting England to 216 in Abu Dhabi they would have been confident midway through the first ODI of carrying their success forward into a different format, so giving Younis Khan the retirement send-off they craved on the day he abruptly announced his international retirement.
England were purring along at 147 for 3, with Eoin Morgan and James Taylor having recovered an early collapse with a stand of 133 in 27 overs, but wickets then clattered for a second time against disciplined bowling and alert fielding. Morgan and Taylor made 136 runs between them; the rest of England’s top 7 made 18.
Morgan could at least draw personal encouragement from his first appearance – the practice match against Hong Kong apart – since he was concussed when he was struck on the head by the Australia quick Mitchell Starc at Old Trafford at the tail-end of the English season. Wearing additional protective flaps on his helmet, he looked in excellent order in making 76 from 96 before he drove at an offspinner from Shoaib Malik that turned slightly and edged to the wicketkeeper.
Taylor, too, could take satisfaction from the stand, but that sensation changed after Morgan’s dismissal. Jos Buttler, desperately hoping for a change of fortune, was run out second ball, for 1, when Taylor forced him into a push-and-run single to midwicket, leaving the wicketkeeper with time to sweep up Azhar Ali’s slick pick up and throw.
With a pressing need to remedy his miscalculation, Taylor then fell for 60 when he chipped Malik to short midwicket. Taylor would have faltered even earlier than that had Pakistan not deliberated beyond the stipulated 15 seconds before unsuccessfully requesting a review for an lbw appeal by Malik which replays showed was hitting leg stump.