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Swann helps England restrict Pakistan to 144-6

 DUBAI: Off-spinner Graeme Swann took 3-13 as England kept Pakistan down to 144-6 in the first of three Twenty20 internationals at Dubai Stadium on Thursday.

Swann rocked the middle-order with a burst of three wickets off eight balls to derail Pakistan after skipper Stuart Broad elected to field after winning the toss.

England, the reigning Twenty20 world champions, started the match on a high note after sweeping Pakistan 4-0 in the one-day series and once again pegged their opponents back through some disciplined bowling and fielding.

Pakistan made a flying start with debutant Awais Zia hitting a four and six during his 12-ball 18 but Pakistan lost four wickets in the space of eight runs as Asad Shafiq (19) fell run out, Mohammad Hafeez (23), Shahid Afridi (seven) and Umar Akmal (nought) followed each other, with Swann taking the last three.

It was left to captain Misbah-ul Haq (26 not out) and Shoaib Malik (39) to put on 71 for the sixth wicket to take Pakistan to a respectable total.

Malik hit four boundaries and six off 33 balls before he fell to a superb catch by Jonny Bairstow off Jade Dernbach off the last ball of the innings.

Misbah gave Malik good support during his run-a-ball innings, hitting one four and a six.

Pakistan brought in Zia and allrounder Hammad Azam while Ravi Bopara and Swann returned for England after missing the fourth one-dayer due to fitness problems.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012