Abu Dhabi, Feb 16: England beat Pakistan by 20 runs in the second one-day international to lead 2-0 and grab at least a share of the series spoils on Wednesday.
Skipper Alastair Cook scored a second successive century while Steve Finn and Ravi Bopara played superb support roles as England continued to rebound from being swept in the test series.
Cook slammed 102 while Bopara also registered his second straight half century to help England reach 250-4 in 50 overs. Pakistan was then bowled out for 230 in 49 with Finn again getting four wickets while James Anderson and Samit Patel shared four wickets. Misbah-ul-Haq and Imran Farhat scored 47 each in Pakistan's losing cause.
Cook was named man of the match after becoming the ninth England player and first captain to score consecutive ODI hundreds.
"The conditions were slightly difficult when compared to Monday. The pitch was slightly slower," Cook said.
"It was easier to bat first up in the afternoon. And Finn bowled a tight first spell and later the three seamers did well in the death overs.
"The game was a bit tighter but we fielded well. It is nice to go 2-0 up and hopefully we can go to Dubai and finish the job."
Pakistan's chase got off to a slow but cautious start with Mohammed Hafeez and Farhat putting up 61 runs without loss, a vast improvement from 53-5 in Monday's loss. Hafeez, who slammed two fours off Stuart Broad's first over, fell however to a loose shot off Anderson for 23.
Farhat, joined by Azhar Ali, was middling the ball well and thrilled the patient crowd with a handful of boundaries. Craig Kieswetter, the England wicketkeeper, dropped Farhat on 40 off Broad but the Pakistan opener did not last longer when he was run out by the same bowler three short of his half century.
Veteran Younus Khan became Patel's first wicket and Pakistan was 104-3 midway through the innings.
Misbah and Umar Akmal got some quick runs and after the Pakistani skipper survived an lbw appeal off Finn, Akmal slammed three boundaries. But Patel brought off a great catch at cover as Akmal attempted a second four, and Finn's disciplined bowling finally got him a wicket in his seventh over.
With Misbah unbeaten on 30 and Afridi walking in with 72 needed for victory off 67 deliveries, Pakistan was still a good bet. A six and a four off Patel got Pakistan closer but Afridi was bowled for a run-a-ball 18 and Anderson's wicket maiden left Pakistan still 44 runs behind with 30 balls left.
Abdul Rehman wasted a dozen balls to get a run as the drama heightened, and when his stumps were uprooted he left Misbah with a herculean task.
Kieswetter made amends for his earlier miss with a brilliant catch in Broad's next over to see off Misbah at the start of the 48th over. Finn then wiped up the tail to see his side through. Pakistan lost its last five wickets for 23 runs.
"I think today the batsmen realized their duties but the main difference was the fielding," Misbah said.
"The guys played well at the top but we lost wickets at crucial moments. We can't rely on the tail as it is the job of the top six to get the runs.
"We are two-down but I believe this team is capable of anything. We showed our improvement today after Monday's loss and we will improve further."
Cook again won the toss and elected to bat first, retaining the same XI which helped his side to a 130-run win on Monday. The pitch looked flat and full of runs as Cook and Pietersen made a good start. Cook looked the more solid while Pietersen survived an lbw decision against Afridi when on 23.
Cook got a life on 28 when Umar Akmal dropped him off Afridi. Cook shared an opening stand of 67 with Pietersen, and added 49 with Jonathan Trott.
Cook, who was strong with his cuts and never allowed any loose deliveries onto his pads, also did well to keep rotating the strike with singles, some risky ones, too. Cook edged Ajmal to reach his second successive 100 but with 10 overs left he departed to a soft dismissal as he played early and bobbed an easy catch to the bowler Afridi.
Cook's 102-run knock came in 121 balls with 10 boundaries and his stand with Bopara was worth 78.
Bopara reached his half century in a partnership worth 56 with Eoin Morgan, before falling for 58 from the last ball of the innings.
The teams travel to Dubai for the third ODI on Saturday.