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Sam Billings hits first international half century in exciting style as England beat Pakistan in Dubai

By Andrew Gidley

Sam Billings was the star-of-the-show scoring his maiden international half-century as England beat Pakistan by 14 runs in the opening T20 international in Dubai.

The 24-year-old Kent wicket-keeper made the most of his opportunity with Jos Buttler rested, blasting 53 off 27 balls, as he and captain Eoin Morgan scored 65 in the last six overs to carry England to a total of 160-5.

Billings tweeted: "That was fun!!!!! Great to get off to a winning start."

Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings Picture: Barry Goodwin
Kent wicketkeeper Sam Billings Picture: Barry Goodwin

That looked unlikely when they were 19-3, but Morgan with 45 and Hampshire debutant James Vince (41) launched the recovery, adding 76 off 61 deliveries.

Billings' innings was a mixture of perfect hitting and exciting shots as he clubbed two sixes and five fours, before giving up his wicket in the search for another quick single.

He followed up with a major contribution with the gloves, including two catches and a stumping, as Pakistan were dismissed for 146.

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