Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik shared a 163-run partnership to give Pakistan a four-wicket victory in the fifth and final ODI on Sunday to deny England a series sweep.
Ahmed scored 90 off 73 balls and Malik finally came good in the series with 77 off 80 deliveries to carry Pakistan to 304-6 in 48.2 overs — its first 300-plus successful chase outside Asia.
England won the series 4-1.
Mark Wood’s twin strike in one over had pegged back Pakistan to 77-3 before Ahmed and Malik’s fourth-wicket partnership led the strong recovery.
Earlier, England’s 302-9 revolved around opening batsman Jason Roy’s 87 and all-rounder Ben Stokes’ 75 after Pakistan won the toss and opted to field.
Pakistan hit back late through its seamers to restrict England’s total with Hasan Ali grabbing 4-60 and Mohammad Amir taking 3-50.
“We wanted to finish on a high because we had a tough tour,” Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said. “There are (a) few youngsters coming in, like Imad (Wasim), (Mohammad) Nawaz and Hasan (Ali), but we have to play well consistently.”
Roy and Stokes raised England’s best partnership of the innings by contributing 72 runs for the fourth wicket after wicketkeeper Ahmed had missed a stumping of Stokes when the left-hander was on just 1.
Roy was dismissed in the 28th over when he top edged Amir to mid-wicket and Stokes spliced an easy catch off Hasan as Pakistan hit back late in the innings, limiting England to 58 in the last 10 overs.
“I am very proud of this group of players,” England captain Eoin Morgan said. “We lost a game today but we still put in a reasonable performance. In terms of highs, Trent Bridge was the highest level.”
England had racked up a world record ODI total of 444-3 at Trent Bridge where opening batsman Alex Hales played England’s highest individual ODI knock of 171.
Pakistan looked to have encountered a familiar top-order collapse in its run-chase when Wood had Babar Azam and Azhar dismissed in one over.
England should have got rid of Malik on 9 but Joe Root missed a hard chance at short extra cover with Pakistan on 91-3.
Malik capitalised on the chance and, together with Ahmed, led Pakistan’s fightback. Both batsmen targeted Liam Dawson, smacking the left-arm spinner for 41 runs in his first four overs which took the game away from England.
However, Dawson came back to remove Ahmed, who hit 10 fours and a six, and Malik in quick succession.
Mohammad Rizwan (34 not out) and Imad Wasim (16 not out), who remained unbeaten in all his four innings of the series, got Pakistan home for its consolation victory.