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In-form Jason Roy top-scored as England posted 174 for six in their Twenty20 warm-up match against United Arab Emirates at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Roy (59), in particular, and Alex Hales gave the powerplay overs brutal treatment - racing to 82 in the first six overs.
Thereafter, though, England faltered as regular wickets surprisingly began to fall and boundaries became increasingly scarce.
Leg-spinner Imran Haider even delivered a wicket-maiden, the 16th of the innings.
Roy, on the back of his maiden one-day international hundred against Pakistan three days ago, passed his 50 with his second six - over long-on - from just 26 balls.
He had nine fours as well when, later in the seventh over from home captain Ahmed Raza, he charged the slow left-armer and was bowled to end an opening stand of 92.
James Vince's opportunity to impress at number three proved short-lived, run out for two by a throw from deep cover.
Hales then fell 10 short of his 50 when he was well-held on the long-on boundary by Fahad Tariq off Zaheer Maqsood.
Moeen Ali and Sam Billings both fell to Haider, the left-hander another bowled on the charge and then the wicketkeeper caught-behind off a bottom edge as he tried to sweep one from outside off-stump.
Eoin Morgan and Chris Jordan put on a handy 20, the latter understandably rusty after no match practice on this tour and the captain eventually holing out at mid-off in the 19th over off returning seamer Ayaz Khan.
England nonetheless had sound prospects of defending a par total as they seek to build on their one-day international series victory over Pakistan, before facing the same opponents in three Twenty20s over the next week.