England's Sam Billings stole the show against Pakistan.

Sam Billings shines for England as Eoin Morgan seeks improved experience levels

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Sam Billings' equal second-fastest England Twenty20 international 50 lit up the Dubai International Stadium - but after victory over Pakistan, his captain Eoin Morgan was playing even more shots.

Billings' selection for the first match of three, along with that of debutant James Vince and the returning Liam Plunkett, were all handsomely vindicated in a 14-run win.

Morgan found himself explaining the reasons first-choice pair Jos Buttler and Joe Root were omitted, and he had no hesitation citing a rare opportunity to test England's most talented young players - in the absence of any provided on home soil by the NatWest T20 Blast.

That tournament is commonly viewed as a poor relation to the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash, both of them later additions to a format pioneered in England but ones which attract higher-profile international players.

England are therefore in a hurry to find out as much as possible as quickly as possible, in time for the ICC World Twenty20 next March, about how their own rising stars react to pressure situations.

At 19 for three after Morgan won the toss, Vince had one ready-made - and his 41 set the stage for Billings (53) to race to his half-century in just 24 balls.

"We want to see as much as we can of it," said Morgan, after Plunkett and Reece Topley had then taken three wickets each to bowl the hosts out for 146 in reply to 160 for five.

"In county cricket, we just don't have a good enough tournament for guys to be exposed to it as often as we'd like.

"I think this is a good tour to expose as many guys as we can to it.

"If it means senior guys sit out, so be it."

Buttler was rested then, at the ground where he hit England's fastest-ever one-day international hundred just six days earlier, and he may have more time on his hands - even with two matches still to come quickly at the end of this tour.

"We're trying to expand the squad as much as we can," added Morgan.

"For the benefit long term, we'll probably see that more so throughout the series."

All of England's surprise picks paid off.

Morgan said: "I thought they were exceptional - at 19 for three, James Vince coming in on his debut to play the way he did on a wicket that the three before struggled to adjust to was outstanding.

"That will give him a lot of confidence.

"All the guys who have come in today have done really, really well."

One such was Plunkett, still one of England's fastest bowlers at the age of 30.

"Within the Twenty20 squad, there is a position available for a quick bowler," said his captain.

"To come out and do it - when he's only had one opportunity - was brilliant.

"It's not easy to do it - you need to be bowling all the time, so it's a credit to him."

Billings was modest about his performance.

"It's nice to make a contribution in a winning side," he said.

"We all saw how well Jos played the other day - it was a ridiculous innings.

"If you get an opportunity, you've got to take it.

"It's just a case of using your options wisely, and thankfully it came off tonight."

England's cause was helped by a ridiculous run-out at a crucial point of Paksitan's chase, in which Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood ended up racing one another for the safe end.

It was the first of three wickets to fall for one run - and with a rueful half-smile, coach Waqar Younis said: "The way they ran, they both should have been run out!

"It was very poor.

"If you lose three wickets like that in the middle overs, you will lose - in any format."

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