Jos Buttler delighted after winning start as England skipper

Buttler's previous experience of leadership in the middle amounted to little more than a match in charge of Somerset second XI and another for England Under-18s against Scotland A.

No one would have guessed that, though, as he marshalled a young team to a series-clinching Twenty20 victory over Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium.

Others needed to stay calm too, including Chris Woakes who had been desposited for three sixes by Shahid Afridi in his third over but returned for the last to defend a further 11 runs and leave the hosts three shy of England's hard-earned 172 for eight.

Buttler, leading the team here in place of the rested Eoin Morgan, could afford a winner's smile after Anwar Ali had failed to score off the last ball from Woakes when a four was needed to complete a Pakistan ambush.

"I loved this experience," said Buttler.

"I've obviously been vice-captain for a while, and it's a lot easier job when you can give your two-pence and then step back and not be accountable for the decision.

"But I really enjoyed the responsibility, the pressure of it - and it certainly makes the game a bit more emotional.

"It was a really enjoyable start."

The wicketkeeper-batsman felt the whole evening should have been a little less stressful, as England nonetheless won for the second time in as many days and fifth in white-ball cricket over the past two weeks against these opponents.

"We got into a position where we should have won the game more comfortably," he added.

"But Afridi came in and played as he can, and that put a lot pressure on us.

"I think throughout the game, we didn't play our best but showed a lot of character with the bat and ball to do enough at the right times.

"For Chris Woakes to have the guts to stand up and do the job in that last over, fair play to him."

Liam Plunkett played a significant part too, recovering after conceding 15 runs in his first over to end up with three for 33 - and take his tally to six wickets in the past two days, in only his second and third Twenty20 caps and first since 2006.

The 30-year-old pace bowler has been on tour in the United Arab Emirates since the end of September but was unused in Tests or one-day internationals.

"To say I'm fresh is an understatement - I've been here for seven or eight weeks now," he said.

"I felt like I wanted to take my chance, and I felt good ... and it was nice to run in and bowl quick and get a few wickets."

He was also perhaps venting some frustration at being a surprise omission from England's Test squad to travel to South Africa next month.

Plunkett said: "I'm gutted I'm not going.

"I'll try and catch the coach later and see what I can do to get back in the Test squad.

"You can't dwell on it, you've got to move forward."

Plunkett is hoping for an informative explanation from Trevor Bayliss.

"I guess in the middle of the one-dayers I was going to leave it and catch up later to see what I did wrong or need to improve on," he said.

"I train as hard as anyone on the circuit.

"I'd love to have played as many tests as Jimmy [Anderson], but I wasn't consistent enough in my career.

"I feel like I'm better now."

Pakistan must improve too, according to their bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed.

He said: "We were second in the world [in the Twenty20 table at the start of the series], but we are maybe lacking in fitness.

"It's a fitness game. There are no excuses - we have to raise our game."

  It was a hectic introduction to the England captaincy for Jos Buttler
It was a hectic introduction to the England captaincy for Jos Buttler