Just when you thought it was safe to back England to win an international tournament, they go and throw it all away. It was only the New T&T/Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Sixes. A five over game. And there they were, the cream of England's one-day international squad whose goal was to restrict a patchwork Pakistan side to less than 70. England seemed to be well on target to winning their third Sixes title when Pakistan, despite the batting heroics of skipper Wasim Akram, needed 22 runs from the final over. The ball was handed over to captain Adam Hollioake, England's new one-day captain. Facing him was Zahoor Elahi who had scratched around to make five runs, all of them coming in singles. At the other end was Wasim, on 30, knowing that he would have to retire with another scoring stroke due to the rules of the competition. Three of Pakistan's top batsmen had been dismissed, two of them leg before wicket. Strains of 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' could be heard above the din of the vocal Pakistani supporters in the 7,000-strong crowd at the Hong Kong Stadium. It was almost taken for granted that England would win. The renaissance of English cricket was about to begin, right here in Hong Kong. Everyone thought so. Even skipper Adam Hollioake, who said: 'I thought the chances of going for 22 runs in the last over were pretty small. But then I began badly with a wide and my next ball was dispatched for four. Suddenly they needed 16 from five balls and it did not look such a big target after all.' Hollioake summed it up well. Elahi did the rest. The Lahore batsman, later named player of the final, was a picture of composure while Hollioake seemed to wilt under the pressure. The next three balls were dispatched for four, six, four and Pakistan were left needing only two runs from the last two balls. Hollioake capped a miserable over by bowling a wide to give Pakistan a memorable victory, emulating if not bettering their win in the inaugural tournament in 1992. Wasim was there then, too. But he will savour this one, especially as he is making a comeback after a four-month break due to a shoulder operation. 'We were under a lot of pressure . . . as much as you would get in any international and we came through. It was a great team effort and winning, whatever the tournament is, is always a great feeling,' said the Pakistan captain. The pressure was exacerbated by the lbw dismissals of Basit Ali and Naeem Ashraf, which Wasim labelled as 'a little shocking'. 'Nobody gets out leg before in these type of games . . . it put us under pressure,' said Wasim, who played his part as captain by hitting Ben Hollioake for three successive sixes. Facing defeat, Pakistan answered back in typical fashion through the fiery hitting of Elahi. 'I was very confident that I could do it,' said the 26-year-old Elahi afterwards. Pakistan booked their berth in the final having easily defeated Bangladesh, by 35 runs, and then defending champions West Indies by four wickets. England had a harder time making it through to the final. They beat Australia by 20 runs and then met Sri Lanka in a game to decide the finalist from the Sobers' group. Sri Lanka had earlier scraped past the Australians, thanks to their fast bowler Dulip Liyanage who had an outstanding tournament. Liyanage was given the task of bowling the last over against Australia who needed 17 runs to win. The first three balls conceded 11 runs. The next three saw Liyanage bowl Michael Di Venuto and then concede two singles for the drum-beating Sri Lankan spectators to erupt into joy. But Adam Hollioake and his merry men quickly doused their elation as they won by five runs. England's many fans were jubilating at the prospect of winning a third Sixes title. But all it needed was one over for their dreams to turn to ashes. Pakistan scored a five-wicket victory to take the first game of the three-match Wills Challenge Series against India yesterday. Explosive Pakistani opening pair of Saeed Anwar (30) and Shahid Afridi (45) delighted more than 10,000 spectators present in Hyderabad with big hitting after restricting the visitors to 170.