England stood firm for a narrow victory over Pakistan in the final one-day international at Rawalpindi to ensure they can return home for Christmas with some pride still intact.
There was, therefore, relief as well as a touch of satisfaction in captain Marcus Trescothick's voice as he reflected on "what might have been" in the 3-2 limited-overs series defeat as well as England's 2-0 Test match disappointment.
Trescothick, pressed into service to lead his country for much of this tour because of Michael Vaughan's knee injury, was particularly pleased with England's bowlers after they dug deep to defend a disappointing total of 206 for nine on an awkward pitch.
Man-of-the-match James Anderson (four for 48) gave another hint that he is returning to something at least approaching the form which saw him burst on the international scene almost three years ago, while slow left-armer Ian Blackwell (three for 29) produced a telling spell on a surface which favoured spin.
Despite half-centuries from Pakistan's Yasir Hameed (57) and Mohammad Yousuf (54), England held their nerve under lights to close out a sixrun victory.
"It was a great performance, especially the way we bowled. That's twice in a row we've bowled really, really well," said Tresco-thick. "It's nice to finish on a high, go home and be able to hold your heads up and say you've done okay."
But Trescothick was not fooled into thinking England are entirely back in the groove. Their Ashes glory seems a long time ago now and the captain is well aware that deficiencies in the top-order batting cannot be glossed over.
Asked for his summary of the one-day series, he said: "It's probably the same as the Tests  what could have been, really.
"The last [previous] game was probably the killer for us - we could have won that one quite easily if we had just batted a bit better.
"But we didn't perform well enough with the bat in any of the games bar one. That is something for us to address and something we have already spoken about on numerous occasions.
"We'll have to keep assessing it to make sure we are getting the right people in the right places with the right plans." ..SUPL: