Replying to Pakistan’s 229 for 6, and requiring 15 off the final over to win, Holder smashed a four and a six off Wahab Riaz, resulting in the last ball drama.
Lendl Simmons and Misbah-ul-Haq, both top scoring for their teams with 75 runs apiece, shared the Man of the Match award.
Earlier, Misbah compiled his runs in his usual calm, unruffled manner to steady the innings after the early loss of both openers. Akmal then scored an unbeaten 40 off 31 deliveries to give Pakistan a fighting chance.
Holder and Dwayne Bravo took two wickets apiece but Bravo's decision to persist with himself in the final overs proved costly, his last three overs being plastered for 40 runs.
Pakistan's seamers made early inroads and it took Simmons's effort, together with a 46 from Samuels, to keep West Indies within reach of the target.
However, with Saeed Ajmal taking three wickets in the space of two overs and Junaid Khan joining in with two scalps, West Indies looked to have lost their opportunity, losing five wickets for 27 runs.
But some big shots from Sunil Narine during a brief cameo revived flagging hopes and then it came down to that decisive final over as the senior members of the Pakistan squad deliberated with their captain over who should bowl the final over.
Maintaining a full length gave Holder the opportunity to smash the telling boundaries after a couple of singles, leaving three runs for victory and two to tie off the final ball. A sliced drive to third man guaranteed at least one but he should have been run out by at least half the length of the pitch in coming back for the second run, only for Akmal to fail to collect the return.