CARDIFF: England has comfortably defeated Pakistan by nine-wicket in the first One-Day International of the three-match series in Cardiff today (Thursday).
Chasing a modest target of 142, David Malan (68*) and Crawley’s (58*) 120-run partnership took England over the finish line with 28.1 overs to spare.
England made a confident start as Dawid Malan welcomed Hasan Ali with a boundary on the first ball. Shaheen kept putting pressure on the openers from the other end and was rewarded in his third over as Phil Salt tried was caught at slip by Sohaib Maqsood for 7.
Malan kept accelerating and hit Shaheen and Hasan for a couple of boundaries in consecutive overs. Crawley took inspiration from Malan and started attacking the pacers as well.
A completely altered England XI after a coronavirus outbreak within the originally selected squad, finished on 142-1 with almost 28 overs remaining.
Earlier, Saqib Mahmood’s four-wicket haul helped England bowl out Pakistan for a modest total of 141. Pakistan made the worst possible start in the first ODI as Imamul Haq and Babar Azam, both, were dismissed for a duck in the very first over of the innings.
Mohammad Rizwan tried to counter-attack by hitting a couple of boundaries. However, he was undone by an immaculate line by Lewis Gregory and was caught behind for 13.
Mahmood continued to wreck havoc as he got rid of debutant Saud Shakeel for 5 in his fourth over, leaving Pakistan reeling at 26-4. Only opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, with 47, and Shadab Khan (30) offered much resistance in the first of this three-match series.
Overton removed Shaheen Afridi for 12 to pick his second wicket and bring an end to Pakistan’s inning. Such was England’s command that Stokes, despite being the most experienced member of the attack, bowled just the one over.
England was fielding an entirely new XI, including five debutants, after a coronavirus outbreak within their existing squad during a recent 2-0 series win at home to Sri Lanka meant all 16 players originally selected to play against Pakistan were forced to self-isolate.
In addition, England was also missing fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone and wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler through injury.