Saif Ullah Khan
England defeated Pakistan by nine wickets in the first ODI at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Set at 142-run target, England romped home in the 22nd over courtesy unbeaten half-centuries by Dawid Malan and debutant Zak Crawley.
The two added 120 runs for the second-wicket after Shaheen Shah Afridi had dismissed Malan’s opening partner Phil Salt for seven runs. Malan struck eight fours in his 68 off 69 balls. The right-handed Crawley hit seven fours in his 58-run effort off 50 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan were bowled out for 141 runs in 35.2 overs after England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and decided to bowl first.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed lbw by pacer Saqib Mahmood on the first ball of the match. Skipper Babar Azam was also dismissed for a duck two balls later as Pakistan slipped to zero for two after the first three balls of the match.
The tourists lost wickets at regular intervals with Fakhar Zaman the only one to offer some sustained resistance. The left-hander scored 47 off 67 balls (six fours). Shadab Khan contributed 30 off 43 balls. Sohaib Maqsood who was making a comeback to the national side after five years, scored 19 off 32 before an unfortunate run out dismissal.
For England Saqib took four wickets for 42 runs in 10 overs. Craig Overton and Matt Parkinson took two wickets each. The second ODI will be played at Lord’s on Saturday, 10 July.
England beat Pakistan by nine wickets