Saeed Ajmal finished with a career-best 5-43. -Photo by AFP

ABU DHABI: Paceman Steven Finn took a career-best 4-34 and Alastair Cook hit his highest score to help England beat Pakistan in a fortune-turning 130-run win in the first day-night international here on Monday.

Finn, left to serve drinks during England's 3-0 defeat in the preceding Tests, destroyed Pakistan's batting with four early wickets off 29 balls to dismiss them for 130 in 35 overs after Cook's 137 helped his team to 260-7.

The win gives England a 1-0 win in the four-match series after a disastrous Test series -- their first as world number one in five-day format.

Pakistan looked all at sea against Finn who used the wind to move the ball.

The 22-year-old lanky paceman, who showed frustration at being sidelined in the Tests, showed his talent by trapping Mohammad Hafeez (five) and Asad Shafiq (nought) off successive balls in his second over.

He then had Younis Khan (15) in his fourth and Imran Farhat (ten) in his fifth to leave Pakistan tottering at 40-4.

Left-arm spinner Samit Patel then further shook Pakistan with the wickets of Misbah-ul Haq (14), Shoaib Malik (seven) and Shahid Afridi (28) to finish with 3-26. Graeme Swann, who took 2-19, had Umar Akmal (22) and Umar Gul (two).

Earlier Cook, whose previous best of 119 came against Sri Lanka at Lord's last year, hit 14 boundaries during a fluent 142-ball innings and shaped well against Pakistan's spin-dominated attack.

Given out leg-before off Mohammad Hafeez when 30, Cook successfully reviewed Australian umpire Simon Taufel's decision and carried the batting until the 47th over when he was finally bowled by Saeed Ajmal who finished with a career-best 5-43.

Cook added an invaluable 131 runs for the third wicket with Ravi Bopara (50) to revive England after they lost two wickets in the 13th over.

England's ploy to open with Kevin Pietersen, who managed just 67 runs in the Tests, worked well as Cook and his new partner put on 57 by the 13th over as Pakistan opened the bowling with paceman Umar Gul and Hafeez.

Pietersen though managed 14 before he became one of two Shahid Afridi victims, bowled through the gate off a googly by the leg-spinner. Next ball Afridi dismissed Jonathan Trott with a sharp turner.

Bopara notched his seventh fifty in one-day internationals off 67 delivery but two balls later jumped out to drive Ajmal and was stumped. He hit four boundaries.

Cook hit Afridi for two fours to enter the 90s and then cover drove Ajmal to the boundary to reach the three-figure mark off 110 deliveries.

Ajmal's previous best of 4-33 was against New Zealand on this same ground in 2009.

Patel (17) and Swann (13) put together 28 in the last 3.1 overs to propel England to a fighting total.

The second match will be played here on Wednesday while the last two will be played in Dubai on February 18 and 21.

Updated Feb 13, 2012 05:30pm

Comments (9) (Closed)


Abdul waheed
Feb 13, 2012 07:05pm
today match is very important for pakistan.pakistan needs wining combination to come on top in icc ranking. Abdul waheed from Quetta.
Muhammad
Feb 14, 2012 02:30am
Where is Abdur Rehman ?, he should be brought back in 2nd ODI since english batsmen already scared of him and he and Ajmal togather were lethal against them. Muhammad Yusuf should also be brought back since Pakistani batting failed again and they need his experience, he is younger then Misbah so why can't he play after being declared the best batsmen by WISDEN ?
ali
Feb 14, 2012 02:38am
Can someone please tell me why the hell did they play Shoaib Malik I can't believe he was picked. This guy is useless. This tell us that there is still players in the team with a reference(shifarasi). so disappointing. I cannt believe we cannt get a decent fast bowler or an all-rounder in a population of over 180 million. Where is that Hammad Azam or Abdul Razzaq. PCB and selection team is never going to learn any lesson. We will have to wait for new Goverment change I guess. Peace
Shams
Feb 14, 2012 10:47am
Batting is long Pakistan problem and is still a problem and in fact the bowlers helped Pakistan win the test series. We need new faces in one day side, for how long we will stake with Shoib Malik, Imran Farhat. We should also accept that Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali don't have the limited overs matches temperement and are only good for test matches. We should try new faces like Awais zia, Sherjeel, Ahmad shezad, nasir jamsheed. One ingredient missing from Pakistan team is a fact bowling alrounder.
Aamir
Feb 14, 2012 12:23pm
I think Shoaib Malik failed to impress even his last supporter. Merit killing selection exposed completely. I think Faisal Iqbal was more deserving than Shoaib Malik. Abdul Rehman exclusion was major cause of failure too.
Gulap
Feb 14, 2012 03:31pm
The day Misbah ignored the merit -to pick Shoaib Malik - he lost terribly.
KIND
Feb 14, 2012 04:17pm
FATE BABA FATE
Ali
Feb 14, 2012 05:42pm
This is called politics. They also made him bowl in the session when the opposition will not look for any big hits (25-35 over) There is also betting on who will be in playing 11 and who is going to bowl which over. Its bigger than we think and as I said previously, this can only change with the Government change
CRICFAN
Feb 14, 2012 08:43pm
Where is Abdul Razzak, Imran Nazeer, they are much better and have much better records then Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat. Imran Farhat is a Sifarshi, being the Son-in-Law of a Selector. Yasir Hameed is also much better then these sifarshis.