CARDIFF: England’s makeshift One-day International team put the coronavirus (Covid-19) issues that hit the previous squad behind them to bowl out Pakistan for 141 runs before cruising to a clinical nine-wicket win in the series opener in Cardiff on Thursday.
Stand-in skipper Ben Stokes led an entirely fresh England XI, including five debutants, after a Covid-19 outbreak in the squad during the recent series win over Sri Lanka meant all 16 players initially selected had to self-isolate.
But the revamped hosts were on the front foot from the start, with paceman Saqib Mahmood marking his return to the side with four wickets for 42 to help bowl out Pakistan with just under 15 overs to spare at Sophia Gardens.
Chasing 142 for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, England lost Phil Salt in the fifth over before fellow opener Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley steadied the ship.
Malan (68 not out) brought up his second fifty in his fourth ODI appearance and Crawley (58 not out) also scored a half-century on his ODI debut as England cruised home in 21.5 overs.
England made a rousing start with the ball in hand on a sunny afternoon as Mahmood trapped Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq leg-before with the first delivery of the match.
Two balls later, Mahmood picked up his second wicket when Pakistan skipper Babar Azam — the top-ranked ODI batsman — departed for a duck after edging to Crawley at second slip.
Mohammad Rizwan was next to be dismissed for 13 before Mahmood trapped Saud Shakeel in front of the stumps to leave Pakistan teetering at 26-4.
Opener Fakhar Zaman, who was making a return to the ground where he made a fifty in Pakistan’s 2017 ICC Champions Trophy semi-final win over England, offered stiff resistance with Sohaib Maqsood as they added 53 runs for the fifth wicket.
The partnership, however, ended with a farcical run out when Fakhar called Sohaib for a single and then left him stranded as James Vince flicked the bails.
Pakistan’s hopes of posting a competitive total ended with Zaman (47) miscuing a square-cut straight to point off leg-spinner Matt Parkinson.
The teams now head to the Lord’s for the second ODI on Saturday.
HARIS SOHAIL RULED OUT OF TOUR
Injury-plagued Pakistan batsman Haris Sohail has been ruled out of the entire tour with a hamstring niggle, it was announced here on Thursday.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a media release that Haris would now return home to undergo a four-week rehabilitation programme at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore.
No replacement has been named for Haris, who was only meant to feature in the One-day International leg of a tour that also includes three Twenty20 Internationals.
Haris’s withdrawal was announced just hours before the first ODI series.
After Pakistan arrived in Britain, the 32-year-old left-hander — who boasts an impressive batting average of nearly 47 in his 42 One-day Internationals — pulled out of the first intra-squad practice game on July 1 and missed the second one as well.
A scan on Wednesday confirmed a muscle tear, with the PCB saying Haris had suffered the injury during training.
“I was keenly looking forward to the ODIs as part of my objective to contribute to the side’s success and also cement my position in the side,” a dejected Haris said in the PCB statement.
Imam-ul-Haq c lbw b Mahmood 0
Fakhar Zaman c Crawley b Parkinson 47
Babar Azam c Crawley b Mahmood 0
Mohammad Rizwan c Simpson b Gregory 13
Saud Shakeel lbw b Mahmood 5
Sohaib Maqsood run out 19
Shadab Khan c Malan b Overton 30
Faheem Ashraf c Simpson b Mahmood 5
Hasan Ali c Malan b Parkinson 6
Shaheen Shah Afridi c Stokes b Overton 12
Haris Rauf not out 0
EXTRAS (W-3, NB-1) 4
TOTAL (all out, 35.2 overs) 141
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0 (Imam), 2-0 (Babar), 3-17 (Rizwan), 4-26 (Saud), 5-79 (Sohaib), 6-90 (Fakhar), 7-101 (Faheem), 8-123 (Hasan), 9-134 (Shadab), 10-141 (Shaheen).
BOWLING: Mahmood 10-1-42-4; Gregory 4-1-11-1; Overton 6.2-0-23-2 (1w); Carse 7-0-31-0 (1w); Parkinson 7-0-28-2 (1w); Stokes 1-0-6-0 (1nb).
P.D. Salt c Sohaib b Shaheen 7
D.J. Malan not out 68
Z. Crawley not out 58
EXTRAS (LB-1, W-7, NB-1) 9
TOTAL (for one wkt, 21.5 overs) 142
FALL OF WKT: 1-22 (Salt).
DID NOT BAT: J.M. Vince, B.A. Stokes, J.A. Simpson, L Gregory, C. Overton, B.A. Carse, S. Mahmood, M.W. Parkinson.
BOWLING: Shaheen Shah Afridi 5-0-22-1 (2w); Hasan Ali 4-0-33-0 (1nb, 2w); Haris Rauf 4-0-28-0 (2w); Faheem Ashraf 5-0-33-0 (1w); Shadab Khan 3-0-22-0; Saud Shakeel 0.5-0-3-0.
RESULT: England won by nine wickets to lead three-match series 1-0.
UMPIRES: R.A. Kettleborough (England) and A.G. Wharf (England).
TV UMPIRE: R.K. Illingworth (England).
MATCH REFEREE: B.C. Broad (England).
PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Saqib Mahmood.
SECOND MATCH: Lord’s, Saturday (3:00pm PST)
THIRD MATCH: Edgbaston, Tuesday (5:00pm PST).
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2021