Cardiff, July 9 (IANS) A four-wicket move by right-arm fast bowler Saqib Mahmood helped new-look Ben Stokes-led England beat Pakistan by nine wickets at the opening of One-Day International at Sophia Gardens to take a 1 -0 lead in the series with three matches.
With a goal of 142 races in which only Fakhar Zaman (47) and Shadab Khan (30) scored decent goals, England stood at home in the 22nd round on Thursday, thanks to an unbeaten half-century from Dawid Malan and debutant Zak Crawley.
The two added 120 runs for the second time after Shaheen Afridi fired Malan’s opening partner Phil Salt in seven runs. Malan hit eight fours in his 68 out of 69 balls. The right-handed Crawley hit seven fours in his 58-run effort from 50 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan were thrown out in the 141st race in 35.2 overs after England captain Ben Stokes won the throw and decided to throw himself first.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq was rejected lbw by pacer Saqib Mahmood on the first ball of the match. Skipper Babar Azam was also sacked for one and two balls later as Pakistan slipped to zero for two after the match’s first three balls.
The visitors lost wickets on a regular basis, with Fakhar Zaman being the only one to resist. Left-handed scored 47 out of 67 balls (six fours). Shadab Khan contributed 30 out of 43 balls.
For England, Mahmood took four wickets to 42 runs in 10 overs. Craig Overton and Matt Parkinson took two wickets each. The second ODI will be played at Lord’s on July 10th.
Short score: Pakistan 141 in 35.2 overs (F Zaman 47, S Khan 30; S Mahmood 4/42, C Overton 2/23, M Parkinson 2/28) lost to England 142/1 in 21.5 overs (D Malan 68 not out , Z Crawley 58 not out; Shaheen Afridi 1/22) with nine wickets.