England registered a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first ODI of the three-match series in Cardiff on Thursday.
Chasing a modest target of 142, 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 to take on a full delivery and was caught at slip by Sohaib Maqsood for 7.
Malan kept accelerating despite Salt’s departure 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. Crawley took a particular liking to Haris Rauf and smashed the pacer for a couple of boundaries in his second over.
The duo kept England on track for chase as they brought up the team’s century in the 16th over.
Pakistan introduced Shadab Khan into the attack in the 17th over. Malan hit the leg-spinner for a boundary on the second ball of the over, to bring up his fifty in 50 balls.
Crawley took advantage of short deliveries from Shadab and also brought up his fifty, taking England closer to the target.
Malan (68*) and Crawley’s (58*) 120-run partnership took England over the finish line with 28.1 overs to spare.
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.
Imam was trapped lbw on the first ball by Saqib Mahmood and Babar was caught in the slips for a duck.
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, handing the all-rounder his maiden ODI wicket.
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.
Pakistan badly needed a partnership and in-form opener Fakhar Zaman responded by stitching a 53-run partnership with Sohaib Maqsood. Fakhar and Maqsood took advantage of England’s inexperienced bowling line-up and attacked Craig Overton and Brydon Carse.
The duo were on their way to rebuild the innings but a mix-up in the middle during the 19th over brought an end to Maqsood’s knock as he was run out for 19.
Soon after Maqsood’s departure, Pakistan was dealt a major blow as Fakhar tried to cut Matt Parkinson’s leg-spin but was caught at point for 47.
Mahmood wasn’t done yet as he returned to remove Faheem Ashraf, who was caught behind for 5.
With Pakistan seven down, Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali decided to up the ante and charge at England bowlers. They combined for a 22-run partnership before Hasan was caught at deep midwicket for 5, while trying to take on Parkinson.
Shadab continued to fight alone but soon he pulled a back of a length delivery from Overton straight down Malan's throat at deep square leg and was gone for 30.
Overton removed Shaheen Afridi for 12 to pick his second wicket and bring an end to Pakistan’s inning.
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