Saqib Mahmood’s 4-42 inspires England to nine wicket win over Pakistan in first ODI in Cardiff | Cricket News




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Best of action from first ODI in Cardiff as a changed England side beat Pakistan by nine wickets

Best of action from first ODI in Cardiff as a changed England side beat Pakistan by nine wickets

Saqib Mahmood’s career-best 4-42 numbers sent Pakistan spiraling to a nine-wicket loss to new-look England in the inaugural Royal London Series ODI, in Cardiff.

Mahmood, in his fifth ODI, easily eclipsed his previous record of 2-36 with an impressive bowling display as Tourists regrouped for 141 in just 35.2 overs.

England – fielding a hastily assembled replacement XI after the original ODI team in full were placed in isolation on Tuesday following a COVID-19 outbreak at the camp – hit their target in 21.5 overs behind an uninterrupted stand of 120 races between Zak Crawley (58no) and Dawid Malan (68no).

Dawid Malan hit his 50s as England moved towards their winning goal

Dawid Malan hit his 50s as England moved towards their winning goal

The partnership was the highest in Cardiff for the second wicket of all ODI international rounds, surpassing the 92 posted by Australians Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting against Pakistan in 2001.

Crawley was one of five newbies on the home roster – alongside opener Phil Salt, versatile Lewis Gregory, fast pitcher Brydon Carse and wicket keeper John Simpson – which was led by Ben Stokes, s ‘rushed to the side earlier than expected after breaking a finger in the Indian Premier League.

Stokes was in a jovial mood after winning the draw, joking that England made 11 changes before forgetting the names of two of the five debutants – Crawley and the hapless duo Gregory.

England captain Ben Stokes struggled to remember all the rookies on his squad before the first ODI
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England captain Ben Stokes struggled to remember all the rookies on his squad before the first ODI

England captain Ben Stokes struggled to remember all the rookies on his squad before the first ODI

Days after England’s disarray, it was the Pakistan batting team in crisis as Mahmood set the tone by removing Misbah-ul-Haq lbw with the first ball of the match, then catching Babar Azam by Crawley at the second slip with its third delivery.

A 0-2 score quickly grew to 17-3, then 26-4 as Mohammad Rizwan munched on a delivery from Gregory who calmed down and Mahmood beat Saud Shakeel for pace to trap the rookie lbw for five.

Fakhar (47) remained unfazed, deploying full workouts and powerful pull-ups, but no shot was as devastating as Sohaib Maqsood’s six on extra cover against Craig Overton (2-23).

The Pakistani pair countered a penetrating English bowling alley with a set of thrust shots, forging a fifth wicket of 53 only for Maqsood (19) to be knocked out by James Vince at the non-attacking end after being sold a model by his teammate.

Maqsood walks away after being kicked out by Vince at the non-striker end
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Maqsood walks away after being kicked out by Vince at the non-striker end

Maqsood walks away after being kicked out by Vince at the non-striker end

Eleven races later, Fakhar’s blazing blow ended abruptly when he attempted to carry a short and inviting delivery from Matt Parkinson (2-28) about to find Crawley’s hands.

Pakistan topped 100 before Faheem Ashraf became the seventh man to come out – Mahmood picking up his fourth wicket thanks to a simple snick at Simpson.

At 101-7, the Tourists decided to go on the offensive with Shadab Khan (30 of 43 balls) throwing Parkinson’s for six and Hasan Ali (six) swinging the bat – all with little success as he got caught in the depths by Parkinson’s Malan after being abandoned by the same fielder against one.

Malan was back in deep-square business as Shadab poorly handed Overton his first ODI wicket in his second appearance and the Somerset bowler doubled up when Shaheen Afridi – dropped the ball forward – skied a mere chance at Stokes at the halfway point.

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England bristled with early intention early in their response – Salt smashed Hasan through the covers for just four before sneaking in to attempt an ambitious workout first.

Crawley had his stumps smashed by a Yorkie from Hasan when he only had one, knowing it was a free kick, and had the best view as Malan punched Shaheen for four on the front back foot to drive a second limit above.

Pakistan’s luck hung in the air – Crawley took the cover advantage on 14 – as the pair eased to a 50-point stalemate on 45 balls before Malan reached a 50-ball run on a lower limit.

Crawley posted his first ODI fifty for his debut with 44 balls thanks to his seventh four, a well-played four behind the point, at which point the result was a formality.

Watch the second ODI between England and Pakistan live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10:30 am Saturday.



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