Cardiff, A four-wicket haul by right-arm fast bowler Saqib Mahmood helped the new-look Ben Stokes-led England beat Pakistan by nine wickets in the opening One-day International at the Sophia Gardens to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Set at 142-run target, with only Fakhar Zaman (47) and Shadab Khan (30) making decent scores, England romped home in the 22nd over on Thursday, courtesy unbeaten half-centuries from Dawid Malan and debutant Zak Crawley.
The two added 120 runs for the second-wicket after Shaheen Afridi had dismissed Malan’s opening partner Phil Salt for seven runs. Malan struck eight fours in his 68 off 69 balls. The right-handed Crawley hit seven fours in his 58-run effort off 50 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan were bowled out for 141 runs in 35.2 overs after England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and decided to bowl first.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq was dismissed lbw by pacer Saqib Mahmood on the first ball of the match. Skipper Babar Azam was also dismissed for a duck two balls later as Pakistan slipped to zero for two after the first three balls of the match.
The visitors lost wickets at regular intervals with Fakhar Zaman the only one to offer some resistance. The left-hander scored 47 off 67 balls (six fours). Shadab Khan contributed 30 off 43 balls.
For England Mahmood took four wickets for 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 10.
Brief scores: 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) by nine wickets.