Pakistan crash to nine-wicket defeat against second-choice England side in first ODI

Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood picks 4-42 as visitors are bowled out for 141 on Thursday

Pakistan were hoping for a slightly easier start to their limited overs tour of England but a second-string home side handed them a nine-wicket thrashing in the first ODI in Cardiff on Thursday.

Ben Stokes was leading a new-look England side after the main squad was forced into quarantine on Tuesday, with their team for the first match featuring five debutants. However, Babar Azam's visitors got no respite.

Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood marked his return to England duty with an ODI best of 4-42 as the hosts put their Covid-19 issues behind them to dismiss Pakistan for just 141.

The 24-year-old Lancashire quick, in just his fifth match at this level and first in nearly a year, took two wickets in three balls.

Only opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, with 47, and Shadab Khan (30) offered any resistance. When captain Stokes caught Shaheen Shah Afridi to end the innings, Pakistan had more than 14 overs left to bat.

In reply, England reached the target in the 22nd over. Dawid Malan hit an unbeaten 68 while Zak Crawley remained 58 not out to seal a nine-wicket win.

England were fielding an entirely new XI after a coronavirus outbreak within their existing squad during a recent 2-0 series win at home to Sri Lanka.

After Stokes won the toss, Mahmood had Imam-ul-Haq lbw with the first ball of the match after a review ordered by Stokes confirmed the ball had pitched in line.

Two balls later, Pakistan captain Babar Azam - the world's top-ranked ODI batsman - also fell for a duck when he edged to Crawley at second slip, with the tourists then 0-2.

Mohammad Rizwan had made 13 when he edged a superb, late-moving, delivery from Lewis Gregory to debutant wicketkeeper John Simpson.

And when Mahmood had Pakistan debutant Saud Shakeel lbw for five with a ball that angled in, he had taken 3-21 in four overs and set the stage for a one-sided match.

Updated: July 8th 2021, 5:03 PM