With a third-string side, England crushed a much-more experienced Pakistan in the first One Day International (ODI) of the ongoing three-match series at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Thursday.
Pacer Saqib Mahmood sent shockwaves to the Pakistan batting unit after producing a magical performance with the white leather. The right-armer provided the first breakthrough on the very first ball of the innings by dismissing opener Imam-ul-Haq for a golden duck.
But Saqib didn’t just stop there as on the third ball of the same over; the Warwickshire bowler got the big fish when he sent back Pakistan skipper Babar Azam without troubling the scorers.
The visitors kept losing wickets at regular intervals and never really got any momentum to post a competitive total. Opener Fakhar Zaman remained the only major highlight for his side, falling three runs short of his half-century when Matthew Parkinson dismissed him in the 22nd over.
Later, Shadab Khan made a valuable contribution of 30 runs as Pakistan were bundled out for 141 in the 36th over. Saqib finished the innings with a four-wicket haul for 42 runs in his quota of 10 overs. Apart from Saqib, Craig Overton and Parkinson bagged two scalps each.
In reply, England lost opener Philip Salt early for seven runs, but Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley stood tall and never allowed Pakistan bowlers to come back in the game.
The pair of Malan and Crawley went on to add unbeaten 120 runs for the first wicket to hand the visiting side a defeat by nine wickets. Malan scored 68 not out off 69 deliveries while Crawley stayed unbeaten on 58 from 50 balls.
England 142/1 (Dawid Malan 68*, Zak Crawley 58*) beat Pakistan 141/10 (Fakhar Zaman 47, Saqib Mahmood 4/42) by nine wickets.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Saqib Mahmood (@SaqMahmood25) July 8, 2021
Love watching Pakistan play Cricket … A team that can beat any team in the world on any given day but also lose to any team on any given day … #ENGvPAK
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 8, 2021
Thought this was our B team 😜#ENGvPAK
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) July 8, 2021
England’s third string XI have just womped a full strength Pakistan. The white ball depth in this country is nothing short of extraordinary. The 2019 World Cup was the showpiece but matches like this in situations like this are the foundations that underpin that triumph. #ENGvPAK
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) July 8, 2021
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) July 8, 2021
This is Pakistan's first bad performance in ODIs in the last two years. They have won each of their last 3 ODI series. Only two ODIs lost in this period and both were closely fought games. #EngvPak
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) July 8, 2021
Unbeaten fifties from Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley guide England to a nine-wicket win in the first #ENGvPAK ODI.
The hosts chase down 142 comfortably in 21.5 overs 👏
— ICC (@ICC) July 8, 2021
Fifty by Zak Crawley on ODI debut, Dawid Malan also scored a fifty. An easy win on the cards for England, a complete team performance to outplay Pakistan.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) July 8, 2021
Just an observation! I really hope Dawid Malan is in good headspace! Just watching the highlights and even though he’s batted superbly, he just didn’t look happy or if he really wanted to be there! Not a glimmer of a smile at 50! So hope everything is well with Dawid 🤞🏼
— Michael Parker (@Parksy17) July 8, 2021
An unbeaten 120-run stand to see England to victory.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) July 8, 2021
Outstanding win @englandcricket well played boys!! 🙌👌 🔥
— James Taylor (@jamestaylor20) July 8, 2021
In three international innings against Pakistan, Zak Crawley has 378 runs at an average of 189.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) July 8, 2021
Dawid Malan is in beautiful touch. His Timing Rating in this innings is 164, the highest of any batsman in the match barring Fakhar Zaman. Dominant stuff. #ENGvPAK
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) July 8, 2021