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Pakistan vs England England showcase strength in depth as Saqib Mahmood blows

Pakistan vs England England showcase strength in depth as Saqib Mahmood blows
Pak vs Eng


England brush aside Pakistan with clinical win after Covid chaos of … Thu, 08 Jul 2021 13:00:00 +0100-Crawley, Malan cruise to fifties as second-string team romp home with 28.1 overs to spare.

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Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs England 1st ODI 2021

Report

Crawley, Malan cruise to fifties as second-string team romp home with 28.1 overs to spare

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Saqib Mahmood dismissed Babar Azam for a duck in his first over  Getty Images
England 142 for 1 (Malan 68*, Crawley 58*) beat Pakistan 141 (Zaman 47, Mahmood 4-42) by nine wickets
England have enjoyed many impressive ODI performances in recent years: victories from the jaws of defeat; victories in locations where they used to be uncommon; victories in major global events. But, given the drama of the last few days and the challenges with which they were confronted, this win – by nine wickets with more than 28 overs to spare – may prove as satisfying as most of them.
Certainly it demonstrated England's remarkable strength in depth – in ODI cricket, at least – and a resilience which bodes well for the challenges ahead.
Despite being forced to make 11 changes to the side that played against Sri Lanka only four days ago, England's second string proved more than a match for a Pakistan team which had lost only one of their 12 most recent ODIs and is currently ranked No. 3 in the World Cup Super League. To defeat such an accomplished side by such a margin (in terms of deliveries to spare, 169, England had never inflicted such a large defeat upon Pakistan) in such circumstances can only be viewed as deeply impressive.
It has been 36 years since England put out a side with so few caps (136, since you asked; Ben Stokes accounting for 99 of them and James Vince 17 more). But after the extent of the Covid outbreak in the England camp became clear on Monday, the ECB were obliged to name an entirely new squad of players and support staff to ensure this series could go ahead. They had just one training session together before heading into this game.
Ultimately, there were five new caps in the England side, the most since the ODI against Ireland in May 2015 that ended Peter Moores' tenure as coach. Top-order batters Zak Crawley and Phil Salt, wicketkeeper John Simpson, seam-bowling allrounder Lewis Gregory and fast bowler Brydon Carse all made their debuts; while Crawley and Gregory have played Test cricket and T20Is respectively, the other three had no experience of international cricket.
But it was Saqib Mahmood, who in playing his fifth ODI was the third most experienced member of the side, who made the early inroads. Bowling at a brisk pace (above 87mph/140kph at times), he hit an excellent probing length and generated just enough movement to beat or catch edges.
Imam-ul-Haq played across the first ball of the series – Simpson, England's new keeper, and Stokes, their new captain, vindicated in calling for a review – with Babar Azam following two balls later. By the time Mahmood went round the wicket and trapped left-handed debutant Saud Shakeel with one that nipped in, Pakistan were 26 for 4. It was a passage of play which effectively defined the game. Mahmood was later, quite rightly, named as the player of the match.
Amid England's chaos, it might be overlooked that Pakistan hadn't enjoyed perfect preparation, either. They had been limited to intra-squad warm-up matches and were, perhaps, unfortunate enough to find themselves batting first on a surface offering just a fraction of seam movement.
So, while the scorecard may look ugly, you might spare a thought for Azam, who received an excellent ball which was angled in and forced a stroke only to then leave him a fraction to take the edge. Mohammad Rizwan, who also received a beauty which was angled in and left him, could also be forgiven for wondering he could have done about the delivery which dismissed him.
For a while, when Fakhar Zaman and Sohaib Maqsood were together, it looked as if Pakistan may be able to rebuild. Zaman, putting away anything overpitched or short with panache, looked in glorious touch with Maqsood producing one ferocious cut for six off the distinctly sharp Carse. Together they put on 53 for the fifth wicket.
But when Maqsood was run out, attempting to regain his ground having been sent back by Zaman, Pakistan's hopes of setting a challenging total disappeared with him. Zaman, slicing a drag-down from Matt Parkinson to cover, soon followed. Mahmood returned to have Faheem Ashraf, cramped for room, fencing outside off stump and finished with 4 for 42 from his 10 overs. Those figures, impressive though they are, didn't flatter him at all.
Underlining England's strength in depth, it was England's fifth four-wicket haul (or better) in their four most recent ODIs following Chris Woakes (4 for 18 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka), Sam Curran and David Willey (5 for 48 and 4 for 64 in the second) and Tom Curran (4 for 35 in the third). It is only the second time they have taken four-wicket hauls (or better) in four consecutive ODIs. It was also the first time England had bowled out a side for under 150 in an ODI since they dismissed Ireland for 126 in May 2017.
Not for a moment did Pakistan threaten to defend their paltry total. While Shaheen Shah Afridi produced a threatening opening spell, persuading Salt to edge to slip, Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley put on an unbroken stand of 120 for the second-wicket to seal a crushing victory.
Malan, in particular, looked in sublime form. He produced a series of sweetly-timed drives and, while his half-century (50 balls, with seven fours) came up with an under-edged reverse-sweep, it was a rare mis-step in an impressively assured performance. He is going to prove tough to leave out of any England side.
Crawley was barely less impressive. While he was, on one, defeated by a perfect Hasan Ali yorker, it came from a free-hit. His half-century, brought up with a gorgeous back-foot force through point, took only 44 balls and demonstrated once again that his is a talent to be nurtured.
It wasn't a perfect display from England – not quite, anyway. Ali, on one, was badly missed by Malan at deep midwicket, while a much tougher chance (an under-edge off a slog-sweep) offered by Shadab Khan, on six, was missed by Simpson behind the stumps. Parkinson was the unfortunate bowler on both occasions with Shahdab going on to make 30; one of only two men to reach 20 in the innings. Parkinson, at mid-on, also made a bit of a mess of a chance offered by Afridi on 10.
But these are minor quibbles. After a chaotic few days, Ben's Babes produced a performance which may have unnerved some of that first-choice ODI side as much as it did Pakistan.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Report

Crawley, Malan cruise to fifties as second-string team romp home with 28.1 overs to spare

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Saqib Mahmood dismissed Babar Azam for a duck in his first over  Getty Images
England 142 for 1 (Malan 68*, Crawley 58*) beat Pakistan 141 (Zaman 47, Mahmood 4-42) by nine wickets
England have enjoyed many impressive ODI performances in recent years: victories from the jaws of defeat; victories in locations where they used to be uncommon; victories in major global events. But, given the drama of the last few days and the challenges with which they were confronted, this win – by nine wickets with more than 28 overs to spare – may prove as satisfying as most of them.
Certainly it demonstrated England's remarkable strength in depth – in ODI cricket, at least – and a resilience which bodes well for the challenges ahead.
Despite being forced to make 11 changes to the side that played against Sri Lanka only four days ago, England's second string proved more than a match for a Pakistan team which had lost only one of their 12 most recent ODIs and is currently ranked No. 3 in the World Cup Super League. To defeat such an accomplished side by such a margin (in terms of deliveries to spare, 169, England had never inflicted such a large defeat upon Pakistan) in such circumstances can only be viewed as deeply impressive.
It has been 36 years since England put out a side with so few caps (136, since you asked; Ben Stokes accounting for 99 of them and James Vince 17 more). But after the extent of the Covid outbreak in the England camp became clear on Monday, the ECB were obliged to name an entirely new squad of players and support staff to ensure this series could go ahead. They had just one training session together before heading into this game.
Ultimately, there were five new caps in the England side, the most since the ODI against Ireland in May 2015 that ended Peter Moores' tenure as coach. Top-order batters Zak Crawley and Phil Salt, wicketkeeper John Simpson, seam-bowling allrounder Lewis Gregory and fast bowler Brydon Carse all made their debuts; while Crawley and Gregory have played Test cricket and T20Is respectively, the other three had no experience of international cricket.
But it was Saqib Mahmood, who in playing his fifth ODI was the third most experienced member of the side, who made the early inroads. Bowling at a brisk pace (above 87mph/140kph at times), he hit an excellent probing length and generated just enough movement to beat or catch edges.
Imam-ul-Haq played across the first ball of the series – Simpson, England's new keeper, and Stokes, their new captain, vindicated in calling for a review – with Babar Azam following two balls later. By the time Mahmood went round the wicket and trapped left-handed debutant Saud Shakeel with one that nipped in, Pakistan were 26 for 4. It was a passage of play which effectively defined the game. Mahmood was later, quite rightly, named as the player of the match.
Amid England's chaos, it might be overlooked that Pakistan hadn't enjoyed perfect preparation, either. They had been limited to intra-squad warm-up matches and were, perhaps, unfortunate enough to find themselves batting first on a surface offering just a fraction of seam movement.
So, while the scorecard may look ugly, you might spare a thought for Azam, who received an excellent ball which was angled in and forced a stroke only to then leave him a fraction to take the edge. Mohammad Rizwan, who also received a beauty which was angled in and left him, could also be forgiven for wondering he could have done about the delivery which dismissed him.
For a while, when Fakhar Zaman and Sohaib Maqsood were together, it looked as if Pakistan may be able to rebuild. Zaman, putting away anything overpitched or short with panache, looked in glorious touch with Maqsood producing one ferocious cut for six off the distinctly sharp Carse. Together they put on 53 for the fifth wicket.
But when Maqsood was run out, attempting to regain his ground having been sent back by Zaman, Pakistan's hopes of setting a challenging total disappeared with him. Zaman, slicing a drag-down from Matt Parkinson to cover, soon followed. Mahmood returned to have Faheem Ashraf, cramped for room, fencing outside off stump and finished with 4 for 42 from his 10 overs. Those figures, impressive though they are, didn't flatter him at all.
Underlining England's strength in depth, it was England's fifth four-wicket haul (or better) in their four most recent ODIs following Chris Woakes (4 for 18 in the first ODI against Sri Lanka), Sam Curran and David Willey (5 for 48 and 4 for 64 in the second) and Tom Curran (4 for 35 in the third). It is only the second time they have taken four-wicket hauls (or better) in four consecutive ODIs. It was also the first time England had bowled out a side for under 150 in an ODI since they dismissed Ireland for 126 in May 2017.
Not for a moment did Pakistan threaten to defend their paltry total. While Shaheen Shah Afridi produced a threatening opening spell, persuading Salt to edge to slip, Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley put on an unbroken stand of 120 for the second-wicket to seal a crushing victory.
Malan, in particular, looked in sublime form. He produced a series of sweetly-timed drives and, while his half-century (50 balls, with seven fours) came up with an under-edged reverse-sweep, it was a rare mis-step in an impressively assured performance. He is going to prove tough to leave out of any England side.
Crawley was barely less impressive. While he was, on one, defeated by a perfect Hasan Ali yorker, it came from a free-hit. His half-century, brought up with a gorgeous back-foot force through point, took only 44 balls and demonstrated once again that his is a talent to be nurtured.
It wasn't a perfect display from England – not quite, anyway. Ali, on one, was badly missed by Malan at deep midwicket, while a much tougher chance (an under-edge off a slog-sweep) offered by Shadab Khan, on six, was missed by Simpson behind the stumps. Parkinson was the unfortunate bowler on both occasions with Shahdab going on to make 30; one of only two men to reach 20 in the innings. Parkinson, at mid-on, also made a bit of a mess of a chance offered by Afridi on 10.
But these are minor quibbles. After a chaotic few days, Ben's Babes produced a performance which may have unnerved some of that first-choice ODI side as much as it did Pakistan.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo


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England showcase strength in depth as Saqib Mahmood blows … Thu, 08 Jul 2021 13:00:00 +0100-England vs Pakistan, first ODI: full scoreboard. Less than 24 hours after training together for the first and only time, an emergency England side made light of …

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England brush aside Pakistan with clinical win after Covid chaos of past few days

July 08, 2021

6:11PM

Is making the point on Sky that such is the strength in depth of this England white ball team that they are fast becoming like the great Australia sides of the 1990s and early 2000s when they could afford to leave out so many talented players from the first XI. On today's evidence it's hard to disagree with him. 

6:00PM

On the victory…

On what pleased him most…

On the second match at Lord’s on Saturday…

5:58PM

On what went wrong…

On Saturday's match…

— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) July 8, 2021

5:47PM

Shakeel comes on for Pakistan and Crawley hits the winning runs. 

That was an impressive performance from England after the chaos of this week. That was clinical – from the moment Ben Stokes won the toss just about everything went right for the hosts. 

That's the biggest win for England against Pakistan at home. 

5:44PM

An England victory is only one big hit away – they need three from 173 balls, I suspect they'll do it…

5:42PM

This pair are are rotating the strike with ease and are under no pressure at all – the ball isn’t beating the bat and you suspect Pakistan have already turned their attention towards Saturday’s match at Lord’s. Crawley rocks onto the backfoot and plays it to the left of point for four – he’s got a 50 on debut. He’s looked in good touch today and that’s much-needed confidence-boosting innings for him. 

5:36PM

A beautiful shot from Crawley moves him to 45 – he picked up a shot one from Shahdab early on before pulling the ball to the boundary. This innings will be doing him no harm at all. That brought up the 100 partnership.

5:34PM

An uppish drive from Malan makes clear his intent that he wants to reach the victory target sooner rather than later. The Pakistan fielders are excited for a millisecond but it avoids their mitts and flies to the boundary. 

This pair have now put on 93,  the highest second wicket partnership at Cardiff  going past the pretty useful pair of Ricky Ponting and Mark Waugh…tasty.

5:28PM

A bit of spin from Pakistan as Shadab Khan comes on. First ball the visitors appeal for a caught behind – it’s given not out on the pitch and they appeal. Rizwan was very excited but Malan, the batsman, was unmoved and didn’t look too concerned. That’s probably because it missed the bat by a good two inches. Not overly sure what Rizwan heard and he looks a bit sheepish. 

Next up Malan brings up his 50 with a reverse sweep that isn’t executed brilliantly – he looked calm and class personified throughout. The 50 came off 50 deliveries and there’s little doubting he’s an England batsman in form and confident – the Test team could do with one of those, not just for the India series but the Ashes over the winter. 

5:22PM

The intensity has long since disappeared from this game. The batsmen are knocking the ball around for singles the last of which brings up the 100. 

5:14PM

Three singles from the over and it’s time for drinks.

5:10PM

Not that there has been much worry or debate for the past hour or so but this is only going one way. Pakistan aren’t troubling this pair. Crawley and Malan are now rotating the strike well and hitting the boundaries as and when the opportunities present themselves. 

5:07PM

Not wanting to be outdone in the ‘I’m looking in fine touch’ stakes Malan flicks one off his hips that races to the boundary. That was almost Mark Waughesque and these two are playing with confidence and class at the moment. Seven from the over and England need 59 runs for the win. 

5:02PM

Crawley is looking confident as he leans into a lovely shot for four to the mid-wicket boundary – that brings up the 50 partnership off 45 balls. As it stands it wasn’t not a bad decision to pull him out of the red-ball game against Lancashire (where he was on a pair against imperious Jimmy Anderson) and send him to Cardiff to face the Pakistan white-ball attack on a good pitch. He then gets on his toes and hits through the covers for another fine four. 

4:57PM

Double bowling change for Pakistan as Faheem comes on to replace Shaheen. First up Crawley carves him down to third man for a couple. A few balls later the England man shows yet more intent by coming across his stumps and hitting him (just) over mid off for four. A play and miss completes the over. 

4:53PM

Crawley gets a huge dollop of luck off Haris Rauf’s first ball – he gets a leaning edge and it flies over the cover fielder and he gets three runs. Malan is looking organised and you could argue that these two are battling it out for the No.3 position in the Test team. Malan averages 27.85 from his 15 matches with a 140 at Perth. Anyway back to this ODI and he pulls for a couple and that’s 61 for England off the power play. 

4:48PM

Malan is doing what he does best – not playing a shot in anger but stroking the ball around and in the blink of an eye he’s up to 29. Crawley then comes down the pitch to Shaheen (who is now coming around the wicket) and takes the ball from outside off stump and flicks the ball to the mid-wicket boundary. Good attacking batting from Kent batsman. 

4:43PM

Malan turns into David Gower the first ball of the over with the silkiest of cover drives for four – he’s looking in good nick (to state the obvious). Any width the lefthander is attacking – it’s a different story with straighter deliveries, when he’s cramped for room. Hasan Ali then tries to bounce Malan but the England man plays a controlled pull to the deep square leg boundary. 

4:39PM

Crawley’s four the last ball of the previous over was exquisite but Malan’s the first of this over probably edges it in terms of elegance. The left-hander plays a fine backfoot push off the back foot that pierces the Pakistan ring on the offside. He then plays a peach of a square drive that is all about timing two balls later. He gets the fastest of faint nicks that doesn’t carry to Rizwan (it fell well short) before a quick single completes the run scoring of a good over for the hosts. 

4:35PM

Good from Hasan Ali and Pakistan. They need quick wickets and cannot give England any buffet balls – which he and they are not doing these past few overs. The fast bowler clean bowls Crawley with a brilliant yorker BUT it was a free hit, a very good ball nonetheless. Both players wee the funny side. Crawley then gets two thanks to an inside edge to deep square leg. Crawley then plays a shot from the MCC textbook – a drive through extra cover for four, delightful. 

4:29PM

Crawley is the man in and he needs runs – any runs in any format will do for the Kent batsman. He likes facing Pakistan, he knows the bowlers so maybe this is the chance he needs? He’s off the mark with a quick single – a prod towards gully after some probing Shaheen deliveries. 

4:26PM

Salt c Masqood b Sahaeen 7

Shaheen throws another wide full ball up there to tempt Salt and the opener doesn't let him down as he has a dart at it and only succeeds in edging to first slip. 

FOW 22-1

4:24PM

Malan is lucky as a drives only succeeds in sending an inside edge past the leg stump. Salt then shows him how it’s done as Hasan Ali gives him a bit of width and the opener drives on the up – a glorious way to hit your first international boundary. Malan ends the over with a defensive push that goes for a couple. A good start for England. 

4:19PM

Salt is a dasher and second ball of the Shaheen over he doesn’t hold back as he has a go at a wide one – so wide that Rizwan dives to collect the ball in front of second slip. The England opener luckily avoids edging it. The next ball the keeper takes it three feet down leg and it’s clear Shaheen’s radar is a bit off. The other bit of news from the over is that a bird unloaded on poor Babar Azam – that’s apparently good luck (never works for me…) and the tourists need that in abundance at the moment.

Pakistan need quick wickets – a couple of partnerships from England and this game is done. 

4:13PM

Hasan Ali’s first ball is hit in the air by Malan but it’s safe and flies over the head of extra cover. Malan tucks another off his hips for a single, with Salt scampering for a single off the last ball and England get six off the over. 

4:09PM

As with the Pakistan innings there’s a shout for lbw first ball. Shaheen bowls to former PSL player Salt and there’s excitement from the left-armer but not much else from his team-mates and they decide not to challenge on on-field decision of not out. The replay shows was going down leg. There’s a leg bye and a Malan single from that opening over. The key with this pitch is to bang it in and not float it up there. Shaheen seems to have taken that lesson from the his side's innings. 

4:04PM

Phil Salt is a dasher. The Sussex man has played a lot of T20 stuff,  one to watch. 

3:59PM

With which Saqib Mahmood  bowled. 

3:55PM

…rarer than poor Raheem Sterling performance there's nothing like making a huge impact when you do get a chance. Take a bow Saqib Mahmood – he bowled with pace and aggression and his four for 42 will have done his chances of future appearances (poss in all three forms of the game) no harm at all. 

3:50PM

The short and obvious answer is that 'we don't really know' such is the newer than new nature of this XI. As Rob said with a Pakistan attack of Shaheen, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali plus the leg-spin of Shadab it won't be easy. Despite the low target, with the nerves it won't be easy. 

3:45PM

Opportunities to get into England's white-ball team are rarer than Willy Wonka's golden tickets but, because of Covid, 10 players today got a chance that they would be lucky to have received before the end of the next World Cup cycle. And the bowlers, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson especially, have carped the diem. Two dropped dollies will not have impressed the coach but everything else, including Stokes'  aggressive captaincy straight out of the Morgan book, have demonstrated that England are blessed with white-ball talent.

Greg Wilcox will be here for England's innings. Pakistan have Shaheen, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali plus the leg-spin of Shadab so it won't be easy for England's untested batting line-up. Join him for the denouement. Bye!

3:36PM

Shaheen c Stokes b Overton 12The ball before he had swiped a  pull and Parkinson dropped a sitter at mid-on, allowing them through for two. Overton grimaces, bangs it in again and Shaheen swats the next one high to mid-off. Stokes shows his young charges how to hang on to a cuckoo.  FOW 141 all out

3:36PM

Shaheen is under starter's orders now that he's left with the rabbit Rauf. He clears his front leg to smite Carse back over his head for four. Consequently he gets nothing else to hit in his half for the next four balls yet still steals the strike when he fends one off his adam's apple for a single. Gully would have caught it but a gully in the 35th over, unheard of.  

3:32PM

It has been a tremendous performance by England's bowlers. England really do enjoy an embarrassment of riches of white-ball cricketers. 

3:28PM

Shadab c Malan b Overton 30  Plunkettesque delivery, slower, cross-seam bouncer into the pitch that climbed from Overton's height and the Pakistan all-rounder swatted it down the fielder's gullet at deep backward square. At Cardiff with its vast square boundaries and titch straight ones, England have exploited its dimensions superbly so far.  FOW 134/9

3:27PM

Carse returns, Shadab pulls a single, Shaheen drives one and Shadab glides one down to third man off the first three balls but Carse follows the milking with three dot balls. 

3:23PM

Overton returns. The most experienced of England's seamers if not in this format has been the least effective so far today. He uses the bouncer judiciously now and only a wide dents his figures. 

3:17PM

Shadab drives the attempted yorker that didn't pitch for a single to cover and Shaheen, still only 21, plays a lovely stroke, smearing a cover drive for three. No five-for for Mahmood but a fantastic return nonetheless, bowling beautifully with new and old ball to take career best figures of 10-1-42-4. 

3:14PM

Parkinson with his just deserts, having bowled with skill and nerve to take two for 28 off seven.

Matt Parkinson chips in with two wickets Credit: AP Photo/Rui Vieira
3:09PM

Hasan c Malan b Parkinson 6  Redeems himself by taking the sitter when Hasan top edges a slog sweep to deep backward square. FOW 123/8

3:09PM

Five runs off Mahmood's ninth over as they swing hard but without timing it. 

3:05PM

The spinner has got to go, seems to be the new thinking of the eighth-wicket pair and Shadab, after a single apiece, comes down thepitch and launches it over midwicket for six. Three balls later Hasan slog sweeps as Parkinson lays the trap by tossing it up. Malan drops it a deep backward square and parries it over the boundary for four.  

Malan had to make a lot of ground but he did the hard part and got there before spilling what had become, by his endeavour, a straightforward chance. 

3:00PM

“You can't be backward punching those balls in England. It's suicide,” says Dinesh Karthik of Faheem's dismissal. 

Mahmood is managing to make the ball bounce more than the much taller Overton and Carse. he has figurs of 8-1-33-4. 

2:55PM

Faheem c Simpson b Mahmood 5 He looks very good round the the wicket to the left-handers. This one bounces on Faheem Ashraf and tucks him up outside off-stump. It hits the splice and flies to the keeper's left.  FOW 101/7

2:54PM

Simpson, who has kept well, drops a chance off Parkinson when Shadab goes down to slog sweep and under-edges it. Hard chance, totally unsighted. 

2:52PM

They risk a tight single off Mahmood's first ball when Shadab chops to point. They have to spring and had there been a direct hit it could have left both with eggy countenances. Faheem toes a pull for two, late on the stroke, then plays a better one, pulling to fine leg for a single. Shadab pokes a single to point to end the over.

2:48PM

Parkinson continues to impress Simpson with five dot balls. He's the Scrooge of leg-spinners. Faheem, the left-hander, finally gets away with a crisp cut in front of square for two. 

2:46PM

Stokes takes himself off and brings back his best bowler as he goes in for the kill. Mahmood, starts his sixth over with three for 27 and ends it that way, too, with a maiden but nearly added to the wicket return when Shadab was rushed into a defensive fence and chipped it just outside the bowler's reach. 

2:43PM

Impressive over from Patkinson given his lack of height, flight and dip compared with Rashid. A different type of legspinner but effective nonetheless. Looks 5mph too slow at first glance but results are the only judge and his record is very promising. 

2:40PM

Fakhar c Crawley b Parkinson 47 Oh dear, plinked a square cut to backward point.  FOW 90/6

2:38PM

Stokes begins by over-stepping, giving Pakistan a free hit but they can't cash in because Stokes bowls a slow cuter into the pitch that climbs outside off and Fakhar can't collar it, clumping it into the ground as he waited too long to uppercut. 

Stokes sticks out a stricken hand to stop a certain four with no thought for his recent finger operation. Brave, instinctive but also daft. It hurt but not that finger. 

2:34PM

John Simpson continues the wicketkeeping tradition of chelping before and after every deliver from the spinner. It's a good over as the keeper keeps encouraging 'Parky' and 'Parky Boy', telling him “I like that' … and why not. Only the single off the over, Shadab  driving it past cover.

Ben Stokes will have a bowl.

2:31PM

Fakhar brings up the half-century partnership with a wonderful on drive, clearing his front leg to whip it  with withering power. The opener saws off the last of the remaining specialist batsmen, 'barbecued him' as the pros say, and it's into the all-rounders. Carse doesn't get a chance to bowl at Shadab as Fakhar seems out three dot balls, duck the bouncer that is called wide and thick edges a drive past gully for two. 

2:26PM

Maqsood run out 19   Breakdown in communication. Fakhar drove to mid-on, called Maqsood through and thensent his partner back hen he saw Vince stoop to snatch it and, spotting that the non-striker was stranded, sprinted towards the stumps and under-armed a lob to knock off the bails before he could get home.  FOW 79/5

2:24PM

Good start from Parkinson, significantly less flight than Rashid but tight lines and no room to hit down the line. They take three singles, one with a sweep, one an one drive and a more streaky one when the bowler smartly stops a drive with an athletic dive but parries it to his left. 

2:20PM

Carse bounds in for  a fourth over and Maqsood carves a single down to third man, Fakhar gleans another with a whippy leg glance. Stokes tells Parkinson to get loose. 

2:15PM

Overton has stayed clear of the short ball since being pummelled for two fours in his first over but give sit another airing and it could have bought him a wicket as Fakhar mistimes the pull and cloths it. The ball dies short of Parkinson at midwicket, though. 

On come the drinks. 

2:11PM

Carse looks a very accomplished bowler. Only seen Durham in the flesh once in the past three years and I'm sure he didn't even bowl. He nearly gets Maqsood to chip a catch back at him with surprising bounce but he telescoped out his left arm and just couldn't reach it. 

2:06PM

Fakhar cuffs the first ball of the over through midwicket for a single and Overton keeps Maqsood quiet with five dot balls. 

2:05PM

Carse surprises Maqsood with one that arrows into his nidriff from just back of a length but then the right-hander decides to stay legside and flat bat a wither horizontal bat stroke high over point for six. Amazing stroke. Wrists of tungsten.  

1:58PM

Overton finds his length to the right-handed Maqsood, jagging one away from back of a length and sighing in resigned exasperation when it beats the bat. But eh overpitches the next one and Maqsood thumps it past the bowler on the drive for four. They should have three when Maqsood chips a pick-up shot from outside off over midwicket but Fakhar dawdles and they only make two. Poor dos. 

1:55PM

Brydon Carse is the second change and he looks a strapping lad with good wheels. He starts with a rapid yorker that Maqsood chisels out of the blockhole down to third man for a single. Fakhar, who looks in a different class to his team-mates in his emerald shoes, climbs into a straight drive with the elegance of an aristo pulling on a cashmere sweater, lacing the half-volley for four. 

1:52PM

Craig Overton is the first change and takes a bit of stick, Fakhar gorging on a short ball to swivel and pull it for four and then do the same again for an encore two balls later. Overton, who has upped his pace considerably over the past two years, is back down at 80mph and easy pickings with his half-trackers. 

1:46PM

Mahmood continues round the wicket to Fakhar after Maqsood dabbed him for a single down to third man. When the left-handed opener is fed a half volley and admonishes it through the covers for four, the first cries of 'Zindbad!' ring round Cardiff from a rather forlorn contingent of Pakistan supporters. 

1:43PM

Lovely stroke from Fakhar to drill Gregory for four through cover, using his hands rather than his feet but timing the pants off it. 

1:42PM

Shakeel clips one fine off his pads but Saqib has a different line for Fakhar, angling it across the left-hander and trying to straighten it. And lo! It squares him up and catches the edge but the ball scuttles down to third man for a single.

Mahmood comes round the wicket to Shakeel and bags him after four balls from the new angle. His improvement as a bowler is remarkable. Should be in the queue with Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes to be the new ball partner of Stuart Broad or Jimmy Anderson, whichever one is selected to play. (Please don't pick both of them any more). 

1:36PM

Shakeel lbw b Mahmood 5 A tightish decision from Alex Wharf, the ball angled in to the left-hander from round the wicket, beat the bat on the inside edge and struck him just on the knee roll. Looked a bit high but it would have kissed the bails so the debutant departs.  FOW 26/4

1:32PM

Gregory ties Fakhar Zaman up for five balls either side of a slashing drive for two down to third man. Some swing for Gregory but mainly it's just tight lines and aggressive intent.

Apologies – should finally have the scoreline updating properly. 

1:28PM

Fakhar takes his bat away too late when he tries to leave one angled across him but gets away with it when it strikes the bottom edge and bounces clear of the stumps.

Shakeel, a compact, elegant left-hander flicks a full length delivery off his pads through square leg – Craig Overton going down in instalments – for four. 

1:25PM

After blogging the two semi-final in the Euros over the previous two nights, extra-time in both, penalties in the first, one would think this correspondent has had enough drama for one week. But no, here we go again. Exemplary bowling from Gregory and Saqib has routed Pakistan's top order. 

Enter the debutant Shakeel. 

1:19PM

Rizwan c Simpson b Gregory 13 A snorter from Gregory, beautiful line down the corridor, perfect length and diddled the right-hander who was trying to defend it to mid-on when it nipped away. FOW 17/3 

1:18PM

Stokes has given Saqib a third slip for Rizwan who defends the first two and then climbs into a cover drive and thrashes it just square of point for four.  Rizwan glides a single down to third man, Fakhar Zaman cuffs one into the legside and Rizwan, who lives by the sword in white-ball cricket, finishes the over with a streaky inside edge for four when trying to play a back-foot defensive to one that nipped back.

Ten off the over but not a bad ball in it. 

1:13PM

Lewis Gregory and not Craig Overton takes the other new ball. He delivers what commentators call 'a heavy ball', generally in the high 70s, low 80s and nibbles it away from just back of a length. He starts with a maiden, ending it with a cry for leg-before but the ball pitched outside leg and was shaping away, too. 

1:10PM

Saqib Mahmood opens the bowling for England to the brilliant left-hander Imam-ul-Haq who averages more than 50. He won't get them today, though, as Saqib pins him first ball. Stokes takes his time over deciding whether to review but takes Simpson's advice and they fire Imam out for a first-baller.  

The captain lasts only one ball more and Rizwan has to scramble to the crease in a tangle of pad straps and gloves. 

Excellent catch from Crawley diving forward. 

Mahmood is quick, 88mph but after three dots and two big Ws he is cut for four, more of a flash that flies down to third man. 

1:05PM

Babar c Crawley b Mahmood 0 Punctuality pays on getting into the ground when England are bowling first. Mahmood squares the Pakistan captain up when he straightens the ball on him from outside off and he nicks off low to second slip as his hands can't withdraw the bat in time.  FOW 0/2

1:03PM

Imam lbw b Saqib 0  Gone for a diamond duck after England successfully appeal the not out decision.  FOW 0/0

12:59PM

To line up for 'the moment of unity'. England are wearing their T-shirts, protesting against various injustices. 

12:44PM

England  Phil Salt,  Dawid Malan,  Zak Crawley, James Vince,  Ben Stokes (capt), John Simpson (wk) Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Brydon Carse, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson

Pakistan Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq,  Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Sohaib Maqsood, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

12:35PM

And Brydon Carse, Zak Crawley. Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt and John Simpson do make their debuts. 

12:33PM

And put Pakistan in to bat. 

12:29PM

In the three-match ODI series that starts with a day/nighter in Cardiff, Pakistan will be widely expected to brush aside the replacement squad assembled by England at 48 hours notice, and captained by Ben Stokes even though he is not fully match-fit after an operation on his left hand.

But England’s new ODI squad have three advantages which should ensure that the broadcasters – the paymasters – are given a good game, if not full value for their money. And it would be no surprise if England win at least one of the three matches in the coming week, as well as having one bad game..

One home advantage is that all 18 replacements, except perhaps the Sussex opener Phil Salt who has been recovering from a broken finger, are in mid-season form, and include some excellent cricketers in the 50-over format. Pakistan players meanwhile have been confined to practising among themselves in Derby.

England's second advantage is their local knowledge of Sophia Gardens – knowledge which Stokes as captain and Chris Silverwood, the head coach who has had to suspend his family holiday in this emergency, will enthusiastically impart as pace bowlers themselves. And the third is that it will be a new pitch, made for England's seamers to whack it in back-of-a-length, not a used pitch as in the Champions Trophy semi-final of 2017 at Cardiff which suited Pakistan's reverse-swingers.

In their two T20 internationals in Cardiff against Sri Lanka a fortnight ago England published their white-ball strategy for this ground, with its very short straight boundaries and very long ones to either side, especially on the city side where it extends about 90 yards. The straight boundaries have to be short because the River Taff cannot be diverted nowadays, as Brunel did when building Cardiff railway station.

Led by Stokes himself, England can be expected to bang the ball in short and invite Pakistajn's batsmen to hook and pull aerially. Not so much Lewis Gregory or David Payne, who are more swing bowlers, of whom only one is likely to play, but three out of Craig Overton, Jake Ball, Brydon Carse and Saqib Mahmood, who can all bang it in.

While Carse is the least experienced, Stokes spoke very favourably on the eve of this game about his Durham teammate. Stokes saw Carse as the successor to Liam Plunkett, being able to get the ball in under the batsman’s ribs, and also bat himself.

England have long since confined themselves to one spinner at Cardiff, so either Matt Parkinson or Danny Briggs will sit on the bench, more probably Parkinson, as he tosses the ball up whereas Briggs fires it in.

A makeshift side needs the best available wicketkeeper to prevent untidiness creeping in, so although England will be tempted to let Ben Duckett keep, as he has been filling in for Tom Moores at Trent Bridge, John Simpson should be first choice,  both at Cardiff and for the second game at Lord's where the new ball, even when white, can challenge the best keepers.

As with all newly assembled sides, setting a field takes longer than usual, and England will have to watch their over-rate. The last thing they need is for Stokes to be suspended for the Test series against India.

England's batting is still pretty strong in the absence of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, who are all isolating, and Jos Buttler, still nursing a calf strain. In the current circumstances the top order cannot launch the innings quite so forthrightly as Roy and Bairstow against Sri Lanka, but they have the two Somerset allrounders Gregory and Overton down the order as some insurance.

Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett might look an incongruous opening pair, but they have all the shots between them, and the very contrast between a stocky lefthander and very tall righthander would disrupt the length and line of Pakistan's bowlers. Dawid Malan has longed for an opportunity in his favourite format of 50 overs and will need no second invitation to bat through the innings at number three.

Stokes and Silverwood might consider they have enough inexperience to contend with as it is, without going for more youth, like Salt or Will Jacks or Dan Lawrence. So James Vince might be given one last chance to translate his stroke-making into substantial scores.

Possible England team Z Crawley, B Duckett, D Malan, J Vince, B Stokes (capt), L Gregory, J Simpson (wkt), C Overton, D Briggs, B. Carse and S Mahmood.

12:23PM

Ben Stokes will tell his players to seize the moment and make the most of an unexpected chance to play for the world champions when he rides to England’s rescue today in Cardiff.

Stokes leads with deeds rather than words and England are fortunate that they can break the emergency glass and call on the finest all-rounder of his generation to replace the World Cup winning captain, Eoin Morgan. Stokes will command instant respect from the squad and is a good communicator who can lighten the mood, helping those feeling nervous before today’s day-nighter against Pakistan. As he revealed yesterday, his team-talk will be pretty simple.

“It does not matter what names are on the back of an England shirt, we are walking out there as the world’s No 1 team,” he said. “That is an exciting thing to say you are a part of, whether you are an experienced player, young player or someone coming into the group for the first time.

“Situations like these are so rare. You have a chance to represent your country, so do it with a smile on your face and enjoy it as much as we can as a group. I’m looking forward to leading out the next exciting cricketers coming through in England, who will no doubt be in an England shirt in the future, it just came quicker than we expected.”

Morgan’s success has been to change England’s approach to white-ball cricket, and that has permeated through the counties, so everyone will know what is expected from them. Whether they are good enough to take on a savvy Pakistan team who beat England at the last World Cup will become clear over the next three matches.

Stokes is in charge of a squad he has barely met, some of whom he has only played against in county cricket and others he played alongside in age-group cricket. They were confined to meeting on Zoom yesterday until all had returned negative Covid tests shortly before practice late in the afternoon, giving them just a few hours to prepare for the match. Selection will be made in the morning.

The squad of 18 includes nine uncapped players, some of whom must have bruises on their arms from pinching themselves over the past 24 hours. Jake Ball, who won the last of his 18 ODI caps three years ago, is the most experienced player apart from Stokes, while John Simpson, the 32-year-old Middlesex wicketkeeper and Gloucestershire’s 30-year-old left arm seamer David Payne will surely do a double take when they see England shirts with their names on the back.

For others this is a chance to resume international careers and stake claims for more opportunities. Ben Duckett has not justified his talent in international cricket but should open with Zak Crawley, who now has an opportunity to find some form and confidence for the Test series with India.

Dawid Malan has the chance he has craved of a run of matches in the ODI side at three, playing the Joe Root role. James Vince and Stokes at four and five at least give England a core containing two players who were part of the World Cup win.

The choice between Duckett and Simpson to keep wicket will be close, but with the second match at Lord’s on Saturday it seems sensible to pick the Middlesex man, especially as England cannot afford a scrappy performance behind the stumps with such an inexperienced team who may find it hard to create wicket-taking chances.

The short straight boundary in Cardiff requires bowlers to force batsmen to play square and Stokes backed his Durham team-mate, Brydon Carse, to be a Liam Plunkett-style enforcer, banging it in and aiming for the rib cage.

Craig Overton can do likewise, while Saqib Mahmood, skiddier and quicker, is a potential new-ball and death-bowling option. One spinner is enough in Cardiff, putting Danny Briggs in line for his first England appearance for seven years.

Stokes is still recovering from finger surgery after a nasty break cut short his Indian Premier League stint, but had no qualms when Chris Silverwood, who had to cancel a family holiday to return as coach, called him on Monday.

“Spoons [Silverwood] straight up asked me the question: ‘Can you come and do it?’ I was like, ‘Yeah’. This is earlier than planned from a medical and fitness point of view but when a job comes and calls you, you need to stand up and make yourself available,” he said.

Stokes captained England last year in a Test against West Indies when Root was on paternity leave and dropped Stuart Broad, breaking the news to him personally. This will require different skills, more about making it feel as normal as possible in crazy times.

“It is huge boots to fill with how well Eoin has led the team over the last few years, but I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself or the guys because it is exceptional circumstances, so we will just get through it. I just want to make sure everyone has a good time.”

6:11PM

Is making the point on Sky that such is the strength in depth of this England white ball team that they are fast becoming like the great Australia sides of the 1990s and early 2000s when they could afford to leave out so many talented players from the first XI. On today's evidence it's hard to disagree with him. 

6:00PM

On the victory…

On what pleased him most…

On the second match at Lord’s on Saturday…

5:58PM

On what went wrong…

On Saturday's match…


... read more
– July 8, 2021
Pakistan vs England England showcase strength in depth as Saqib Mahmood blows
Pak vs Eng

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