England 142 for 1 (Malan 68*, Crawley 58*) beat Pakistan 141 (Zaman 47, Mahmood 4-42) by nine wickets
Cardiff: Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley both scored half-centuries and led England to a comprehensive 9-wicket win against Pakistan in the first ODI 2021.
Forced to name an entirely new squad for the series after seven members of the playing group and staff tested positive for COVID-19, England handed debuts to five players on Thursday.
But that inexperience did little to impede the hosts in the series opener at Cardiff, where they cruised to a nine-wicket victory with 169 balls to spare.
Electing to bowl first, England bowled Pakistan out for 141, with Fakhar Zaman (47) and Shadab Khan (30) the only batters to pass 20.
Mahmood (4/42) put Pakistan on the backfoot from the get-go, striking with the first ball of the match when he trapped Imam-ul-Haq in front for a golden duck. He struck again two deliveries later, having Babar Azam (0) caught at second slip.
Debutant Lewis Gregory got in on the act three overs later, taking the edge of Mohammad Rizwan (13).
By the seventh over, Pakistan were four down as Mahmood struck again, dismissing Saud Shakeel (5) lbw.
A 53-run stand between Zaman and Sohaib Maqsood steadied the ship but the innings was once again derailed when Maqsood was run out by a direct hit from James Vince, paying the price for a moment’s miscommunication.
Matt Parkinson (2/28) opened his account with the dismissal of Zaman in the 22nd over and by the 36th over Pakistan were all out, as Craig Overton (2/23) accounted for the tail alongside Mahmood and Parkinson.
Pakistan’s hopes of victory were boosted when Shaheen Afridi (1/22) dismissed debutant Philip Salt (7) in the fifth over but an unbeaten 120-run stand put the match to bed by the 22nd over.
Both Malan and Crawley notched half-centuries, with Malan scoring 68 from 69 and Crawley celebrating his debut with 58 off 50.
The sides will next meet on Saturday at Lord’s.