In the 1st ODI at Abu Dhabi, England won the toss and batted first against Pakistan.
Before the match Younis Khan announced his retirement from ODI cricket, after finally getting selected back into squad. ‘I have been thinking about this decision for about 8 months’ said Younis.
I am not sure the Pakistan Cricket Board are too pleased with his timing!
It was a terrible start for England falling to 14/3 after 3 overs. The giant Mohammad Irfan bowled Roy 2nd ball for a duck. At the other end Anwar Ali got Root LBW for a duck and the dangerous Hales for 10.
Captain Morgan (76) and Taylor (60) put on a great partnership of 133 runs, before Shoaib Malik dismissed both of them.
England then went onto have another middle order collapse with 4 wickets falling for just 14 runs.
Pakistan were unusually sharp and efficient in the field, with Babar Azam taking an incredible catch to dismiss Moeen Ali.
England went onto limp to a total of 216 all out. Mohammad Irfan was the stand out bowler with 3/35. Anwar Ali 2/32 and Shoaib Malik 2/45.
Pakistan’s response was not much better with Topley removing Azhar Ali for 8, an uncomfortable looking Bilal Asif for 2 and Younis Khan for 9.
Hafeez and Malik steadied the ship with a 70 run partnership, before Malik chipped one up for an easy catch. Shoaib Malik made 26 and passed a landmark 6000 runs in ODIs.
Then Babar Azam entered the fray, he blasted 62 runs from 62 balls, with 4 sixes and 2 fours. Putting on a partnership of 106 runs with Hafeez, the pair easily chased down the target in the 43rd over.
England’s bowling was lacklustre apart from Topley, who finished on 3/26.
Man of the match Hafeez finished on an excellent 102 not out from 130 balls, to secure the win.
I do appreciate the professional and confident approach displayed by Pakistan today, I hope this will give the team a further boost.