Makeshift England clinch series win over poor Pakistan

By Sports Desk July 10, 2021

England's makeshift ODI side clinched a series win over Pakistan with a dominant 52-run victory over the tourists at Lord's.

Despite having to pick a brand new squad ahead of the series following a COVID outbreak in the camp, England crushed Pakistan by nine wickets in the first match.

Their victory was not quite as emphatic on Saturday but was never in doubt as Pakistan proved incapable of chasing down 248.

Phil Salt (60) and James Vince (56) were the stars with the bat as England were bowled out for 247 in a game reduced to 47 overs a side following a delayed start.

Hasan Ali got himself on the honours board with 5-51 for Pakistan, but England's Saqib Mahmood (2-19) was arguably the pick of the bowlers as the tourists were left playing catch-up en route to being bowled out for 195.

Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley fell for ducks in an inauspicious start for England, but Salt racked up 10 fours for his first international half-century and Vince scored his second in 18 ODIs to turn the tide in England's favour.

England then lost the next five wickets for just 42 balls, Hasan getting the prized scalp of stand-in captain Ben Stokes, but Lewis Gregory (40) and Brydon Carse (31) put on the highest eighth-wicket partnership at Lord's in ODIs with a stand of 69.

That ensured England got to a total they easily defended as Pakistan's top order failed miserably. Imam-ul-Haq followed up his duck at Cardiff by falling for one, caught behind from Gregory, before Mahmood trapped Pakistan skipper Babar Azam lbw for 19.

Mahmood then produced a beauty to dismiss Mohammad Rizwan (5) and Fakhar Zaman scored just 10 off 45 deliveries before being skittled by Craig Overton, with Saud Shakeel (56) and Hasan (31) the only batsmen to give Pakistan hope as they saw the series slip away.

Armed with an unbeatable 2-0 lead, England will aim to seal a series sweep at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

More Mahmood magic

After taking 4-42 in the opener in Cardiff, Mahmood was outstanding once more for England.

An excellent length delivery struck Babar on the pads to dismiss Pakistan's most dangerous batsman, and the ball to remove Rizwan was similarly impressive as Mahmood got one to nip away and draw a thin edge to wicketkeeper John Simpson.

Pakistan's batting blues

Having been bowled out for 141 in the series opener, Pakistan showed only limited improvement as a collective batting unit here.

The tone was set as England ripped through their top order, with skipper Babar again gone for a low score having been dismissed for a duck in Cardiff.

For a player who averages over 55 in ODI cricket, it is a bemusing loss of form.

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