England put their embarrassing test series loss behind them after decimating Pakistan by 130 runs in the first ODI at Abu Dhabi.
England, who had really struggled in the test matches showcased why they were a team that should not be taken lightly.
Captain Alastair Cook was extremely pleased with the side being back in form. “It’s been a hard tour, it’s been frustrating we haven’t played up to our potential … Glad we got off to a winning start today” he said.
The tourists batted first and Cook led the team by example, scoring a very impressive 137 runs, and he was well supported by Ravi Bopara, who made a sensibly played 50.
However, none of the other batsmen really contributed heavily to the score as England finished with a respectable 260 runs, losing seven wickets in the process.
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal was the best of the best from the Pakistan bowlers as he picked up five wickets for 43 runs, but Shahid Afridi, who is another spinner picked up two wickets as well, when he dismissed two English batsmen successively.
The hosts, set a target of 261 runs to win just crumbled under intense and accurate bowling by England.
Once Shahid Afridi got out, with the score standing at 109 for the loss of the eight wickets, the crowds left the stadium, knowing that there was no hope of a victory. Pakistan were soon bundled out for a dismal 130 runs.
Steven Finn had four wickets for England, Samit Patel picked up three and Graeme Swann chipped in with two wickets of his own.
Captain Cook said: “It’s a different format, less pressure around the bat. Ravi came in and played very well and that helped me. All the lads put in a good performance.”
Pakistan Captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, who was definitely shell-shocked by the margin of victory, said: “The batting [let us down] – 260 wasn’t a big score. I know that batting under lights is difficult but we have to do better against the new ball…Of course, we can come back. We’re going to come back.”
With this victory, England take a 1-0 lead in the four match ODI series. Pakistan will be looking for revenge when the two sides meet again at the same venue on the 15th of February.