New-look England tear through Pakistan in first ODI

New-look England tear through Pakistan to set victory target of just 142 in first ODI in Cardiff as Saqib Mahmood takes four wickets after Covid crisis saw five debutants play

  • England bowled Pakistan out for 141 in the first one-day international 
  • Five debutants were named in the team after a new squad was selected
  • That followed the original squad entering isolation after Covid-19 outbreak
  • Saqib Mahmood took four wickets as new-look side made light work of batting 

A second string England team containing five one-day debutants ripped through Pakistan to set themselves 142 to win the first match of the series at Cardiff.

The upheaval caused by the Covid-19 outbreak within the original squad selected for this six-fixture white ball series was swiftly forgotten as Saqib Mahmood led the bowling charge.

Lancashire paceman Mahmood took two prize wickets in the very first over and England didn’t look back as Pakistan crumbled to 26 for four and then 123 for eight with Matt Parkinson, Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton also cashing in. 

Saqib Mahmood (centre) celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Faheem Ashraf 

Lewis Gregory celebrates with team-mates as England’s new-look team take control 

Delight for Matt Parkinson as he celebrates the wicket of Fakhar Zaman with John Simpson

Ben Stokes rushed back from his injury rehabilitation to assume the captaincy and after winning the toss elected to bowl first.

He raised a titter in the pre-match interview by saying: ‘We’ve made 11 changes from the last match’ but hilariously forgot the names of two of the five debutants in the team.

England were forced into calling up an emergency squad after three players and four management staff tested positive for the virus in the wake of their match with Sri Lanka at Bristol on Sunday.

That forced the whole team into 10 days of isolation as the ECB launched an urgent investigation into an alleged breach of Covid protocol.

Test batsman Zak Crawley, Middlesex wicketkeeper John Simpson, South-African born Durham fast bowler Brydon Carse, Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory and Sussex batsman Phil Salt were then named for the first time in a makeshift XI after a large-scale cap presentation ceremony at Sophia Gardens.

Or as Stokes put it: ‘We’ve got five debutants. John Simpson, Phil Salt, Brydon Carse and… I should know this, I’ve just done the cap presentation… can someone help me out?’ 

Mahmood appeals successfully for the wicket of Saud Shakeel, the fourth wicket to fall

Ben Stokes took over as England captain following the Covid outbreak in the original squad

Mahmood was on fire and celebrates the wicket of Pakistan captain Babar Azam 

All change for England 


Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Sam Billings (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), George Garton (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).


Ben Stokes (Durham, captain), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Danny Briggs (Warwickshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Will Jacks (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), David Payne (Gloucestershire), Phil Salt (Sussex), John Simpson (Middlesex), James Vince (Hampshire) 

Mahmood gave England the perfect start, however, by wrapping Imam-ul-Haq on the pads with his opening delivery before convincing Stokes to take a chance on DRS when the appeal was turned down. Ball-tracking showed it just pitching in line and hitting the top of leg stump.

Two balls later, Mahmood found a hint of swing and Babar Azam, Pakistan captain and the world’s No 1 ODI batsman, edged through to Crawley in the slip cordon.

Gregory then got in on the act, picking the edge of Rizwan on an off-stump line to hand Simpson a regulation catch, opening his international account.

And the tourists were in serious trouble at 26 for four when debutant Saud Shakeel was pinned on the knee roll by Saqib. Umpire Alex Wharf raised his finger and the decision was upheld on umpire’s call on review.  

Lewis Gregory celebrates after taking the wicket of Mohammad Rizwan in the opening ODI

Matt Parkinson takes a tumble to field off his own bowling during the match at Cardiff

Fakhar Zaman and Sohaib Maqsood finally settled Pakistan down but their fifth wicket partnership of 53 was ended by a silly run-out.

Maqsood had to go after both batsmen set off for an ill-advised single after Fakhar dug out a Carse yorker. Fakhar bailed halfway down, leaving his partner stranded as James Vince rushed in to break the stumps.

Fakhar was only three shy of his half-century when he slashed lazily at leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, offering Crawley a straightforward catch at backward point.

Returning for a second spell, Mahmood picked up his fourth of the innings as Faheem Ashraf edged to Simpson before Hassan Ali swiped Parkinson to Dawid Malan’s hands on the ropes to leave Pakistan 123 for eight.

Craig Overton was desperate to get stuck in and he mopped up the Pakistan tail, taking the wickets of Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi to leave just 142 for England to chase down. 

England vs Pakistan fixtures 


Thursday – Match one (Cardiff)

Saturday – Match two (Lord’s)

July 13 – Match three (Edgbaston)


July 16 – Match one (Trent Bridge)

July 18 – Match two (Headingley)

July 20 – Match three (Old Trafford) 

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