England vs Pakistan 1st ODI: Hosts defy rain to grab opening win

England overcame the adverse weather conditions to clinch a 44-run DLS win in the first ODI against Pakistan.

Azhar Ali top-scored with 82 for Pakistan as they reached 260-6 from their 50 overs before half-centuries from Jason Roy and Joe Root took England to 194-3 when the rain came.

England make strong start

Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat on what appeared to be a glorious day at the Ageas Bowl and after two maidens three overs from Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett struck in the sixth over.

Sharjeel Khan feathered through to Jos Buttler behind the stumps and despite a fairly selfish and unnecessary review, was forced to go for 16.

Alex Hales dropped Ali in the very next over before England turned to Root in search of some turn on the Hampshire surface.

Mohammad Hafeez duly obliged as Hales made no mistake at the second time of asking and caught Hafeez’s wayward sweep shot at deep square leg.

Ali and Azam counter punch

Pakistan were slowly going about their business at 52-2 from 12 overs, but Babar Azam had other ideas and struck a run-a-ball 42, taking a liking to Root and Adil Rashid.

However, Rashid had the last laugh when Azam was given out LBW to the leg spinner despite the ball clearly hitting the bat first.

But Khan had already used his review and England had the breakthrough after a 61-run partnership and Pakistan were 113-3 from 23 overs.

Ali reached a steady half-century five overs later and went on the attack from then on smashing 32 from his next 23 balls, but Rashid was at it again as the Pakistan captain top-edged to Moeen Ali at short fine leg for 82 from 110 balls.

The experienced Shoaib Malik was joined by the exciting Sarfraz Ahmed and he wasted no time in moving to 36 from 42 balls.

After 42 overs the rain arrived for the first time and after a short break, Malik chipped to Rashid at mid-off to give Plunkett his only wicket.

Ahmed became Pakistan’s second half-centurion but went shortly after as Woakes’ slower ball deceived the wicketkeeper-batsman and was caught by Mark Wood.

Mark Wood made his England comeback after injury. (Photo: GettyImages)

Malik and Ahmed had put on 46 in under eight overs but England restricted Pakistan to just 34 from the last five overs as Woakes was the pick of England’s seamers with 1-43, whilst Rashid boasted figures of 2-51.

Roy races away as Hales fails again

England were set 261 to win and Roy took just five balls to hit his first boundary off Mohammed Amir, but Hales continued his poor form when he edged the returning Umar Gul to Hafeez at slip for just seven.

That brought the dangerous pair of Roy and Root together after England raced to 27-1 from 4.3 overs.

Roy was given a lifeline on 24 when he was dropped by Ahmed after his top edge swirled in the south coast wind, but was unphased as he swept Imad Wasim for a flat six to move to 39 from 34 balls.

Roy overcame a spell of dizziness to reach a third half-century of the ODI summer, the previous two were both converted to hundreds.

Pakistan get the breakthrough

Root brought up England’s 100 in the 16th over with a smart sweep shot, but Pakistan had their breakthrough two overs later when Roy hauled out to Azam at long off for 65 from 56 balls.

Mohammad Nawaz had broken the 89-run partnership, but Eoin Morgan picked up the baton alongside Root.

Root reached his 15th ODI half-century and effortlessly moved onto 61 before England shot themselves in the foot.

Morgan dabbed one to cover and Ali was onto it quickly to run Root out, the sixth time Morgan has run a team-mate out in an England shirt.

The pair had put on 42 for the third wicket and Ben Stokes joined his skipper at the crease.

Weather hands win to England

Stokes and Morgan put on 36 in seven overs before the rain arrived with Morgan on 33 and Stokes on 15.

There was no more play to be had as what appeared to be a glorious day in the Southampton sunshine had vanished, but England had raced to 194-3 and claimed a 44-run DLS win to go 1-0 up in the series.