Rain breaks England's one-day losing streak
by AFP

Ground:Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Scorecard:England v Pakistan
Player:Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, JWM Dalrymple, IR Bell
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 2006

DateLine: 30th August 2006


Rain ended England's run of seven straight limited overs defeats as the first one-day international against Pakistan ended in a no-result at Sophia Gardens here on Wednesday.


Pakistan, chasing a revised target of 159 in 32 overs after a rain break of an our-and-a-quarter, were 46 for one off seven overs when a second downpour ended the match.


Although the tourists were ahead of the required run-rate, they had to bat for a minimum of 20 overs for this day/night fixture, the opening contest of a five-game series, to be deemed a match.


Mohammad Hafeez was 18 not out and Younis Khan 12 not out.


During their current home season England had lost a Twenty20 and five full one-day internationals against Sri Lanka before Monday's five-wicket Twenty20 defeat against Pakistan at Bristol.


This series continues with a day match at Lord's on Saturday.


England had earlier been bowled out for 202, featuring Ian Bell's one-day international best of 88, after Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq won the toss and chose to field.


Mohammad Asif, who ripped through England's top order, finished with an impressive three for 28 off a maximum 10 overs.


And fellow quick Shoaib Akhtar, who returned to international action after a stress fracture of the left ankle on Monday, three for 45 off 10.


Pakistan suffered a setback in the second over when Stuart Broad, on his one-day international debut, had Shoaib Malik lbw for five with his fourth legitimate ball at this level to leave Pakistan 12 for one.


Broad, the 20-year-old son of former Test opening batsman Chris, had already been on target for England this week when taking two wickets in two balls on Monday.


At the other end Darren Gough, England's most successful one-day international bowler with 235 wickets, was confidently pulled by Hafeez.


Gough, playing his first one-day international in over a year, then saw Hafeez top-edge a hook over the slips for four but next ball force him off the middle down to the backward point boundary.


Bell's was the only individual England score above James Dalrymple's 27.


Dropped twice, Bell shared stands of 57 with Paul Collingwood (14) and 68 with Dalrymple.


But it needed a last-wicket stand of 29 between Gough and Broad to take England past 200.


Asif ripped through England's top order with a spell of three wickets for 12 runs in 26 balls.


Strauss (two) went when he top-edged a pick-up shot to square leg where Shahid Afridi took a simple catch.


Then Marcus Trescothick, England's other opener, on 16 gave himself room to square-cut but only succeeded in edging the ball through to wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.


Bell, trying to thrash Rana Naved through the offside on nine, got a thick edge behind where second slip Younis dropped the sharp two-handed chance above his head.


Asif, spotting Kevin Pietersen advancing down the pitch, bowled a bouncer which hit the South Africa-born batsman.


Next ball Asif cleverly bowled a full-length delivery which cut away and Pietersen's edge was was well caught by the diving Akmal for two.


Then a single off leg-spinner Afridi took Bell, who drove stylishly through the offside, to a 71-ball fifty with nine fours.


Bell had a reprieve on 68 when Afridi dropped a low caught and bowled chance off a well-hit drive.


Pakistan though then had a purple patch of three wickets for one run in eight balls.


Bell pushed Akhtar onto the onside but was run out by Afridi's direct hit from mid-on having faced 117 balls with 12 fours.


Next ball 166 for five became 166 for six when Dalrymple was bowled by Akhtar.


The innings ended with four balls to spare when Gough holed out to Afridi for 18.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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