Davies, Bopara flay Pakistan

In a game reduced to 41 overs per side after overnight rain delayed the start by 105 minutes, England set about Pakistan’s lacklustre bowlers. Davies struck 13 boundaries, while Jonathan Trott hit 69 from 78 balls. Offspinner Saeed Ajmal limited the damage with 4-58.

Ravi Bopara stretched England’s total with an unbeaten 35 off just 27 balls, including a huge six clipped from Umar Gul, who leaked 67 from six overs.

Pakistan tried to get on with the job of its cricket tour on the day three suspended players facing anti-corruption charges returned home.

England captain Andrew Strauss set the tone for the innings with 41 from 45 deliveries, including sixes pulled from Gul over midwicket and then over mid-on off Ajmal’s fourth ball.

While Strauss and Davies dominated, the veteran fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was impressive, allowing just nine runs from his first five overs. At the other end, 15 came off debutant Mohammad Irfan’s first over, and 17 came from Gul’s second over.

With medium-pace bowler Abdul Razzaq omitted, captain Shahid Afridi introduced spin in the sixth over with Mohammed Hafeez but it didn’t stop Davies, who reached his 50 from 47 balls before accelerating further.

After Strauss was bowled trying to sweep Ajmal to make the score 78-1, Davies eventually fell when he attempted to cut the spinner only to give wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal a catch standing up.

Paul Collingwood made 14 before he swept Ajmal to backward square leg, while Trott was bowled by Ajmal.

Irfan bowled only 5.3 overs costing 37 runs before he returned to the dressing room with cramp. England came into the five-match series following a 3-1 Test series win and a 2-0 victory in the Twenty20 series.

SCORE BOARD

ENGLAND

Strauss b Ajmal    41
Davies c K Akmal b Ajmal    87
Trott b Ajmal    69
Collingwood c Alam b Ajmal    14
Morgan c K Akmal b Afridi    13
Bopara (not out)    35
Bresnan (run out)    1
Yardy (not out)    1
Extras (LB-1, W-9)    10
Total (for 6 wkts, 41 overs)    274
Fall of wickets: 1-78, 2-153, 3-179, 4-205, 5-253, 6-255.
Bowling: Akhtar 8-1-28-0, Irfan 5.3-0-37-0, Gul 6-0-67-0, Hafeez 5-0-28-0, Ajmal 9-0-58-4, Afridi     7.3-0-52-1.

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