England-Pakistan ODI abandoned due to rain

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Cardiff: England were saved by the rain on Wednesday when the first One-day International against Pakistan was abandoned because of the weather.

Pakistan were set 159 runs to win from 32 overs according to the Duckworth-Lewis calculation. The original target was 203 before a 95-minute rain interruption.

The tourists faced only seven overs before the rain came down again when they were cruising towards victory on 46-1.

Stuart Broad trapped Shoaib Malik lbw for five but Mohammad Hafeez and Younis Khan batted aggressively as England struggled to cope with a slippery ball and wet outfield.

Earlier, Pakistan seamer Mohammad Asif claimed three wickets for 28 runs to help restrict England to 202 from 49.2 overs.

England, put into bat, lost their last six batsmen for 36 runs as Asif and paceman Shoaib Akhtar wreaked havoc.

Akhtar took three for 45 from 10 overs in a hostile late burst when England slumped from 166-4.

FLUENT BELL Ian Bell, dropped on nine, top-scored with a fluent 88 from 117 balls for his highest One-day International effort.

He was run out with almost 10 overs remaining after appearing to be the only player who looked at ease as England struggled from the outset.

Asif made early inroads by taking the first three wickets as England slumped to 51 for three in the 14th over.

They failed to exploit the early fielding restrictions and struggled to find the boundaries with any regularity.

England captain Andrew Strauss departed for two when he top-edged a pull shot to square leg fielder Shahid Afridi.

Marcus Trescothick edged Asif to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal for 16 and Kevin Pietersen succumbed to the same combination for two.

Akhtar received an official warning in the 19th over when his attempted slower ball slipped out of his hand and went over Bell's head as a beamer.

However, he went on to destroy England's tail with three quick wickets. The first gave him his 200th One-day International victim when he bowled Jamie Dalrymple.

The abandonment reprieved England from extending a sequence of eight successive limited-overs defeats, with the exception of the match against minnows Ireland.

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