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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 13:47 GMT
England triumph in one-day opener
First one-day international, Lahore: England 327-4 (50 overs) beat Pakistan 285 (46.5 overs) by 42 runs

Andrew Strauss
391-4 (50 overs) v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge, 2005
363-7 (55 overs) v Pakistan, Trent Bridge, 1992
334-4 (60 overs) v India, Lord's, 1975
333-9 (60 overs) v Sri Lanka, Taunton, 1983
327-4 (50 ov) v Pakistan, Lahore, 2005/06
England achieved their highest one-day total on foreign soil to win the opening match of the one-day series against Pakistan by 42 runs.

Andrew Strauss anchored the innings with 94 and Kevin Pietersen (56) and Andrew Flintoff (72 not out) produced the big-hitting to carry them to 327-4.

Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik all made half centuries in reply.

But Pakistan were all out for 285 as super-sub Liam Plunkett claimed 3-51.

The result ended a seven-match winning streak for Pakistan in limited-overs internationals and gave England a much-needed lift after being beaten 2-0 in the Test series.

Their performance in the field perhaps owed more to perspiration than inspiration, with a weary-looking Flintoff conceding 41 from his opening four overs and Steve Harmison faring little better.

But the pair combined to end a 117-run second wicket stand when Flintoff caught Butt (67) off Harmison at mid-off - the left-hander having been dropped by Paul Collingwood off the second ball of Pakistan's innings.

Flintoff then dismissed Younis for 60, with Collingwood's hands this time proving safe, and added the final two wickets - the last a perfect yorker to bowl Danish Kaneria and take him to 100 victims in one-day games for England.

Spinner Ian Blackwell, called into the squad to replace injured Ashley Giles, also played a crucial role as he sent down 10 overs at a cost of 45 runs without conceding a single boundary.

And debutant Plunkett underlined his potential with the vital wickets of Yousuf (59), Malik (50) and Abdul Razzaq to prevent Pakistan building the necessary momentum after reaching the 40-over mark on 240-4.

England skipper Marcus Trescothick had no hesitation in batting first after winning the toss but it was new opening partner Matt Prior who provided the early impetus with 45.

Prior, who won selection with his 72 in the warm-up game against Pakistan A, opened his account with four off Sussex team-mate Rana Naved.

And he added another when he picked a back of the hand slower ball and carved it away through the covers for four.

Strauss came in following Trescothick's dismissal for 13 with question marks against him, having made only 44 runs in four innings during the Test series.

But successive boundaries off Naved calmed any nerves as he and Prior added 51 before Prior appeared to lose the flight of a full toss from paceman Mohammad Sami and was lbw.

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff winds up a big hit as England step up the scoring rate

Pietersen was given the benefit of the doubt when struck on the pad by Razzaq and did not waste the reprieve as he deposited leg-spinner Kaneria for six over mid-wicket and backward square leg off successive balls.

His half century came up off 35 balls and he looked hungry for more when he was well stumped by Kamran Akmal off a leg-side wide from Malik.

Flintoff bided his time at the start of the innings, content to let Man of the Match Strauss close in on what would have been a third one-day century.

But the Middlesex left-hander's hopes were dashed when he hit a long hop from Kaneria straight to Salman Butt, leaving England 237-4 after 39 overs.

With Collingwood ready as always to bustle and scurry for every available one and two, Flintoff then produced the type of hitting that helped make him a national hero during the Ashes series.

He was dropped by Younis on 31 and made the most of the let-off as sixes off Kaneria and Malik helped carry him to fifty off 55 balls, prior to a sequence of 4-4-6-4 in the 48th over, bowled by Naved.

The last 11 overs saw 90 added to England's total and the task of surpassing it proved beyond Pakistan, whose often inspirational skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq for once failed to deliver as he contributed only 13.

Interview: England captain Marcus Trescothick

Interview: England batsman Andrew Strauss


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