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Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Friday, 10 September 2010 18:38 UK

England beat Pakistan in first one-day international

First one-day international, Emirates Ground:
England 274-6 (41 overs) beat Pakistan 250-9 (41 overs) by 24 runs

(Match reduced to 41 overs per side)
Match scorecard

Steven Davies batting at Chester-le-Street
Davies fell 13 runs short of a maiden international century

By Phil Dawkes

England compounded Pakistan's off-field problems with a deserved 24-run win at Durham to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match one-day international series.

After overnight rain reduced the game to 41 overs per side, Steven Davies (87) and Jonathan Trott (69) helped England set Pakistan a target of 275.

Despite a good start, the tourists were always behind the required run-rate.

Kamran Akmal (53) and his brother Umar (43) gave Pakistan hope, but England's bowlers restricted them to 250.

After a build-up dominated by the ongoing investigation into alleged spot-fixing, that has seen Pakistan players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir all charged and provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council, it was a visible relief for the tourists to be focusing on sporting matters.

While clearly second best throughout, Pakistan did confound their critics with a competitive and committed performance that belied their weakened side.

However, they lack both the experience and expertise at this level to trouble a side as talented, honed and confident as England, who could afford to be without batsman Kevin Pietersen - omitted from the one-day series after a run of poor form - and saw their decision to hand wicketkeeper Davies a place in the side rewarded in spectacular fashion.

Heavy overnight and morning rain resulted in a delayed start, with a 41-over match eventually getting under way at 1230 BST, in front of a far healthier crowd than the one that turned out for the Twenty20 encounter in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Pakistan won the toss and captain Shahid Afridi opted to favour his bowlers, who have been far more reliable than his batsmen during this tour, in the still damp conditions.

The tourists drafted in 7ft 1in bowler Mohammad Irfan for his debut - the tallest man ever to play international cricket.

dyrewolfe (a.k.a Smogheart)

However, the towering paceman made a rotten start and after England captain Andrew Strauss took his first over for 15, he was immediately replaced by the more experienced Umar Gul.

Gul fared little better, with a second over going for 17 out of an eventual total of 68 from his six overs as Strauss and new opening partner Davies - taking over from Craig Kieswetter - made an extremely positive start, tempered only by the economical efforts of Shoaib Akhtar, whose initial five-over spell went for just nine runs.

Strauss was finding runs easy to come by, but he allowed his enthusiasm to get the better of him in the 11th over, falling for 41 after a wild attempted pull saw him bowled by spinner Saeed Ajmal, who would ultimately claim 4-58.

New man Trott and the impressively authoritative Davies continued the assault, taking England past 150 until the latter fell caught behind off Ajmal, 13 short of what would have been a deserved maiden international century.

Trott anchored the majority of the rest of the innings with a solid but unspectacular 69, with contributions from Paul Collingwood (14), Eoin Morgan (13) and Ravi Bopara (35 not out), as England set an extremely competitive total.

Pakistan made a solid start to their chase, with Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal amassing 62 between them, before the partnership was broken when the former mistimed a sweep to deep square-leg where Tim Bresnan dived to catch low down from the bowling of Graeme Swann, continuing his impressive record of claiming wickets in his first over.

With the required run-rate increasing all the time, Swann's spin partner Michael Yardy trapped the dangerous Mohammad Yousuf lbw cheaply to swing the game in England's favour.

This was emphasised when Kamran Akmal - who was dropped twice soon after Hafeez's dismissal by Strauss at gully and Trott at long-on - was caught at long-off for 53 by Stuart Broad for Swann's 50th one-day international wicket, with Pakistan still 152 runs from their target.

Fawad Alam (39) and Umar Akmal briefly revived Pakistan's hopes of victory, but these faded when Broad had the latter caught behind by Davies from an attempted paddle-scoop to fine leg.

They continued to battle manfully but despite a quick-fire 19 from Asad Shafiq, their risky strokeplay meant a regular loss of wickets and they ultimately fell 24 short with only one wicket remaining.

Swann, Yardy, James Anderson and Bresnan all claimed two wickets apiece, with Broad taking one.

The second one-dayer takes place at Headingley on Sunday.

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