Cricket: In-form Mohammad Hafeez leads Pakistan to victory in Abu Dhabi

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In-form Mohammad Hafeez led Pakistan to a six wicket win over England in the first one day international in Abu Dhabi.

England were all out at 216 after winning the toss. Earlier, England was reduced to 14-3, then looked well set when Eoin Morgan (76) and James Taylor (60) shared a partnership run of 133. But lost five wickets for 33 runs and were bowled out for 216.

Targeting a run of 217, Pakistan were reduced to 41-3 by Reece Topley’s three wickets but Hafeez’s 102 not out sealed the win with 38 balls to spare.

The 35-year-old Mohammad struck a six and ten fours in his 11th one-day international century and made a partnership of 106 runs with Babar Azam to guide his side to victory.

Azam finished 62 not out off 62 balls.

England lost Jason Roy who was bowled out by the 7ft 1 inch Mohammad Irfan, Joe Root and Alex Hales who were lbw and caught at slip respectively by Anwar Ali with only 14 runs on England’s scoreboard. Morgan and Taylor’s partnership run of 133 though dragged them back into the game.

Morgan hit 11 fours in his 76 and Taylor made 60 but the dismissal of the skipper prompted another disheartening collapse as Jos Buttler, Taylor, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid followed him back to the pavilion soon after.

England’s innings came to an end with Woakes being run out at 33 with two balls remaining of their 50 overs.

Pakistan’s trio of pace bowlers and leg-spinner Yasir Shah were too good for England batsmen.

The pace trio of Irfan, Anwar and Wahab Riaz found seam movement early in England’s innings and returned with reverse swing.

Captain Eoin Morgan acknowledged that that his side were “slow out of the traps”.

“Our batting let us down massively. We were looking at a minimum of 250,” says Morgan.

“I don’t like making excuses. In the last two series we’ve played, we have been slow starters. We have to learn what we can from today and put things right in the next game.”

“I don’t think we can look to the bowling too much. Defending 217 is pretty harsh on the bowlers. We didn’t bowl as well as we have in the past, but the fault today lies solely on the batting unit.”

The second game in the four-match series is in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

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