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Roy, Root inspire England win

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 25-08-2016 skysports.com

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Jason Roy and Joe Root struck fifties to earn England a 44-run win over Pakistan on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method in the rain-hit first one-day international, at the Ageas Bowl. 

Roy (65 off 56 balls) and Root (61 off 72) ensured that when showers interrupted play for the third and final time England were 193-3 off 34.3 overs - 44 runs on DLS having been set a revised target of 252 off 48 overs in reply to Pakistan's modest 260-6.

The result means England go 10-8 up on points in the Super Series with four ODIs and one Twenty20 international remaining, the next of which takes place at Lord's on Saturday.

Needing to score at just 5.22 runs an over to win, the home side pillaged 66 runs off the first 10 overs of their innings for the loss of Alex Hales - caught at slip trying to run Umar Gul to third man.

Despite a dose of dizziness, Roy was in imperious form but on 24 did need assistance from Sarfraz Ahmed, who called for a top-edged chance heading straight to Umar Gul at short fine leg only to shell the chance.

From that point, England shifted up a gear - Root striking two glorious off-side boundaries off Mohammad Amir before Roy smashed Imad Wasim over backward square for the first six of the day.

Some of Roy's shots were simply breathtaking, none more so than a dismissive, driven four over the leg-side off Gul but his adventure proved his downfall as he holed out to Babar Azam at long off via a leading edge.

Eoin Morgan, in his first innings since chipping a bone in his hand on 26th July, wasn't subjected to a barrage of short bowling early on despite going 22 international innings without a half-century.

Indeed England were cruising - Root passing his 50 off 56 balls - until Morgan called the Yorkshireman for a tight single and Root was run out by Azhar Ali's direct hit.

Even so, Pakistan's prospects remained as bleak as the gathering storm clouds and when the players were forced off twice in the space of three balls they were well off the pace.

Earlier skipper Azhar top-scored in Pakistan's innings but took 84 balls to reach his fifty before stepping on the gas to strike 82 off 110 deliveries.

In contrast, Sarfraz (55 off 58) was positive from the off and led the way in a stand of 65 runs in 11.5 overs after Pakistan, ranked ninth in the world, opted to bat first under sunny skies after winning the toss.

England included Jos Buttler and Mark Wood, both back in the side after injury, and the Durham seamer needed just 19 balls to claim his first wicket, his extra pace beating Sharjeel Khan (16) on the pull and taking the edge - his first international scalp since October 2015.

Azhar received a lifeline on nine when Hales shelled a cut off Chris Woakes (1-43) - the fielder indicating he didn't pick the ball up but England soon had their second scalp as Mohammad Hafeez's indifferent form continued, Root picking up his wicket courtesy of a top-edged sweep.

Babar played confidently to reach 40 off 42 balls but with Sharjeel having wasted Pakistan's review, was unable to overturn an lbw decision given against him off Adil Rashid despite a healthy inside edge.

Azhar's two-paced innings ended when the captain, in do-or-die mood, swept at Rashid from outside off and top-edged a simple catch to Moeen Ali at short third man.

Sarfraz reached his fifty off 52 balls before the players went off for 17 minutes as a shower swept through, the score at that point 218-4 off 42.1 overs.

Only six runs were added on the resumption before Shoaib Malik picked out Rashid at mid-off, off Liam Plunkett's bowling and Sarfraz fell in similar fashion soon after, driving at Woakes' slower ball to leave Pakistan struggling on 226-6.

Mohammad Nawaz (17no off 15) and Imad Wasim (20no) tried to restore some momentum to the innings but at the halfway stage, Pakistan's score seemed sub-par and so it proved.

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