First One-Day International - The NatWest Challenge

England v Pakistan

Lawrence Booth

At Manchester, June 17 (day/night). Pakistan won by two wickets. (br> Toss: England.
One-day international debuts: R. Clarke, A. McGrath, J. O. Troughton.

A see-sawing, low-scoring thriller finally went Pakistan's way after some inspired bowling from Anderson and Gough late on gave England hope. Cruising at 116 for one in pursuit of 205, Pakistan nearly made a mess of it. Vaughan ran out Yousuf Youhana, Anderson returned after an early pasting to claim three wickets, and when Gough struck twice in five balls, it was 194 for eight. But Abdul Razzaq found a nerveless ally in Mohammad Sami and pulled the winning runs with four balls to spare. Without a patient 69 from the opener, Mohammad Hafeez, things might have been different. Earlier, England had struggled on a slow pitch after a whippet-like start from Trescothick and Solanki, one of six players who were not part of England's last one-day team, against Australia in the World Cup just over three months earlier. From the side that trudged off from that let-down, Knight, Hussain, Stewart, Caddick and White had apparently gone from one-day internationals for ever, and Collingwood was injured. Vaughan, the new captain, could see a big score beckoning at 152 for four in the 32nd over, but Flintoff picked out deep square leg, and Rikki Clarke was bowled second ball by the thrifty Shoaib Malik. Clarke made amends when he dismissed Imran Nazir with a long-hop to become the first Englishman since Geoff Arnold in 1972 to take a wicket with his first ball in one-day internationals. England, though, had left their fightback a little too late. More than a thousand Pakistani supporters surged on to the outfield as the winning run was being scored in a display of the kind of over-exuberance cricket was hoping it had quashed. ECB officials considered extra security measures and renewed their call to the government to make pitch invasions a criminal offence. Seven of their security men were diverted from crowd control by the urgent necessity of ejecting one of cricket's most experienced photographers, Graham Morris, who was taking a picture of the sunset from the press box roof.

Man of the Match: Mohammad Hafeez. Attendance: 18,208; receipts £441,902.

© John Wisden & Co