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Sunday, 12 September 2010

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England beat Pakistan by 24 runs

CRICKET: CHESTER-LE-STREET, United Kingdom, Sept 11 (AFP) - England cruised to a 24-run win over embattled Pakistan thanks to a tempo-setting display from Steve Davies in the first match of the one-day international series at the Riverside on Friday.

Davies was drafted into the England side in place of wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter and he seized the opportunity to cement his place at the top of the order with 13 fours in a devastating innings of 87 from 67 balls.

Umar Gul and debutant Mohammad Irfan bore the brunt of Davies's onslaught as England reached 274 for six from a rain-reduced 41 overs after a two-hour delay caused by a wet outfield.

Jonathan Trott weighed in with 69 from 78 balls and captain Andrew Strauss hit 41, while only off-spinner Saeed Ajmal managed to put England under pressure as he took four for 58.

Pakistan never seriously threatened to chase down that target as England's bowlers kept the tourists on a tight leash, with Kamran Akmal's 53 and a quick-fire 43 from Umar Akmal in their total of 250-9.

In the end, Pakistan could be relatively satisfied that they put up a decent fight after so many abject defeats on their nightmare tour.

Strauss said: "Steve Davies was outstanding with the bat and got us off to a flying start. Our score was very competitive on this wicket.

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