Ben Stokes, in the aftermath of England’s nine-wicket win over Pakistan, has admitted that it was a very clinical all-round display from the new side and added that they were not put under any pressure. Saqib Mahmood, who was named player of the match was also chuffed with his performance.
Walking into the first ODI, the Asian side Pakistan would have been more confident of their chances of getting a lead in the series, with England fielding a second-string XI after the COVID-19 incident. However, that was not the case in Cardiff, as Saqib Mahmood handed England the advantage in the very first over when he sent back Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam.
From thereon, even after an impressive display from Fakhar Zaman, who top-scored with a 47, Pakistan could only get themselves a total of 141, setting England a target of 142. In the end, the Three Lions handed Pakistan a drubbing by nine wickets in the first ODI. Speaking in the post-match presentation, England’s skipper Ben Stokes admitted that it was a clinical performance from the team and insisted that they were never under any sort of pressure.
“Very clinical performance, massively ahead of the game, which helps, especially when captaining for the first time. When you get a new group together you are striving for that first team performance, but we weren’t put under pressure today, not every game of cricket goes that smoothly. My message was go out and do what you do for your counties, and enjoy the situation we’re in,” Stokes admitted.
For the Three Lions, a returning Saqib tore into the Pakistan top-order, with figures of 4-42. In the post-match presentation, the pacer insisted that the bowling unit took the right advantage of the conditions, bowling in the right lengths, with an attacking field set. He also hoped that they would take confidence from this win and continue their winning streak.
“As a team you want to win, and as a player you want to contribute. First you’ve got to read the conditions, guys tried to hit their lengths, and we were able to set attacking fields. Hopefully guys can take confidence from this, another important game coming up in a couple of days,” Saqib said.