|England posted 274-6 after losing the toss in damp and breezy conditions [AFP]|
Pakistan’s problems refused go away as England won a weather-affected first one-day international by 24 runs after Steven Davies set up victory with 87 from just 67 balls at Durham’s Emirates ground.
In a game reduced to 41 overs per side after overnight rain delayed the start by 105 minutes, England limited Pakistan to 250-9.
Four bowlers claimed two wickets each, while Kamran Akmal (53) and his brother Umar (43) offered resistance but could not remain long enough to threaten England.
England posted 274-6 after losing the toss in damp and breezy conditions courtesy of opener Davies’ innings that included 13 boundaries.
Jonathan Trott hit 69 from 78 balls. Offspinner Saeed Ajmal limited the damage with 4-58.
Pakistan tried to get on with the game after the distraction of spot-fixing allegations that have blighted the team’s focus in recent days.
The team’s three suspended players, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, all returned home on Friday.
Pakistan’s innings started strongly as Kamran and Mohammed Hafeez put on 62 for the first wickets in just under 13 overs.
Kamran was dropped on 33 by Andrew Strauss at backward point off Michael Yardy and again on 34 by Trott off Graeme Swann at long on.
His eventual dismissal gave Swann his 50th wicket in one-day internationals.
Asad Shafiq, who arrived in England on Thursday after being drafted in from the A tour of Sri Lanka, claimed four consecutive boundaries in the 35th over that cost 18 runs.
He was bowled by Tim Bresnan, effectively ending Pakistan’s hopes of victory.
Strauss helped set the tone for the England innings with 41 from 45 deliveries, including sixes pulled from Gul over midwicket and then over mid-on off Ajmal’s fourth ball.
While Strauss and Davies dominated, the veteran fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was impressive, allowing just nine runs from his first five overs.
At the other end, 15 came off debutant Mohammad Irfan’s first over, and 17 runs came from Gul’s second over.
Davies reached his 50 from 47 balls before later falling when he attempted to cut Ajmal to give wicketkeeper Kamran a catch standing up.
Ravi Bopara stretched England’s total with an unbeaten 35 off just 27 balls.
Irfan bowled only 5.3 overs costing 37 runs before he returned to the dressing room with cramp.
England came into the five-match series following a 3-1 Test series win and a 2-0 victory in the Twenty20 series.