Former Pakistan cricketer Kamran Akmal has slammed the visiting Pakistan team after its crushing defeat in the first ODI against England. Seamer Saqib Mahmood seized the unexpected opportunity 10 months since his last international appearance, taking two wickets in the first over of the day and finishing with career-best figures of 4-42 as Pakistan crumbled to 141 all out in 36 overs.
A slender chase was devoured with unerring ease, test regular Zak Crawley posting 58 not out in his first white-ball innings for England and Dawid Malan effortlessly compiling an unbeaten 68 as they needed less than 22 overs of the allocated 50.
Five debuts were handed out before the toss, with Crawley, Phil Salt, John Simpson, Lewis Gregory and Brydon Carse inducted, as England fielded a side boasting just 128 ODI caps. Of those, 98 belonged to stand-in captain Ben Stokes, rushing his recovery from an injured finger to fill the leadership void.
Akmal praised the hosts for their clinical display and lambasted Pakistan. “I don’t understand which way our performance is heading. It should get better by the day but Pakistan had a fully confident team who had played PSL, beaten South Africa. Wins and losses are part and parcel but the character needs to be shown now. Neither our cricket nor our selection process is right,” Kamran Akmal, who has represented Pakistan in 52 Tests, 157 ODIs and 28 T20Is, said on his YouTube channel.
England recently defeated Sri Lanka in both T20Is (3-0) and ODIs (2-0). Akmal compared Pakistan with the Lankans. “The way Pakistan played cricket, it didn’t feel as if Sri Lanka had left England. It felt as if England was playing against Sri Lanka itself. England did something that Pakistan should have done, bowling the opposition out for 141. Ben Stokes’ captaincy was outstanding,” Akmal stated.