Roy and Root influential as England beat the rain and Pakistan


Jason Roy and Joe Root starred as England ended their four-year wait for a one-day international victory at The Rose Bowl with a 44-run win over Pakistan in the opening match of the series.

Eoin Morgan's side had not won a 50-over match in Southampton since their 114-run triumph over the West Indies in June 2012, but that finally came to an end on Wednesday via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Set an initial target of 261 runs to win, England's run chase was disrupted by rain, but their scoring rate was high enough to leave them well ahead when rain stopped play.

Azhar Ali (82) and Sarfraz Ahmed played crucial roles in Pakistan getting their total up above 250, the latter's 55 coming off just 58 balls as the middle-order provided much-needed runs.

It was never going to be enough to deny the hosts even though they lost Alex Hales (7) in the fifth over.

Roy (65) and Root (61) showed they are in fine touch with a brilliant second-wicket stand of 89, while captain Morgan also appeared in good nick in an unbeaten knock of 33 as England reached 194-3 - well above the revised target of 151 - with two attempts to restart proving unsuccessful before play was abandoned and the hosts were awarded the win.

Mark Wood (1-57) - making his first international appearance since October 2015 - immediately found his rhythm and troubled Sharjeel Khan (16) early on, and in the sixth over he got his man as Jos Buttler took down the leg side.

Sharjeel reviewed the decision and its rejection proved costly later in the innings when Babar Azam (40) was given out lbw to Adil Rashid (2-51).

The leg spinner produced a faster, flatter googly that struck Azam's pad, however the ball had taken an inside edge beforehand, but the batsman was unable to review after Sharjeel's earlier mistake.

At 113-3, Pakistan needed Azhar and Sarfraz (55) to rebuild their innings and together the pair took the score closer to 200 and allowed the lower order to add some valuable runs.

Azhar's superb 82 included some powerful hitting on the leg side after being dropped by Hales at slip, the ODI skipper going on to complete his eighth half century.

The opener became Rashid's second victim of the innings with 14 overs remaining but Sarfraz, and latterly Mohammad Nawaz and Imad Wasim (both 17 not out) fired the tourists to a competitive total.

Umar Gul's (1-46) dismissal of Hales early in England's response offered hope for Pakistan, but it was short-lived as Roy and Root took the match away from the tourists.

Their 89-run partnership came off 14 overs with an average run-rate of 6.28, Roy the first to fifty before giving away the chance of a century as Azam took a simple catch on the boundary.

Morgan and Root continued England's charge to victory and even the latter's run out could not halt their progress, Ben Stokes (15) joining his captain to wrap up the win.