England's Archer stars again before rain halts Pakistan ODI

London (AFP) –


Jofra Archer continued his bid to earn a place in England's World Cup squad with a hostile opening spell against Pakistan before rain stopped play in the first one-day international at The Oval on Wednesday.

Pakistan were 71 for two in a when a fresh downpour saw the umpires takes the players off the field in the 17th over at 3:28 pm local time (1428 GMT).

Earlier rain, which delayed the scheduled start, had already seen the match reduced to 47 overs per side,

Barbados-born Archer was not included in tournament hosts' England's preliminary squad for the World Cup but has a chance to force his way into their final 15.

He showed glimpses of his ability while making ODI and Twenty20 international debuts against Ireland and Pakistan last week.

On Tuesday, former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff say "anyone" should be dropped to make sure Archer had a place in the World Cup squad.

And the Sussex paceman seized his latest chance in Wednesday's opening contest of a five-match ODI series with Pakistan after England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss.

Archer started with a superb maiden over to Imam-ul-Haq generating movement off the pitch at sharp pace.

And it was not long before he had Fakhar Zaman -- the century-making star of Pakistan's 2017 Champions Trophy final win over arch-rivals India at The Oval -- edging on three to Test skipper Joe Root in the slips.

Archer conceded a mere six runs in his four-over spell, with Chris Woakes keeping things tight at the other end.

New batsman Babar Azam (16) struck three stylish boundaries before he edged Liam Plunkett to wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, with Pakistan now 45 for two.

But Imam-ul-Haq held firm to be unbeaten on 34, with Haris Sohail 13 not out when rain stopped play in this day/night fixture.