All-round Gregory stars as England clinch Pakistan series
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London (AFP) –
Lewis Gregory starred with both bat and ball as England beat Pakistan by 52 runs in the second one-day international at Lord's on Saturday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in a three-match series.
Set 248 to win in a game reduced to 47 overs per side by rain, Pakistan were dismissed for 195.
Somerset pace-bowling all-rounder Gregory, in just a second match at this level, struck with his first ball Saturday on the way to 3-44 as England won with six overs to spare.
That followed the Somerset all-rounder's valuable 40 and a stand of 69 with Brydon Carse (31), in a maiden ODI innings for both members of the eighth-wicket duo, after England had slumped to 160-7.
This was the first ODI at Lord's since England's dramatic 2019 World Cup final win over New Zealand.
Such was the party atmosphere among the nearly 23,000 spectators, the most at a cricket match in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic, there were even chants of 'Football's coming home' from the usually restrained crowd at the home of cricket ahead of England facing Italy in Sunday's European Championship soccer final at the nearby Wembley Stadium.
England were set for a big total while Phil Salt (60) and James Vince (56) were sharing a third-wicket partnership of 97 after Dawid Malan and Zak Crawley had both fallen for ducks.
From 118-2, however, England slumped to 160-7.
- Recovery -
But even though Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali took 5-51, England had more than enough runs.
Their admirable recovery was the kind of test stand-in England captain Ben Stokes said his makeshift team, thrust together by a Covid crisis that ruled out the originally selected squad, had avoided when thrashing Pakistan by nine wickets in Thursday's series opener in Cardiff.
The overcast conditions, with the floodlights on at a gloomy home of cricket, would have made batting difficult for many sides.
And they proved challenging for a Pakistan team skittled out for just 141 in Cardiff, with the tourists slumping to 36-3 on Saturday.
Gregory struck in the second over when Imam-ul-Haq was caught behind.
Saqib Mahmood, fresh from a four-wicket haul in Wales, then had Pakistan captain Babar Azam, the world's top-ranked ODI batsman, lbw for 19.
And when Craig Overton struck twice, bowling opener Fakhar Zaman for a subdued 10 off 45 balls before Sohaib Maqsood holed out to wicketkeeper John Simpson, Pakistan were 86-5.
Ali hit three successive balls from leg-spinner Matt Parkinson for six. But when he holed out for an entertaining 31, Pakistan were all but beaten at 152-8.
Nevertheless, middle-order batsman Saud Shakeel marked his second ODI with an admirable maiden fifty off 70 balls including four fours.
Earlier, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Ali reducing England to 21-2 inside five overs after Azam won the toss.
Malan and Crawley, who had each made unbeaten fifties on Thursday, didn't manage a run between them.
Malan edged Ali to second slip while Crawley was bowled for a golden duck by left-armer Afridi's superb inswinger.
- Spinners strike -
Sussex's Salt, driving strongly, completed a 41-ball fifty, including 10 fours, with Vince reaching the landmark in 36 balls before spin proved their undoing.
Salt was bowled behind his legs sweeping at left-armer Shakeel before Vince, trying to dab to third man, was deceived by leg-spinner Shadab Khan's googly.
Stand-in captain Ben Stokes, one of England's World Cup heroes, was applauded out to the middle in his 100th ODI.
But he fell for 22 when he was bowled by Ali after charging down the pitch.
Gregory and Carse batted sensibly, however, with the former hitting four fours in 47 balls.
© 2021 AFP