|First one-day international, The Kia Oval|
|Pakistan 80-2 (19 overs): Imam 42*, Archer 1-6|
|England: Did not bat|
England’s first one-day international against Pakistan was abandoned because of persistent rain on a frustrating day at The Oval.
The weather first saw the game shortened to 47 overs a side, another delay brought a further cut to 41, with the heaviest shower then leaving the outfield too wet for any further play.
Pakistan reached 80-2 in the 19 overs that were possible.
Perhaps most pertinently, England pace bowler Jofra Archer (4-2-6-1) served further notice of his World Cup credentials with a hostile new-ball spell.
Aside from that, England learned little to aid their task of finalising their World Cup squad at the end of this five-match series.
The second match is in Southampton on Saturday.
Archer shines between the showers
With opener Jason Roy and all-rounder Moeen Ali absent injured, this should have been a chance for fringe players James Vince and Joe Denly to press their claims to be included in England’s 15.
However, neither was afforded the opportunity to get into the game because of the rain.
Archer, though, did enough in a four-over spell to reinforce the notion that it is not ‘if’ he will be part of the World Cup, but who from England’s preliminary squad he will replace.
Touching speeds of 93mph, Archer bowled with such relentless accuracy that he did not concede a run off the bat until his 19th delivery. In all, his four overs cost only six runs.
Nipping the ball around off the seam, he tormented Fakhar Zaman until the left-hander poked to second slip, where Joe Root took a juggling catch.
Archer’s replacement, Liam Plunkett, was out of sorts in conceding almost seven runs an over, but he at least had Babar Azam caught behind to leave Pakistan 45-2.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq was unmoved at the other end, moving to 42 not out in the company of Haris Sohail.
Haris should have been stumped for 14 off Adil Rashid, only for Jos Buttler to fail to gather the ball, a delivery that proved to be the last before the game-ending rain.
‘Whoever bowls best should get into World Cup squad’ – what they said
England bowler Liam Plunkett on Jofra Archer: “Jofra is obviously a class act. He bowled really nicely and with pace today.
“He smashed the right areas and took the wicket. It looks quite easy for him – he ambles in and bowls at 93mph.
“With him in your squad you will be a better team. He’s performed well.
“Whoever is bowling best should be in the squad – that could be Jofra or someone else.”