Pakistan v England: Alastair Cook happy with return to form

England celebrate a wicket
England celebrate a wicket

England captain Alastair Cook was delighted to put a "frustrating" Test series whitewash to Pakistan behind them with a 130-run win in the first one-day international in Abu Dhabi.

Cook led the way with 137, while there were also good performances from Ravi Bopara (50) and Steven Finn (4-34).

"It's been a hard tour, it's been frustrating," said the one-day skipper.

"We haven't played to our potential but today showed what good players we have. It's always good to start well."

Despite their Test series tormentor-in-chief Saeed Ajmal taking 5-43, England managed to post 260-7 - thanks in main to a third-wicket partnership of 131 between Essex duo Cook, who won the man-of-the-match award for his third one-day century, and Bopara.

And, once Finn ripped out Pakistan's top four inside nine overs with a devastating new ball spell, the tourists were always on course for victory.

It put the smiles back on England faces, after they were humiliated in the five-day format - losing all three matches by heavy margins.

Asked what had made the difference after such a disappointing showing in the Tests, Cook said: "I don't know. It's a different format. The pressure of men around the bat is gone.

"We got a really good score on the board. The way Ravi played, coming in after we lost two quick wickets, was a good knock. He took the pressure off me and I just batted as long as I could.

"Then Steven Finn and the bowlers made it really hard for Pakistan."

Pakistan captain Misbah Ul-Haq laid the blame for defeat at the feet of his batsmen, who failed to deal with England's seam attack before spinner Samit Patel (3-26) finished the job.

"They played wonderful cricket," said Misbah. "Their captain led the team by example. His innings was the key for them.

"Our batting is a matter of concern for us - 260 wasn't a big score here.

"Batting under lights is difficult, but I think we have to do a bit of disciplined batting against the new ball.

"It is a little bit difficult with the new ball but otherwise the wicket played very well.

"It was just a bad day. One bad performance. We'll come back, do the basics right and let's see. It's really important for us to come back."

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