After complete ascendancy over the English squad in the test matches series, everyone thought England will be spun out of the ODIs as well - but the first ODI between Pakistan and England has proved the prediction and speculation utterly wrong.
What happened in Sheikh Zayed stadium a Abu Dhabi was entire different. Though Pakistani spinner Ajmal and Afridi did strike and took away seven wickets and restricted the English to achievable target of 260, the English bowlers struck harder than the Pakistanis. Pakistan struggled to stay on the crease but were sent back for mere 130 in the 36th over. England joyfully won the first ODI with a lead of 130 runs. Cook performed brilliantly and scored a century and collected 137 runs. In fact England's victory today is attributed to Cook as no other batsman could add any praiseworthy addition except Bopara who managed his half century and was out at 50.
Like Saeed Ajmal who took five wickets of the middle order batsmen, it was Steve Finn who destroyed four of the Pakistan top order batsmen in his first five overs. Of all the four, Umar's 39-ball innings was the longest of today's dismal performance by Pakistan batsmen.
Shahid Afridi with his Boob Boom was the highest scorer - he was caught for 28. With Shahid gone, the rest of the team crumbled like a pack of cards and hurried back to pavilion.
At the end of the play, Pakistan's Misbah felt frustrated, but was optimistic to strike back in the second ODI to be played Wednesday. England on the other hand has all reasons to be happy and claiming as they needed a break in the ODIs for they have lost to Indians all five ODis earlier. The 3-0 test series loss made them frustrated and injured and they dearly wanted a return into the game - which they did today.
So we wait for the second ODI on Wednesday and see whether injured pride of Pakistan returns them to a winning mood or not. Congratulations to England for a superb play, specially in bowling today.