England’s Archer stars again before rain washes out Pakistan ODI

Shoaib Malik is part of Pakistan's 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.—File

Shoaib Malik is part of Pakistan's 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.—File

Liam Plunkett said England would be a "better team" if Jofra Archer made it into their World Cup squad after his fellow fast bowler again impressed on global duty.

Pakistan were 71 for two, when rain stopped play in the first One-day worldwide of the five-match series against Pakistan at Kennington Oval on Wednesday.

Pakistan´s Fakhar Zaman leaves the field after losing his wicket for three runs off the bowling of England´s Jofra Archer during the first One Day Internation al (ODI) cricket match between England and Pakistan at The Oval cricket ground in London on May 8, 2019.

The Sussex fast bowler´s display was a rare highlight for a patient crowd who endured several rain interruptions in a mere 19 overs´ cricket in south London before the umpires finally called this day/night fixture off at 7:11 pm (1811 GMT) local time.

The rain returned after 16.4 overs, with Imam-ul-Haq (42no) and Haris Sohail (14no) having somewhat quelled England's early onslaught, but play resumed for only 14 deliveries before the weather interrupted proceedings once more.

The Green Shirts will be given a test of challenge ahead of the World Cup as they will take on England in five-match ODI series.

Plunkett, England's other wicket-taker in a four-over spell of one for 27 on what is now his Surrey home ground, added: "It looks easy for him, he ambles in and bowls 93 miles per hour, he makes it look effortless".

Left-arm quick Amir has been omitted from Pakistan's preliminary squad for the 50-over World Cup in England starting later this month.

But Plunkett said: "With him in your squad, you're going to be a better team".

Joe Denly is expected to get another chance in one of the all-rounder roles but the Kent man is under some pressure to perform as coach Trevor Bayliss admitted that in-form Hampshire all-rounder Liam Dawson is in contention for a World Cup spot despite not being named in the provisional squad. If it wasn't Jofra, someone else would be knocking on the door... However, former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff feels differently and has said that the European Central Bank should drop anyone from the squad, but Archer must be picked for the ICC event.

He started with a superb maiden over to Imam, generating movement off the pitch at sharp pace.

"I still don't feel at my best", said Plunkett.

After the one-off T20I, Pakistan and England face-off in the five-match One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

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