England overpowered Pakistan by seven wickets in one-off encounter
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed rued absence of leg-spinner Shadab Khan, after losing the one-off T20I match against England in Cardiff.
Khan was ruled out of the England tour due to a virus and his participation in the upcoming 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup is also not certain.
While speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, the wicketkeeper-batsman spoke about the correlation between Pakistan’s inability to pick up wickets in the middle overs and the absence of Khan.
"We didn't take wickets in the middle overs, and their captain [Eoin Morgan] played really well. We miss him, Shadab, in the playing XI, but hopefully he'll be well for the World Cup,” said Sarfaraz.
Talking about team’s preparation for the World Cup, Sarfaraz said: “We play five quality ODI matches before the World Cup, which is good preparation."
England captain and player of the match Eoin Morgan was glad to get over the line, despite fielding a fairly young lineup.
It was England's second victory in three days after their one-day international success away to Morgan's native Ireland in Dublin on Friday as they continued an encouraging start to a season that sees them staging both the 50-over World Cup and the Ashes.
"Getting over the line with a young team is important for them to learn. This is great practice going into the World Cup as well as we faced two completely different challenges in three days,” said Morgan.
The left-handed batsman also praised his bowlers for putting up a good show and restricting Pakistan to a manageable total.
Fast-bowler Jofra Archer also continued his push for a World Cup call-up by taking two for 29.
"Jofra came on from the game in Ireland, he showed a lot more what he's about," said Morgan. "It's another debut and they don't always go well. The majority of the time they don't. He and the other bowlers will have the opportunity to show what they can do (in the one-day series against Pakistan). But it's been a while, before the Ireland game, that he's played 50-over cricket, and we're conscious of not over-bowling him.”
He further stated: “We were a bit hit-and-miss, it wasn't near our best, Pakistan looked like getting 190. Tom Curran also bowled well, but we'll assess and learn, and move on.”
Morgan scored 57, hitting five fours and three sixes in his 29-ball stay, while Test skipper Joe Root made 47 and James Vince 36 as England overhauled Pakistan's total of 173 for six with four balls to spare at Sophia Gardens.
"The partnership between Vince and Root, they played beautifully, but when I came in, I felt I needed to throw a punch," he said.
Both teams will now take part in a five-match ODI series, which begins on May 8 at The Oval in London.