England cruised to a 24-run win over embattled Pakistan thanks to a tempo-setting display from Steve Davies in the first match of the one-day international series at the Riverside.
Davies was drafted into the England side in place of wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter and he seized the opportunity to cement his place at the top of the order with 13 fours in a devastating innings of 87 from 67 balls yesterday.
Umar Gul and debutant Mohammad Irfan bore the brunt of Davies's onslaught as England reached 274 for six from a rain-reduced 41 overs after a two-hour delay caused by a wet outfield.
Jonathan Trott weighed in with 69 from 78 balls and captain Andrew Strauss hit 41, while only off-spinner Saeed Ajmal managed to put England under pressure as he took four for 58.
Pakistan never seriously threatened to chase down that target as England's bowlers kept the tourists on a tight leash, with Kamran Akmal's 53 and a quick-fire 43 from Umar Akmal in their total of 250-9.
In the end, Pakistan could be relatively satisfied that they put up a decent fight after so many abject defeats on their nightmare tour. Any hopes the Pakistan team had of avoiding further controversy after a scandal-scarred tour were dashed on the morning of the match when it emerged that fast bowler Wahab Riaz will be interviewed by police next week in the course of their spot-fixing inquiries.
That revelation came on the day Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer flew home with their reputations damaged by the betting scam allegations. The three players have been charged and suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) under the world governing body's anti-corruption code following newspaper claims that Asif and Aamer bowled no-balls deliberately on Butt's instructions in the fourth Test against England at Lord's last month.