An ice-cool unbeaten 69 from Callum Flynn gave England victory over Pakistan by three wickets in a thrilling see-saw opener to the Physical Disability World Series at Kidderminster’s Chester Road ground.
The stylish Lancastrian, who had earlier shared an attractive partnership of 82 with Jamie Goodwin (47 from 31 balls) nervelessly negotiated England’s safe passage.
With 22 required from the last two overs, Flynn was the coolest man in Kidderminster, steering his side home with four balls to spare in a chanceless, man-of-the-match winning 49-ball knock containing nine fours and a six.
The hosts had looked to be coasting to their target of 155, well on top of the rate with the right-left combination of Flynn and Goodwin at the crease, but the latter’s departure to a rare false stroke with the score at 106 in the 14th over, galvanised the visitors.
It sparked a collapse during which five wickets fell for 18 – including three in six balls – as England slumped to 124 for seven at the end of the 16th over to leave the game hanging in the balance.
Flynn, however played sensible, risk-free cricket, standing tall to see England home, taking 15 off returning opening quick Abdullah Ejaz’s penultimate over and finishing the job in two deliveries of the 20th.
Callum Flynn said: “It was special. We don’t often start tournaments well – we’ve got a knack of losing the first game, and to beat Pakistan, who beat us in the final [of the tri-series tournament with Bangladesh] last year should stand us in good stead for the rest of the week.
“It’s great for everyone who came to see a tight, memorable game.”