England comfortably beat Pakistan by 37 runs, despite a sub-par performance in an underwhelming one-day international series opener in Derby.

Chasing 244, Pakistan were well set for a surprise victory at 149-4 but fell short despite a spirited effort to reach 206-9 from 50 overs.

Sophie Ecclestone starred with 3-26, with two wickets apiece for fellow spinner Charlie Dean and seamers Lauren Bell and Kate Cross.

Despite a comprehensive margin of victory, England were unconvincing as plenty of batters made starts but failed to kick on in their 243-9.

Six batters reached 20, with Alice Capsey’s 44 the top score, but none were able to convert to a half-century.

On a sluggish pitch and outfield that was impacted by the week’s rain, Pakistan utilised their plethora of slow bowlers to frustrate England and restrict their ability to play with their desired aggression.

The preceding T20 series, which England swept 3-0, saw Pakistan fail batting second in each game but they showed improved grit and skill in the longer format amid ill-discipline from Heather Knight’s side, who conceded 31 in wides.

Captain Nida Dar added stands of 38 and 32 with Muneeba Ali, who made 34, and Aliya Riaz, who made 21, to give England a slight scare in a flat middle-over phase before the lower order unravelled as the hosts closed in on victory.

The three-match ODI series continues at Taunton on Sunday.

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