Pakistan’s capitulation at the hands of the West Indies underlined the sorry plight of the Asian giants in the ODI format in recent times, and Sarfaraz Ahmed and co. will look to turn things around in the crunch game against World No. 1 side England. Meanwhile, the hosts step into this fixture on the back of a comprehensive win over South Africa and need only look at their 4-0 defeat of Pakistan in the series preceding the World Cup for a further boost of confidence. Will Eoin Morgan’s Three Lions make it two in two?
England opted to field first after winning the toss, with Fakhar and Imam both made a good use of the conditions by smoking few boundaries early on. The pair put on 82 runs in 14 overs, as Fakhar was undone by Moeen Ali for 36. Imam made a solid contribution of 44 as he was caught brilliantly by Woakes, with Pakistan at 120/2 in 21st over. Babar and Hafeez got together for the 3rd wicket stand, as Pakistan rebuilt the innings nicely. Babar scored a valiant half century off 48 balls, as Pakistan crossed 200 run mark in 33rd over. Babar’s classic knock of 63 was brought down by Moeen Ali. Hafeez scored a brilliant half century off 39 balls, while Sarafraz gave him a good hand with a 40 ball half century. Hafeez’s innings of 84 was ended by Wood. Asif Ali scored a quick fire 14 before getting out, as Pakistan pulled off 348/8 in their 50 overs. Moeen Ali picked up 50/3
Chasing a big target of 349, Shadab provided breakthrough early on when he had Roy trapped infront for 8. Bairstow and Root built on for the second wicket stand by adding 48 runs, as Wahab dismissed Bairstow for 32. Hafeez had the better of Morgan for 13, while the other part-timer; Malik dismissed Stokes for 13, with England struggling at 118/4. Butler and Root got together for the vital 5th wicket stand, as the pair improvised against Pakistan’s attack. Root’s ton came off 99 balls, while Butler’s hundred took 73 deliveries. Partnership of 130, was undone by Shadab, when he dismissed Root for 107. Butler’s scintillating innings came to an end off Amir for 103. Moeen Ali and Woakes got the start but could’t kick on with that, as England ended at 334/9 in 50 overs, and lost the game by 14 runs. Wahab picked up 82/3