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Unpredictable Pak stun England

first_imgLondon: Pakistan overcame hundreds from two fantastic English players — Joe Root and Jos Buttler — to defeat England by 14 runs at Trent Bridge for their first points of World Cup 2019 on Monday. Pakistan had lost their opening match to West Indies in three-and-a-half hours and were brutally criticised by the likes of Rameez Raja and Shoaib Akhtar. Three days later, on a redemption mission, it was a different Pakistan on the park. They made mistakes — dropped catches and the sloppy fielding left coach Mickey Arthur restless in the dressing room — but a spectacular closing spell from Wahab Riaz meant Arthur had a wide smile on his face. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach ArunPakistan did not win any of their last 12 ODIs and many wondered if they had forgotten to win. In the end, it looked like Pakistan somehow remembered. Chasing 349, England were in trouble after Shadab Khan claimed Jason Roy’s wicket in the third over of the innings. Jonny Bairstow looked good for his 32 before he was done in by Wahab Riaz’s pace. Then fell skipper Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes. On Monday, England were tasked with chasing the highest ever target in World Cup history. They were reeling at 118 for 4 off 21.2 overs. And then Jos Buttler joined Joe Root. England had the better of Pakistan four times in a recent high-scoring ODI series and were confident. However, there were surprises in store. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upButtler and Root played spoilsport. Root hit the first 100 of this season’s World Cup and shared a 130-run stand off 17.3 overs. When Root fell to Shadab Khan in the 39th over, England were still in the game because Buttler was playing like there was no tomorrow. Jos Buttler smashed the fastest 100 by an England batsman. In superb hitting form, Buttler raced away to his 9th 100 off 75 balls. The asking rate was still pretty stiff and his dismissal to Mohammad Amir opened the doors for Pakistan to press for victory. Pakistan looked a different side from the one that surrendered to West Indies in their opening game in the 2019 World Cup as their batsmen put up a clinical performance on Monday to help the team post 348/8 against hosts England at Trent Bridge. Mohammad Hafeez was the top scorer with a 62-ball 84 as Babar Azam (63 off 66) and captain Sarfraz Ahmed (55 of 44) also scored half centuries. England will need to pull off the highest successful run chase in World Cup history if they are to win this game. The Pakistan batsmen were bounced out by the West Indies pacers for a meagre 105 in less than 22 overs in their first match on Friday. In stark contrast, it took spinner Moeen Ali to provide the first breakthrough for England after openers Fakhar Zaman (36 off 40) and Imam-Ul-Haq (44 off 58) helped Pakistan stamp their authority early on. Fakhar and Imam put up an opening stand of 82 runs before Moeen drew the former out of his crease in the 15th over with a delivery that drifted in from around the wicket. The turn took the ball past the batsman and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler took the bails off in a flash. Moeen would go on to dismiss Imam six overs later, thanks to a brilliant catch by Chris Woakes who had to run about 20 yards and dive to his left to complete it at the long off boundary. However, Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez plundered 88 runs in the next 12 overs before the former became the third man to fall to Moeen. Hafeez then found company in captain Safraz Ahmed as the pair put on 80 runs for the fourth wicket. While there were no significant partnerships after that, the combined effort of Asif Ali (14), Hasan Ali (10) and Shadab Khan’s (10) innings meant that Pakistan finished their essay just two short of the magical 350-run mark.last_img read more