Pakistan 348 for 8 (Hafeez 84, Babar 63, Sarfaraz 55, Moeen 3-50, Woakes 3-71) beat England 334 for 9 (Root 107, Buttler 103, Wahab 3-82) by 14 runs
A hundred from Joe Root, the first in this World Cup. A hundred from Jos Buttler, at 75 balls the fifth fastest in the history of the World Cup. The disadvantage of losing the toss and being asked to set a target in these quixotic ODI times. The pressure of coming into this game on the back of a hammering at the same ground three days ago (not to mention 11 successive defeats in the format). Pakistan looked cornered, for sure, but they produced the old tiger routine at Trent Bridge to emerge bloodied but unbowed against the hosts and favourites. And, more crucially, with two World Cup points in their pocket.
Having opened so smoothly against South Africa, England were given a World Cup reality check – a reminder, in particular, that their vaunted batting line-up cannot make up for every sub-par performance with the ball. It had been almost four years since England last lost an ODI chase at home, but this was a record target in World Cups and despite going into the last ten overs needing 91 with five wickets in hand, Pakistan’s death bowling was good enough that the final dozen deliveries were barely even squeaky.
Success with the ball has never been more relative: Wahab Riaz’s 3 for 82 would barely have qualified as respectable a decade ago, but his changes of pace at the end ensured England would not wag their way to a last-gasp victory (as well as accounting for Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order). Mohammad Amir, meanwhile, removed Buttler the ball after he had recorded his hundred, to finally send the scales lurching in Pakistan’s direction.
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