Thanks to Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow, England defeated Pakistan by 6 wickets in a high scoring thriller played at County Ground, Bristol on Tuesday. With this win, the hosts took a 2-0 lead in the crucial pre-World Cup 5-match ODI series.
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to field first. The hosts got off to a perfect start as Chris Woakes dismissed dangerous Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam to reduce them to 27 for 2. Imam-ul- Haq and Harris Sohail steadied the innings putting pressure on England bowlers. At the end of 10 overs, Pakistan scored 59 for 2.
After the power play overs, Imam played with confidence while Harris Sohail also showed confidence with his batting. As things were looking good for Pakistan, Sohail was run out 41. Imam and Sohail added 68 runs for the 3rd wicket. Imam reached his fifty off 55 balls and put up another valuable partnership Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed. Both added 67 runs for the 4th wicket. Liam Plunkett got the breakthrough by dismissing Sarfaraz Ahmed for 27.
Imam ul-Haq scores big
Then came Asif Ali came to the crease and attacked the England bowlers with his positive approach. Imam showed his class and made the batting look sublime on a good trackand reached his 6th ODI century off 97 balls. Imam and Asif Ali put pressure on England bowlers hitting big shots. Asif Ali reached his fifty off 39 balls and was dismissed for 52. Ali and Imam added 125 runs for the 5th wicket.
Imam-ul- Haq reached his 150 off 128 balls and was soon dismissed for his career best score of 151. Imad Wasim scored a quick fire 22 off 12 balls. Hasan Ali came to the crease and remained not out on 18 off 9 balls to help Pakistan post 358 for 9 in 50 overs. For England, Chris Woakes was the pick of bowlers with 4 for 67.
Easy chase for the host
Chasing the massive target of 359 runs to win, England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow put pressure on Pakistani new ball bowlers right from word go and did not allow them to settle. At the end of 10 overs, both openers raced to 74 for 0.
After the power play overs, Roy and Bairstow made the batting look easy with some big hitting. Roy reached his fifty first off 40 balls and then Bairstow soon reached his fifty off 36 balls. It was an amazing batting display by both explosive England openers. Faheem Ashraf got the breakthrough by getting the wicket of Roy for 76. Roy and Bairstow added 159 runs in 17.3 overs which laid the foundation for chase.
Bairstow was at his explosive best with his big hitting and reached his century off 74 balls. He just put the Pakistani bowlers under pressure right from word go while Joe Root gave him support. Junaid Khan eventually dismissed him for a brilliant 128 off 93 balls. Root and Bairstow added 75 runs for the 2nd wicket.
Joe Root and Ben Stokes put up 44 runs for the 3rd wicket. Imad Wasim dismissed Joe Root for 43. Moeen Ali came to the crease and continued England aggression. Ali and Stokes put on 46 runs for the 4th wicket. Ben Stokes was run out for 37 by Shaheen Shah Afridi. England captain Eoin Morgan and Ali completed the formalities as England chased down the target of 359 with 31 balls to spare.
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