The Eoin Morgan-led England team recorded a spectacular 6-wicket victory over Pakistan in the third ODI match in Bristol. In another high-scoring encounter, Pakistan posted a monumental first innings total on the back of Imam-ul-Haq’s sensational knock. However, in the second innings, it was England’s Jonny Bairstow, who stole the show with his terrific innings to build a great platform for the massive run-chase, after which the rest of the batters also played vital innings to steer their team to a comfortable win. With this victory, the hosts have taken a 2-0 lead in this five-match ODI series.
Imam’s herculean knock propel Pakistan to 358
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Pakistan got off to a poor start as their in-form opener, Fakhar Zaman, who scored a fine century in the last match, was this time sent back to the pavilion with just 7 runs on the scoreboard. They lost the wicket of Babar Azam also quite early due to the amazing opening spell bowled by England all-rounder Chris Woakes. The pair of Imam-ul-Haq and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed then bailed their team out of trouble with a vital stand of 67 runs.
After Sarfaraz’s wicket in the 28th over, Imam kept on leading his team towards the recovery, notching up a fantastic hundred, which was the sixth of his career. Imam compiled an excellent partnership of 125 runs along with Asif Ali to lay a strong platform for a massive total.
Imam constructed a spectacular innings of 151 runs off just 131 balls which included 16 fours and 1 six, while Asif also contributed with a quick-fire 52. Although, Pakistan lost some quick wickets at the fag end of the innings but they still managed to reach a monumental first innings total of 358 runs. For England, Woakes picked up four wickets, while Tom Curran claimed two scalps.
Bairstow’s century pilots the run-chase
The two England in-form openers, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow got their team off to a solid start at the top. The openers batted with great temperament and also showed some explosive fireworks during the phenomenal partnership of 159 runs. Roy once again failed to get to the three-figure mark, getting dismissed for a 55-ball 76 which included eight fours and four sixes. However, even after losing his partner, Bairstow continued to play his explosive brand of cricket, racking up a brilliant hundred.
Bairstow compiled a smashing knock of 128 runs off just 93 balls which consisted of 15 fours and 5 sixes. His staggering innings also laid a strong platform for the monumental run-chase. Towards the end, the likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali contributed with important innings to help England chase down the total with more than five overs to spare. The Pakistani bowlers had a very outing as most of them ended with pretty expensive figures.
Pakistan: 358/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq-151, Asif Ali-52; Chris Woakes 4/67)
England: 359/4 in 44.5 overs (Jonny Bairstow-128, Jason Roy-76; Junaid Khan 1/57)
Result: England won the match by 6 wickets.