Pakistan have put behind the first game troubles as they opened their account in World Cup 2019 with a staggering 14-run victory over hosts England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Monday. The sixth game of the tournament saw a total of 682 runs being scored together by both the teams. Pakistan posted a massive first innings total on the back of brilliant knocks from Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed. In the second innings, the home team fought well as the duo of Joe Root and Jos Buttler racked up fabulous centuries each, but their efforts got outshined by a collective performance from the Pakistani bowlers. With this win, Pakistan have added two crucial points to their tally.
Hafeez, Babar and Sarfaraz power Pakistan to 348
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, Pakistan got off to a great start as their two openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq put up a solid platform. The duo added an excellent opening partnership of 82 runs before Fakhar got dismissed by Moeen Ali in the 15th over. Imam also got out pretty soon and after that Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam joined hands to help Pakistan progress further.
Babar played a significant knock of 63 runs, while Hafeez compiled a fabulous 62-ball 84 which consisted of eight fours, two sixes and together these two combined for a stand of 88 runs. Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed led from the front cracking a vital half-century as his team finished with a daunting total of 348 runs. The England bowlers were not at all consistent with their lengths, but Moeen bowled well to pick up three crucial wickets.
Root and Buttler’s centuries gets outweighed
Chasing a mighty target of 349 runs, England got off to a poor start as their in-form opening batsman Jason Roy got dismissed by leg-spinner Shadab Khan in just the third over of the innings. The pair of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root added a brief stand of 48 runs to resurrect the England innings. But then the visitors made a comeback as the experienced duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez picked up the key scalps of Ben Stokes and skipper Eoin Morgan to leave the home team in a spot of bother at 118 for 4.
The duo comprising of Joe Root and Jos Buttler then led England’s recovery with a fantastic partnership of 130 runs. Root looked in a great touch notching up a remarkable hundred off 97 balls. On the other end, Buttler was batting in an aggressive mode and during that process, he kept his team alive and kicking in the run-chase. Shadab then brought a big moment in the game by picking the key scalp of Root in the 39th over to halt England’s progress. Buttler smashed a sensational knock of 103 runs off just 76 balls before falling victim to Mohammad Amir in the 45th over and with this wicket, England’s hopes also suffered a massive blow.
Wahab Riaz picked up two crucial wickets towards the end to add insult to the misery as England managed 334 for 9 in their quota of 50 overs. For Pakistan, Riaz finished with three scalps, while Amir and Shadab claimed two wickets each.
Pakistan: 348/8 in 50 overs (Mohammad Hafeez-84, Babar Azam-63; Moeen Ali 3/50, Chris Woakes 3/71)
England: 334/9 in 50 overs (Joe Root-107, Jos Buttler-103; Wahab Riaz 3/82, Shadab Khan 2/63)
Result: Pakistan won the match by 14 runs.
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