Pakistan’s unpredictability came to the fore on Monday when took the field in the game against England. After being thrashed by the Windies, many had hoped for the hosts of the World Cup to roll over the Men in Green at the Trent Bridge. But Pakistan put up an inspired show by posting a gigantic total first and then defended the total with some brilliant bowling.
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.
Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who chipped in with 55 off 44 balls, lauded the batsmen after his team secured a 14-run win over Eoin Morgan-led side and ended their 11-match losing streak. While the opening pair of Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq stitched a 82-run partnership at the top, Babar Azam (63) and Mohammad Hafeez (84) played their part as Pakistan put up a big total on the board.
While Jos Buttler and Joe Root scored hundreds in the chase, their efforts went in vain as the Pakistani bowlers did not let their batsmen down.
“It’s a great team effort. Credit to batsmen for taking us to 350. Then bowlers bowled really well today. Game starts at 10.30, so the first 10 overs are very important. If you lose early wickets, you can’t this sort of a total. Fakhar and Imam did a really good job,” quoted Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Fielding is a very important part
While South Africa had surprised one and all after they opened the bowling with Imran Tahir in the World Cup opener against England, Pakistan too went ahead with the same tactic as Shadab Khan opened the bowling.
The move paid off as the leg-spinner dismissed Jason Roy in the third over to give Pakistan an early breakthrough. Sarfaraz also highlighted that fielding made the difference.
“Fielding a very important part. The last ODI series, fielding made the difference. Confidence booster for the future. Hopefully we’ll play better cricket from here. Not easy to come back from 11 losses in a row,” he concluded.