Mercurial Pakistan raised their game and defeated favourites England by 14 runs to further light the Cricket World Cup up.
Eoin Morgan won the toss and put the visitors into bat on a flat looking surface and Pakistan got a good opening start and they kept their momentum going throughout the course of 50 overs.
The middle order of Babar Azam, Mohammed Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed contributed the bulk of runs. They finished with a competitive score of 348/8.
England bowled well in patches, but on a pitch that was gripping a bit, they didn’t use their variations that much.
In reply, the home side lost the early wicket of in-form Jason Roy and then kept losing their way regularly to find themselves 118/4.
Then Jos Buttler and Joe Root forged a good partnership, with both players striking centuries. However, the latter got out at the wrong time with exactly 101 more runs needed to win, and the former was also undone by a slower ball few overs later.
Moeen Ali, who bowled well, really struggled with the bat. Chris Woakes joined him and struck some good blows but Wahab Riaz removed the duo in consecutive deliveries to kill the game for England.
Here’s how we rated the hosts’ performances:
Jason Roy - 3
Dropped a simple catch to give a Hafeez a life that proved costly. He also messed up a run-out chance. He couldn’t contribute much with the bat and wasted a review on what looked a plumb LBW.
Jonny Bairstow - 5
He looked in good touch until an extra bit of bounce from Wahab hit the shoulder of his bat and Sarfaraz did the rest.
Joe Root - 9
The ever-dependable Root played well, held the innings together, scored a century, but got out at the wrong time.
Eoin Morgan - 4
He was a bit slow to react as a fielding captain in terms of using more spin or instructing the bowlers to use more variations early on. With the bat, his ploy of playing the off-spinner on the back foot proved fatal.
Ben Stokes - 5
Bowled well without much venom and couldn’t do it with the bat today.
Jos Buttler - 9
Buttler was better behind the stumps and magical with the ball. He almost won the game for England but was undone by a clever slower ball from Mohammed Amir.
Moeen Ali - 5
Moeen bowled very well, however, his batting continues to falter. 19 off 20 balls while chasing 10 an over wasn’t good enough.
Chris Woakes - 6
Woakes was quote expensive with the ball, although he did pick up a few wickets and he took some good catches too. He couldn’t finish the game with the bat in the latter stages.
Jofra Archer - 4
Archer was a bit off-radar today and conceded 79 runs in his 10 overs.
Mark Wood - 7
Wood came on as a first-change bowler and did very well. His figures of 2-53 in a game that was running at about sevens was very impressive.
Adil Rashid - 4
Bowled only five overs and he was expensive in them. Couldn’t do much with the bat.