England dish out all-round magic to go 1-0 up in the series
It was an absolute peach of a rivetting contest between England and Pakistan, a perfect kind of tonic that cricket fans wanted to relish before the start of the summer’s showpiece event.
What a match! Both teams were firmly in the frame executing their plans at the right place and at the right time. It was yet another match were batsmen from both teams stole the limelight leaving the bowlers at bay.
Both teams went at each other and had the chance to pull the game in a convincing fashion but in the end, England managed it take the game to one step in intensity and the result was no doubt that they were at the architect of win.
Pakistan wouldn’t worry too much about the missed chances at the fag end of the game as they would pat themselves at the back reckoning that they have performed way ahead of their levels in unfamiliar conditions.
Picking the lessons from the defeat with a handful of positives to take forward to the next game, it is no question that the Green Shirts would pose a threat to The Three Lions.
Batting first, England batsmen absolutely nailed the show as flurry of boundaries helped the team tick the scorecard. It is fair to say we witnessed an ODI match mixed with T20 spices.
One batsman who stole the show was Jos Buttler. The way he approached the game with an intent to up the ante, pretty much summed up the fact that he hasn’t come out of the IPL attacking mode. 9 sixes and 6 fours in his knock was some brutal hitting!
Buttler’s second-fastest century in the middle was effortless and free-flowing, which even made Pakistan bowling attack look so easy. Thanks to Jason Roy who set the foundation for the match and missed out on a well-deserved century by 13 runs.
On the contrary, nobody had ever predicted Pakistan to come this far in making runs. Fakhar Zaman showed his true colours as he approached the game with a sensible mixture of both attack and defence. His knock included 12 fours and 4 sixes.
When he departed, the responsibility fell on to the shoulders of batsmen coming down the order. Babar Azam and Asif Ali chipped in with fifties apiece but that wasn’t enough to fuel the scorecard. Though the team lost some spark, Sarfaraz Ahmed put on a show with a 32-ball 41 knock and at the end, England managed to get back into the game to go 1-0 in the series.
David Willey, Liam Plunkett did the job for the team as they picked two wickets each.
England- 373/3 (50 overs)
Jos Buttler- 110 (55), Eoin Morgan- 71 (48) | Shaheen Afridi- 1/80
Pakistan- 361/7 (50 overs)
Fakhar Zaman- 138 (106), Asif Ali – 51 (36) | David Willey- 2/57
Result: England beat Pakistan by 12 runs
Player of the match: Jos Buttler