Hosts England managed to keep their nerves to eke out a narrow win over Pakistan in the second game of the one-day series played at The Rose Bowl in Southampton.
England delivered a pitch-perfect batting performance to post 373 in their 50 overs. In reply, Fakhar Zaman produced a valiant century to keep Pakistan in the chase. Sarfaraz and co. managed to lose the game by 12 runs.
Chasing 374 runs to win, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq got the off to an excellent start. The opening pair put on a 92-run partnership to lay an ideal foundation for the likes of Babar Azam, Haris Sohail and Asif Ali to play their natural game.
Imam was the first to be dismissed as Moeen Ali provided the crucial breakthrough for the side.
Pugnacious opener Fakhar Zaman decided to take the attack to bowlers and scored a brisk rate. He added 135 runs with Babar Azam to keep Pakistan in the hunt to win the game. Azam played a supporting role and chipped in with crucial run-a-ball half-century.
Fakhar Zaman has struggled to produce runs with the bat so far this year. Left-hander scored a brilliant 138 runs off 106 balls with the help of twelve fours and four sixes. Chris Woakes dismissed Zaman to see Pakistan lose their second wicket in the 33rd over of the innings.
Babar Azam did not last any longer as he offered a simple catch to Leg-spinner Adil Rashid to see Pakistan reduced to 233 for 3 after 33.5 overs. Asif Ali and Haris Sohail formed a nice partnership to keep the scoreboard ticking for Pakistan.
Asif Ali scored 51 off 36 balls with the help of four sixes to keep the momentum for Pakistan in their innings. He was dismissed at a crucial stage in the game to see Pakistan needing another 50 runs from 26 balls.
Pakistan Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed produced a valiant innings to take the game down to the wire. He scored 41 off 32 balls with the help of two boundaries. Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf perished in quick succession to see Pakistan post 361 for 7 in 50 overs.
Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler delivered a breathtaking 110 runs off 50 balls to see England beat Pakistan in the second game of the one-day series played in Southampton
For England, David Willey and Liam Plunkett bowled well at the back end of the innings to help the side escape with a narrow victory. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid conceded a lot of runs and managed to pick two wickets between them.
Earlier in the day, Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and decided to bowl first. England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow got the side off to an excellent start.
Bairstow continued his rich vein of form and smashed a quick-fire half-century to up the ante for England in the initial Powerplay overs.
Shaheen Afridi dismissed Bairstow to see England lose their first wicket in the 19th over of the innings. Roy looked unflustered at the crease and kept scoring runs at a brisk rate. He certainly looked in no mood time and picked up boundaries at regular intervals. Roy scored 87 runs off 98 balls with the help of six fours and three sixes.
Pace bowler Hasan Ali came into the attack and dismissed Roy in the 31st over of the innings. Joe Root struggled to find form with the bat and added 34 runs with Eoin Morgan. He scored 40 off 54 balls with the help of three boundaries.
Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler came to the crease and looked positive from outset. He decided to launch an onslaught on Pakistan pace attack to increase the rate of scoring for England. Buttler put on a unbeaten 162 run stand with Eoin Morgan to see England post a mammoth 373 runs from their 50 overs.
Buttler smashed a breathtaking century off just 50 balls with the help of nine sixes. On the other hand, Eoin Morgan produced a fluent innings of 71 not out off 48 balls.
For Pakistan, Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf bowled well and conceded less than seven runs an over. Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi leaked a lot of runs and failed to pick up wickets for Pakistan with the new-ball.