Pakistan produced a superlative performance with the bat and ball to beat England in the sixth game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 played at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Despite valiant centuries from Joe Root and wicket-keeper Jos Buttler, Pakistan managed to come out on top with a narrow win over Eoin Morgan’s England.
It was truly a spectacular performance and clearly showed the Pakistan can produce the unthinkable at any time in a showpiece event. Sarfaraz and co. showed a lot of guts and determination to end their 11-match losing in limited-overs cricket.
For England, it proved to be too much in the end as no side has ever chased more than 330 runs in a Cricket World Cup.
Chasing a mammoth 349 runs to win, Jason Roy perished early in the innings as leg-spinner Shadab Khan was given the task to bowl the new-ball. Jonny Bairstow failed to capitalize on his good start and perished for 32 runs as Wahab Riaz picked up his first wicket of the innings.
Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik gave no freebies to English batsmen as the likes of Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes struggled to get going in their innings. Morgan and Stokes fell in quick succession to see England in a spot of bother at 118 for 4 after 21.2 overs.
Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler came to the crease and decided to rebuild England innings with Joe Root. Buttler decided to take the attack to Pakistani bowlers and smashed a couple of big sixes off the bowling of Mohammad Hafeez. Root played exceedingly well and kept the scoreboard ticking for England.
On the other hand, Jos Buttler raced to a half-century off just 34 balls. He brought the milestone by smashing a six off the bowling of Shadab Khan. Root smashed a boundary off the bowling of Hasan Ali and then took a single off Wahab to bring up his 15th century in limited-overs cricket. Buttler and Root added 130 runs to see England well in the hunt to win the game.
Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz delivered crucial performances to help Pakistan beat tournament favorites England at Trent Bridge.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan once again delivered with the ball and dismissed Root to see momentum shift in favor of Pakistan. Buttler added 40 runs with Moeen Ali to take the game down to the wire. He brought up his hundred in just 75 balls with the help of nine fours and two sixes.
Left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir came into the attack and dismissed Buttler with a well-disguised slower delivery to see Pakistan take firm control off the game.
Wahab Riaz dismissed Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali in the 48th over of the innings to see Pakistan register their first win of the World Cup.
Earlier in the day, Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to bowl first on a placid surface. Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq got the side off to a flying start and added 82 runs for the opening wicket.
Off-spinner Moeen Ali came into the attack and got rid of the Pakistani openers. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez came together and formed a nice partnership to see Pakistan score at a brisk rate in their innings.
Babar Azam produced a splendid innings against England and scored 63 off 66 balls with the help of four fours and a six. He was particularly aggressive against the likes of Adil Rashid, who leaked a lot of runs in the middle phase of the innings.
All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez had his finest outing with the bat in limited-overs cricket and scored a breathtaking 84 runs off 62 balls with the help of eight fours and two sixes.
Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed delivered a fluent half-century to help Pakistan post 348 for 8 in 50 overs.