As Pakistan locked horns with England in the sixth game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Sarfaraz Ahmed & Co put a full stop on the 11 matches long losing spree in quite a fashionable way. Wahab Riaz emerged as a star taking three wickets, as Pakistan successfully defended 348 runs.
The most unpredictable cricket team in the world ended a run of consecutive losses in one-day internationals by beating top-ranked England on Monday by 14 runs in a Trent Bridge thriller.
Set to win 349, England got centuries from Joe Root (107) and Jos Buttler (103) but couldn’t finish what would have been a record run chase in a World Cup and finished 334-9.
A substantially improved batting effort from Pakistani team, which had been bowled out for just 105 in their first tournament game on Friday, which included half-centuries of Babar Azam (63), Mohammad Hafeez (84) and Ahmed (55) helped them to attain 348-8.
Faced with a daunting chase of records in a World Cup, England was already teetering when Root came down after Roy’s early loss (8) and Root could well have followed his teammate back to the pavilion in the first six overs as he edged Amir to slip first.
Babar’s drop proved costly in a match littered with mistakes, as England’s Test Captain compiled this summer’s tournament’s first century. Root’s innings were crafted under enormous pressure with his usual poise and elegance after the hosts slipped to 118-4, bringing up his three figures off just 97 balls-smacking nine fours and a six in the process.
Mohammed Hafeez was announced as the Man of the Match and said, “Everyone believed we can win the game. We were playing good cricket before but we weren’t winning the crucial stages. Today, everyone really chipped in and gave everything required in the situation. We were very confident. We practiced well yesterday, had a good meeting, and we needed one winning performance to start us off. Bowlers did a great job defending the score.”
Pakistan will play its next match on Friday at Bristol County Ground against Sri Lanka.