Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sweep in sight as new-look England take on Pakistan in third ODI today

Sweep in sight as new-look England take on Pakistan in third ODI today

LONDON – The series itself has been decided, but ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points will be up for grabs when England face Pakistan in the third ODI at Birmingham.

The CWCSL has ensured that there are no more dead rubbers in bilateral ODI series as Pakistan, despite having lost the first two matches of the three-match series, could jump to the second spot in the standings with a win in the third ODI.

For that to happen, however, they will have to put on much better performances than what they have shown in the series so far, especially the batsmen. After rare back-to-back failures with the bat for Babar Azam, the skipper will be looking to lead from the front in the final game of the series.

England, meanwhile, have proved why they have been one of the best white-ball teams in the world in the past few years, making the best use of the resources available to them in unprecedented circumstances.

Ben Stokes will be looking to complete the sweep and consolidate their position at the top for the CWCSL table. Expect a few more maiden caps to be handed out today as the hosts could look to experiment with their team combination.

Remember the last time

Lewis Gregory's all-round Player of the Match-winning performance helped England register a comprehensive 52-run win and clinch the series in a rain-curtailed second ODI at Lord's.

Pakistan bowlers made early inroads and scalped Dawid Malan and Zac Crawley within the first five overs before fifties from Phil Salt and James Vince consolidated the innings. The visitors triggered a collapse in the middle overs as England went from 118/2 to 160/7. Playing in just their second ODIs, Gregory and Brydon Carse strung together a 69-run partnership to help the hosts put 247 runs on board in 47 overs. Hasan Ali was the star of the show for Pakistan as he registered his fourth ODI five-for.

Gregory and Saqib Mahmood got England off to a great start with the ball, reducing Pakistan to 38/3 in the first nine overs. Saud Shakeel found some support in Sohaib Maqsood and Shadab Khan but that wasn't enough to bail the tourists out of trouble. Hasan Ali scored a 17-ball 31 but the asking rate was too much for the Pakistan tail and they fell short by 52 runs.  

What they said

England captain Ben Stokes: "There's no better way in international cricket than to put your hand up and deliver under that sort of pressure. We've won the series already, but there's nothing better than continuing the winning streak. We'll take the same mindset into the next game, and if anything we'll come harder."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam: "Hopefully we can sort things out before the next game. The way Hasan bowled and Shakeel batted, these are good positives for us. Focus is to do well in the next game because there are still Super League points on offer." –ICC