Pakistan face England in 4th ODI at Headingley today
LEEDS – Can Pakistan recover from the carnage in Trent Bridge? That will be the question on everyone’s mind – and one that Pakistan has to answer – ahead of the fourth One-Day International between England and Pakistan at Headingley in Leeds on Thursday (September 1).
Pakistan has already lost the five-match series after three consecutive losses, but it’s the nightmare of the third ODI that would be fresh in its memory: England’s batting might joined forces to blast 444 for 3 from 50 overs – the highest score ever in ODI history.
Alex Hales led the way with a 122-ball 71, the highest ODI score by an England batsman, while Joe Root (85 in 86 balls), Jos Buttler (90 not out in 51) and Eoin Morgan (57 not out in 27) chipped in too. The relentless onslaught set up England’s series-assuring 169-run win.
The result also reaffirmed that England is among the most exciting teams in limited-overs cricket at the moment. While the batsmen have, rightly, taken all the accolades, England’s bowlers, too, have played their part. Mark Wood has made a successful return after missing almost a year with his left ankle injury, while Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid have also done their bit.
Despite all that, the remaining two ODIs provide a chance for Pakistan to show what it is capable of. Its batsmen have put up competitive totals and scored more than 250 in all three games, with almost all of them among the runs. Azhar Ali, Imad Wasim and even Mohammad Amir have made half-centuries, while Sarfraz Ahmed has been their best batsman with scores of 55, 105 and 38.
However, Pakistan must know that scores between 250 and 275 are not going to be enough against a line-up like England’s. What it can learn from its host, though, is how to bat without fear: With little to lose after conceding 444, Sharjeel Khan showed signs of fearless cricket with an entertaining 30-ball 58 – something Pakistan will want to take forward.
The series is already England’s, but there will be no shortage of excitement in the remaining matches, even if it doesn’t match up to Trent Bridge.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Liam Dawson, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Jake Ball, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood. –ICC