Taylor steers England to 2-1 series lead over Pakistan
SHARJAH – James Taylor made a calm unbeaten 67 to lead England to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Pakistan in Sharjah on Tuesday and a 2-1 lead in the four-match one-day international series.
Taylor shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 117 with Jos Buttler (49 not out) to steer the visitors to their target of 209 with nine overs to spare after Pakistan’s debutant spinner Zafar Gohar had caused early problems.
Pakistan, who won the toss, slumped from 132 for two to 208 all out off 49.5 overs, including three comical run-outs.
Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 45 and Wahab Riaz added a handy 33 not out with the tail as right-arm seamer Chris Woakes took 4-40 for England.
The touring side struggled to 27-2 after losing Jason Roy for seven and Joe Root for 11.
Root had just reached 2,000 runs for England in all three formats of the game in 2015 when he swept a low full toss off left-armer Gohar’s fifth ball to Iftikhar Ahmed at deep square leg.
Alex Hales hit 30 in a 60-run third-wicket partnership with captain Eoin Morgan before Gohar forced him to edge to Mohammad Rizwan at slip.
Morgan, who earlier took an Irfan bouncer on the helmet and was dropped by Gohar on two, fell in the following over for 35 when a sharply spinning delivery from Shoab Malik clipped his off stump.
But England’s middle order knuckled down to take the sting out of the Pakistan attack.
Taylor compiled his seventh one-day international 50 and hit six fours and two sixes off 69 balls while Buttler enjoyed a welcome return to form after a poor run with an unbeaten 49 off 50 deliveries.
The final match in the series takes place in Dubai on Friday.
Pakistan Innings Az. Ali run out (Taylor, Buttler) 36 B. Azam c Rashid b Woakes 22 M. Hafeez c Root b Willey 45 S. Ahmed c sub b Ali 26 S. Malik run out () 16 M. Rizwan run out (Roy, Buttler) 1 I. Ahmed c Root b Woakes 3 An. Ali c Ali b Topley 7 W. Riaz not out 33 Z. Gohar c Buttler b Woakes 15 M. Irfan b Woakes 0 Extras (lb-1 w-3) 4 Total (all out, 49.5 overs) 208 Fall of wickets: 1-45 B. Azam,2-92 Az. Ali,3-132 M. Hafeez,4-135 S. Ahmed,5-138 M. Rizwan,6-145 I. Ahmed,7-156 An. Ali,8-161 S. Malik,9-187 Z. Gohar,10-208 M. Irfan Bowling D. Willey 10 - 0 - 45 - 1(w-1) R. Topley 10 - 0 - 41 - 1(w-1) C. Woakes 9.5 - 0 - 40 - 4(w-1) A. Rashid 10 - 1 - 51 - 0 M. Ali 10 - 0 - 30 - 1 England Innings J. Roy c Malik b Irfan 7 A. Hales c Rizwan b Gohar 30 J. Root c I. Ahmed b Gohar 11 E. Morgan b Malik 35 J. Taylor not out 67 J. Buttler not out 49 Extras (b-2 lb-3 w-6) 11 Total (for 4 wickets, 41 overs) 210 Fall of wickets: 1-12 J. Roy,2-27 J. Root,3-87 A. Hales,4-93 E. Morgan Did not bat: M. Ali, C. Woakes, A. Rashid, D. Willey, R. Topley Bowling M. Irfan 7 - 0 - 29 - 1(w-1) An. Ali 3 - 0 - 17 - 0 Z. Gohar 10 - 0 - 54 - 2(w-1) W. Riaz 6 - 0 - 23 - 0(w-1) I. Ahmed 4 - 0 - 18 - 0 S. Malik 9 - 0 - 56 - 1(w-2) Az. Ali 2 - 0 - 8 - 0(w-1) Referees Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle Umpire: Johan Cloete. –Reuters TV umpire: Chris Gaffaney Umpire: Shozab Raza Result: England won by 6 wickets