England v Pakistan 4th ODI Trent Bridge

Royal London England v Pakistan 4th ODI Trent Bridge May 17th 2019

Neil Whitaker reports

ENGLAND survived a blip in the middle of their chase to beat Pakistan by three wickets with three balls to spare at Trent Bridge 17 days before the teams meet in the World Cup to win the Royal London one day series.

When England were 201 for one with 22 overs remaining the crowd thought they were going to be home early. Jason Roy hit his second ODI century against Pakistan. He reached his century in the grandest way driving Mohammad Hafeez over extra cover for a six, it was his eighth ODI century and his third consecutive score of 75 or above in the series.  His innings was full of flamboyant strokes.  As well as the six to reach his century he moved across his stumps to Junaid Khan and scooped him over the fine leg boundary for another six.   Two balls later he flat batted a pull off him to the square leg boundary.

Both Roy and James Vince made a confident starts in the run chase, Roy hit left arm spinner Imad Wasim’s first ball into the Radcliffe road stand for a six. But on 54 Pakistan put Roy down.  Roy lofted Imad over extra cover but Fakher Zaman running from extra cover couldn’t hold on to the chance.  

Vince top edged a pull of Mohammad Husnain to to fine leg but a sloppy piece of fielding by  Junaid allowed the ball to go to the boundary.  In Husnain’s next over Vince backed away to get some room but Husnain followed him and Vince chopped on.

On 33 Joe Root went down the wicket to Imad and drove him to Junaid at mid off but the shot was hit with that much power that he couldn’t hold on to it.  Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said: “Catches win matches.”

Then England had another of their collapses.  They lost four wickets in 24 balls for 15 runs. First Roy gloved Husnain down the legside to Sarfraz.    Five balls later Root got an outside edge to Imad and the ball looped to Hafeez at short third man who took the catch at the second attempt. Two balls later the same two combined to dismiss Buttler who top edged a sweep off Imad and the ball looped to Hafeez at backward square leg.  Moeen Ali top edged a sweep off Shoaib Malik’s second ball and Fakher ran from cover to mid on.

Joe Denly batting and bowling for a place in the World Cup squad.  As a part time leg spinner he came on to bowl inside the first 10 overs, as a batter he added 42 runs with Ben Stokes, a partnership which calmed English nerves.  The partnership was broken when Denly toe ended a drive off Junaid but the the bowler took a brilliant return one handed catch in his follow through diving to his right.

Stokes clubbed Husnain through extra cover for a one bounce four to bring up his fifty.  Two big sixes from Stokes coming when they did in they 46th over and in the 47th put the result out of question.  With Tom Curran he added 61 in eight overs before Curran played on to Hasan Ali to ball which was missing leg stump before he got his bat on it.

Buttler, captaining England in place of the suspended Eoin Morgan, won the toss and put Pakistan in under heavy cloud cover.  Babar Azam hit his  first ODI century against England as he top scored with 115 out of his side’s 340 for seven in their 50 overs.  The score sounds impressive but the foundations were laid for a bigger score. With Fakhar they added 97 for the first wicket in 16 overs.  The pair came together in the fourth over when Inman-Ul-Haq had to retire hurt when he was hit on his left elbow as he attempted to pull Mark Wood but he returned with the fall of Hasan Ali’s wicket with two overs remaining.

Babar’s century was his ninth in ODI’s and included  ten fours and a six. His six came when he uppercut a short ball from Jofra Archer over third man.  He reached his century when he flicked Curran off his legs to the fine leg boundary.  Babar brought up his fifty in a sedate manner when he hooked Curran for a single.

He only gave England two sniffs of dismissing him.  First when he pulled Stokes just out of the reach of Denly at mid wicket.  Secondly when he smashed Adil Rashed straight to Roy on the long off boundary but as Roy fell backwards he tried to flick the ball to Root but couldn’t reach him but at least Roy saved five runs.

When he reached three figures he hit consecutive boundaries off Wood, the first through mid wicket and the the second through the vacant slip area. In the next over he brutally cut  Curran to the point boundary only a couple of yards off Archer.  He tried repeating the shot off the next ball but he got it too high on his bat and Archer took the catch.

His partnership with Fakher was broken when Fakhar got an outside edge to an expansive drive off Curran and the ball flew to Wood at third man who dived forward. Fakhar reached his fifty when he pushed Curran in the covers for a single, two balls after Babar had reached his fifty.

Hafeez went down the wicket to Moeen Ali and hit him  for a straight six, two balls later he tried to repeat the shot but was cramped for room but Buttler missed the stumping.

Hafeez reached his fifty with full blooded drive without moving his feet off Wood which gave Vince one the point boundary no chance of stopping it.  Like Fakhar he didn’t captalise on his fifty, he pulled a quick short ball from Wood to Chris Jordan, substituting for Roy, at mid on.

In the last 10 overs when they needed to press for runs they lost five quick wickets. Asif Al top edged a pull off Archer to Wood on the square leg boundary but he misjudged his position and had to dive to his left to take the catch.

Imad  had a big slash at Curran but missed and was bowled after he had swatted Curran’s first ball of the over for a six.  Shoaib Malik tried to make room to cut Wood but he hit his own stumps.  Curran got his fourth wicket when Hasan Ali slogged him to Vince on the deep mid wicket boundary.


May 18, 2019 12:00 am

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