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Pakistan get WC campaign back on track

Pakistan’s captain Sarfaraz Ahmed bats during the Cricket World Cup match between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on June 3. (AP)

England fall short in huge run chase

NOTTINGHAM, England, June 3, (RTRS): Pakistan beat England by 14 runs at Trent Bridge on Monday as the World Cup’s first centuries from Joe Root and Jos Buttler were not enough to help the hosts and pre-tournament favourites overhaul the huge target of 349 set for them.

England had won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat, banking on the pace of fast bowlers Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer for early wickets and no doubt hoping to recreate the way the West Indies skittled Pakistan out for 105 on Friday.

Instead, the visitors put that woeful performance behind them and racked up 348 runs for eight wickets, delighting their cheering fans in the stands with 29 fours and six sixes.

Mohammad Hafeez was his side’s top scorer with 84 off 62 balls, while Babar Azam made 63 and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed belted a quickfire 55.

“Everyone was believing we could do this. We were playing good cricket but not winning crucial stages of the game. Everyone chipped in today and gave everything which was required to win the game,” Hafeez told the BBC.

“It was a total team effort. It is a very happy dressing room.” Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq delighted their vocal supporters by belting a string of boundaries off Archer and Woakes in an opening partnership of 82.

England spinner Moeen Ali finally broke up the pair, getting Fakhar stumped on 36 on his way to a three-wicket haul, while Woakes grabbed three more and also took four catches on a day when England were otherwise uncharacteristically ragged in the field.

Babar and Mohammad Hafeez steadied the ship for Pakistan with a partnership of 88 runs as the visitors set England a larger score than any side had ever chased down in the history of the competition. The best successful World Cup run chase to date came in 2011 when Ireland made 329 against England.

In reply, England steadily lost the wickets of their top-order batsmen Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes to leave the side on 118 for four and give Root and Buttler a mountain to climb.

The two did their best, each eventually reaching three figures. Root hit 10 fours and one six on his way to 107 before scooping an easy catch off Khan to Hafeez at third man.

Buttler smashed a four to notch up his own hundred a few overs later, only to fall to the very next ball.

As the balls-remaining count dwindled, Moeen and Woakes swung valiantly at everything they could. But after they were both caught out in successive balls, Mark Wood and Adil Rashid were left stranded at the crease as the target slipped beyond their reach.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s batsmen must show more patience under pressure in Tuesday’s “must-win” encounter against World Cup dark horses Afghanistan to put their crushing opening-round defeat behind them, pacer Lasith Malinga said on Monday.

New Zealand thumped Sri Lanka without losing a single wicket in Cardiff on Saturday to begin their campaign in style after seam bowlers Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson skittled them out for 136.

Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne contributed an unbeaten 52 in that total as the Sri Lankan top-order’s vulnerability in bowler-friendly conditions was exposed and Malinga said that a similar performance against Afghanistan would cost them dear.

“Patience is very important. We know these conditions, we can have someone get 60-70 runs and still the ball can move. Whoever the batsman is, he has to finish the game,” Malinga told a news conference at the same venue.

“I feel players need to get confidence… we need to get mentally tough. The pressure is with us, yes, but we have to play free and do our best.

“At the moment we want to be concerned with our own skill and how we’re going to play. (It is) a must-win game tomorrow. We’ll try our best … in accuracy and tactically, everything hopefully will be there tomorrow.” Afghanistan fared only slightly better against defending champions Australia in their opener, losing by seven wickets, but Malinga is not taking them lightly.

“I think they have experienced players because most of them play in franchise cricket. They know how to accelerate and they have confidence,” he added.

“The important thing is handling pressure … that’s the big challenge for us.” Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib, meanwhile, said his team were targeting a morale-boosting victory against the former champions to get back on track.

“We have the opportunity to do well against them. I hope if we play 50 overs, batting, then definitely we can beat them,” he said.

“If we play 50 overs, maybe (it will be) difficult for them … I saw the Sri Lankans play and they’ve lost a few games in the last two years … they’re struggling in one-day matches.”

Pakistan vs England Scoreboard/WC Standings

LONDON, Jun 3, (Agencies): Scoreboard at close of play of match 6 between England and Pakistan on Monday at Nottingham, England. Pakistan win by 14 runs.


I. ul-Haq c Woakes b Ali 44

F. Zaman st Buttler b Ali 36

B. Azam c Woakes b Ali  63

M. Hafeez c Woakes b Wood      84

S. Ahmed c&b Woakes  55

Asif Ali c Bairstow b Wood            14

S. Malik c Morgan b Woakes       8

W. Riaz c Root b Woakes               4

Hassan Ali not out            10

S. Khan not out 10

Extras: 1b 8lb 0nb 0pen 11w        20

Total: (50.0 overs, 8 wickets)       348

Fall of wickets: 1-82 (Zaman), 2-111 (ul-Haq), 3-199 (Azam), 4-279 (Hafeez), 5-311 (Ali), 6-319 (Ahmed), 7-325 (Riaz), 8-337 (Malik)

Did not bat: Amir

Bowling: Chris Woakes 8 1 71 3 8.88 2w, Jofra Archer 10 0 79 0 7.90 4w, Moeen Ali 10 0 50 3 5.00, Mark Wood 10 0 53 2 5.30 2w, Ben Stokes 7 0 43 0 6.14, Adil Rashid 5 0 43 0 8.60 1w.


J. Roy lbw Khan 8

J. Bairstow c Ahmed b Riaz           32

J. Root c Hafeez b Khan 107

E. Morgan b Hafeez        9

B. Stokes c Ahmed b Malik           13

J. Buttler c Riaz b Amir    103

M. Ali c Zaman b Riaz      19

C. Woakes c Ahmed b Riaz           21

J. Archer c Riaz b Amir    1

A. Rashid not out                             M. Wood not out             10

Extras: 0b 3lb 0nb 0pen 5w          8

Total: (50.0 overs, 9 wickets)       334

Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Roy), 2-60 (Bairstow), 3-86 (Morgan), 4-118 (Stokes), 5-248 (Root), 6-288 (Buttler), 7-320 (Ali), 8-320 (Woakes), 9-322 (Archer)

Bowling: Shadab Khan 10 0 63 2 6.30, Mohammad Amir 10 0 67 2 6.70 3w, Wahab Riaz 10 0 82 3 8.20 1w, Hassan Ali 10 0 66 0 6.60 1w, Mohammad Hafeez 7 0 43 1 6.14, Shoaib Malik 3 0 10 1 3.33

Umpire: Marais Erasmus, Sundaram Ravi

Video: Ruchira Palliyaguruge

Match Referee: Jeffrey Crowe

WC Standings

                WC Standings

            P          W       L         NR      T          NRR    Pts

West Indies        1              1              0              0              0              +5.802   2

New Zealand     1              1              0              0              0              +5.754   2

Australia              1              1              0              0              0              +1.860   2

England                  2            1              1              0              0              +0.900   2

Bangladesh         1              1              0              0              0              +0.420   2

Pakistan               2              1              1              0              0              -2.412    2

India      0              0              0              0              0              +0.000   0

South Africa       2              0              2              0              0              -1.250    0

Afghanistan        1              0              1              0              0              -1.860    0

Sri Lanka              1              0              1              0              0              -5.754    0

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