PAKISTAN IN ENGLAND 2019
Roy smashed a ton in England’s win. © Getty
Jason Roy’s sensational ton and handy knocks by Ben Stokes and Tom Curran helped England clinch the five-match series 3-0 as they trounced Pakistan by three wickets at Trent Bridge in the fourth ODI on Friday (May 17). Roy made 114 before a middle-order wobble almost consumed the chase. Stokes and Curran scored 61 for the seventh wicket to help the side cross the line in the final over.
Set a par score at the venue, England were off to a superb start as Roy and James Vince smashed 94 inside 14 overs to put the pressure back on Pakistan. Vince was the first to fall as he chopped one on from Mohammad Hasnain to fall for 43. Joe Root got going as soon as he walked in and Roy continued to attack the bowlers to ease the pressure as the duo scored 107 for the second wicket. The drama, however, didn’t unfold till the 28th over. Roy got to his century off 75 deliveries as he smashed a boundary and a six to get to the landmark before falling to Hasnain caught behind.
Joe Root followed five balls later as he was dismissed by Imad Wasim. Jos Buttler, stand in captain on the day, bagged a two-ball duck while Moeen Ali was dismissed for a three-ball duck by Shoaib Malik. Joe Denly had to score runs to keep his hopes alive of making it to the World Cup but failed the audition. With the pressure on England, he failed to partner Ben Stokes and was caught and bowled off the bowling of Junaid Khan for 17. From 201 for 1, England had slipped to 216 for 5 and then 258 for 6.
It was then Ben Stokes, with his half-century, and Tom Curran who revived the chase with a timely assault. Needing 44 in the last five overs, Curran attacked Hasan Ali in the 46th over to take the pressure off Stokes, who had reached his half-century in the previous over. Stokes continued to go big and ended with 71 while Curran made crucial 31 just when it seemed Pakistan will squeeze out a win from a hopeless situation. There was some late drama as Curran fell in the 48th over leaving England needing 19 off the final two overs. Junaid Khan leaked 16 in the penultimate over to seal Pakistan’s fate..
Earlier, Pakistan were helped to a fighting score by Babar Azam’s ton and half-centuries from Fakhar Zaman and Mohammed Hafeez. After Imam ul Haq had to retire hurt early in the innings, Zaman and Azam scored 107 for the second wicket to help Pakistan get off the blocks. At the 20-over mark, the visitors had 116 on the board and had lost just one wicket, of Zaman as he tried to slash at a wide one and was caught at third man. Hafeez, back in the side, complimented Azam stroke by stroke as the pair continued to frustrate England. The duo took Pakistan to 220 in the 37th over with a 104-run stand. Hafeez was nipped out with a short one and six deliveries later Azam got to his ton with a boundary to fine-leg off 104 deliveries.
Pakistan looked set to cruise past 300 in the first 30 overs but the thought of giving their bowlers an additional cushion meant they batted constantly under pressure. Short ball resulted in the wickets of Hafeez, Azam and Asif Ali and Pakistan then failed to find the much-needed late push. They were guilty of not pushing the score early on when the batsmen were set. Pakistan did manage to become the first team to post three consecutive 340-plus scores but they’ve lost their last three matches as well. Their losing streak now extends to nine games – just one shy of their worst ever losing streak.
Brief scores: Pakistan 340/7 in 50 overs (Babar Azam 115; Tom Curran 4-75) lost to England 341/7 in 49.3 overs (Jason Roy 114, Ben Stokes 71*) by seven wickets.