Pakistan vs England Second ODI Preview

Written by Jason Dewey for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Pakistan vs England | Friday 13 November | Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium | Abu Dhabi | 12:45

England slumped to yet another disappointing defeat on Wednesday evening to a spirited Pakistani side, thanks to an excellent 102 not out from Mohamad Hafeez and an outstanding bowling performance from Mohamad Irfan, who finished on three wickets and conceded just 35 runs from his 10 overs.

England will have to go back to the drawing board after a terrible display in the first ODI which saw them dismissed for 216 runs on a decent batting track. The sides will head back to the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium for the second ODI which gets underway on Friday.

To Win Match
Pakistan 13/20
Draw 35/1
England 5/4

Pakistan’s victory in the first ODI at Abu Dhabi was somewhat tainted by the announcement that Younis Khan would retire from one-day cricket a match into his recall to the team. There’s more than a tinge of spite in the announcement, the 37-year old was forthright in voicing his displeasure at being left out of Pakistan’s World Cup squad earlier in the year. Shaharyar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistani Cricket Board stated “I am disappointed at not only his decision to retire from the ODIs but also the timing of the decision.”

However, let that not take away from a comprehensive Pakistan victory over a wounded England side. The visitors won the toss and elected to bat on a flat deck that didn’t offer much in the way of pace and bounce. That, however, didn’t stop Mohammed Irfan and Anwar Ali from tearing through the England top order, reducing the visitors to 14-3 after just 3.1 overs.  Eoin Morgan and James Taylor did put on a 133-run third wicket partnership that went some way in steadying the England ship. Pakistan, however, didn’t panic and continued to probe and eventually found the breakthrough when Shoaib Malik found the edge of Morgan’s bat – Sarfraz Ahmed taking a simple catch. Butler and Taylor would soon follow their captain back to the dugout with Irfan cleaning up the England tail without much of a fuss.

Pakistan’s innings didn’t get off the ideal start either with the hosts losing Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif and Younis Khan with just 41 runs on the board. Shoaib Malik joined Mohammed Hafeez at the crease and the two set about chipping away at the rather underwhelming English. Malik would later perish after flicking a rather innocuous Moeen Ali delivery to midwicket. Hafeez and Babar Azam would guide the host’s home with 6.2 overs remaining. In doing so, Hafeez brought up his 11th ODI century while Babar finished on 62 not out. 

Where to now for a beleaguered England side? The visitors were hoping to salvage some pride in the ODI segment of the tour after losing the Test series 2-0. Much was made of England’s young side who were supposed to take the fight to the Pakistanis. The top order fell apart on a flat deck and while Taylor and Morgan added some respectability to their total, the rest of the team failed miserably with the exception of Chris Woakes who laboured to 33.

Having won the toss and electing to bat, England would have been hoping that Alex Hales and the defensively inept Jason Roy could take advantage of the conditions and set a platform for the middle order to build on. Instead, Morgan and Taylor were made to do the bulk of the work, scoring 137 runs between them while the rest of the England top 7 only mustered 18 runs. For the amount of hype this team receives, numbers like that simply aren’t good enough.

England’s bowlers, and their spinners in particular, found little joy after an initial flurry of wickets. Reece Topley, in only his second ODI, managed to dismiss Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif and Younis Khan early on. There was little to write home about after that though. Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Joe Root bowled 19 overs with only Ali managing to pick up a stick, drawing Shoaib Malik into a false shot that saw the ball land in the hands of Jason Roy at mid-on.

The Venue
The teams will return to the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday – the same ground where England were defeated in the first ODI. We really should be seeing scores in excess of 260 on this ground. Looking back over the last few ODIs played here before this series, scores of 275 plus have been achieved by the likes of New Zealand and Pakistan. The wicket should behave as it did on Wednesday with little to no assistance for the quicks while there should be some turn on offer for the spinners.

Verdict: Eoin Morgan to Top Score for England and England to hit the most sixes as a multiple at 149/20
I’m sticking my neck out here in a bid to find some value for you guys. Eoin Morgan is looking the best of the English batsmen at the moment and I’d back him to top score every day of the week. The visitors also have more in the way of out-and-out big hitters, while I still expect them to lose, they should hit more sixes in their innings than Pakistan as was the case in the first ODI.

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