England sealed their ODI series against Pakistan with a resounding 169-run win at Trent Bridge on Tuesday evening.
The tourists are now playing for pride having relinquished the chance to keep the series alive in Nottingham. The sides now head north to Headingley for the fourth and penultimate ODI.
Can Pakistan salvage a bit of pride or will England drive the dagger deeper into the Asians’ hearts?
England vs Pakistan | Thursday 1 September | Headingley | Leeds, England | 14:30
To Win Match
England 2/7 | Tie 35/1 | Pakistan 28/10
What can we say about this England performance? In many ways it was perfect: Eoin Morgan won the toss and elected to bat on a glorious deck, Alex Hales claimed the highest ever score for an English batsman in ODI’s (171) and their explosive middle order all fired pushing the host’s total to 444-3 – the highest team total in ODI history.
It never really mattered how the bowlers fared, 444 was always going to be far too much for Azhar Ali’s men to chase down.
Let’s start with Hales’ incredible 122-ball 171. The English opener turned on the style at his home ground scoring all around the wicket as the Pakistani fielders could only look on in disbelief.
While Hales starred, Root, Morgan and Buttler played the supporting cast beautifully well. The three of them managed to put on a further 232 off a measly 164 balls as the home side squeaked past Sri Lanka’s 443-9 against the Netherlands in 2006.
There’s not much to say about the English bowling attack. They were never under any real pressure and it showed as they went through the motions against the beleaguered Pakistanis. Two men who did stand out, however, were Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes. Stokes – who bowled for the first time since his return from injury conceded 14 runs from his four overs as well as claiming the wicket of Babar Azam while Woakes helped himself to a four-for in just 5.4 overs.
Looking ahead, the English shouldn’t really battle against the Pakistanis. They’ve shown without doubt that they are the better limited-overs outfit and should close out the series 5-0 barring any inclement weather.
Pakistan’s inability to perform in the shorter formats of the game was underlined once again yesterday as they crumbled in the face of an English top order barrage.
Wahab Riaz can count himself lucky as he fell just two short of the record number of runs conceded by a single bowler in an ODI – that record still sits with Mick Lewis who leaked 113 in that ODI at the Wanderers between South Africa and Australia back in 2006.
What’s worse for Riaz, was the fact that he twice took wickets only for the umpire to signal no-ball. He had Hales caught at deep square-leg when he was on 72 and then bowled Buttler later on in the piece – definitely a day to forget for the Punjab quick.
The record continued to tumble as Mohammad Amir claimed the highest ever score for a number 11 as he smashed his was to a 28-ball 58. That’s about all the joy Pakistan got on the day, though as they eventually fell 169-runs short of their target.
The less said about this Pakistani ODI side the better – you should get on fairly confidently here as the verdict below alludes to.
Verdict: England 2/7
England shouldn’t even have a price here, to be honest. Pakistan have shown absolutely no fight in the ODI series, seemingly content with the fact that they performed so well in the Test segment of the tour. Add England to any daily multiples at 2/7.
Value Bet: Jason Roy to top score for England at 33/10
The Durbanite hasn’t had the best of series so far with only one real score of substance. He showed what he can do at the Oval against Sri Lanka recently when he powered to an 118-ball 162 and could well repeat the feat on Thursday. Small stake on the Surrey batsman to top score at 33/10.
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.