England vs Pakistan: Second ODI Preview

Our cricket writer previews the second one day international between England and Pakistan set to take place on Saturday.

Following a fairly straight-forward win over Pakistan in the first ODI at the Rose Bowl on Wednesday. The teams will now focus their attention on the second one day international which gets underway at Lord’s on Saturday morning.

Will England’s dominance continue into the second ODI or will Pakistan redeem themselves at the Home of Cricket? Let’s take a closer look:

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England vs Pakistan | Saturday 27 August | Lord’s | London, England | 11:00

To Win Match
England 4/10 | Tie 35/1 | Pakistan 39/20

Jason Roy and Joe Root ensured England were well ahead in terms of Duckworth-Lewis before the rain came down in Southampton on Wednesday. Truth to be told, the English never looked like losing this game.

While Roy and Root may have stolen the show, it was a solid bowling performance from the home side that laid the groundwork for the win. The three-pronged seam attack of Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and the recently returned Mark Wood were solid if not electrifying while Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid always looked dangerous.

The return of Mark Wood could not have come at a better time. The Geordie paceman has undergone a torrid year which has seen him undergo no less than two operations on his left ankle. He burst back onto the scene for Durham and forced his way back into the England frame following a mesmeric performance in the NatWest Blast semi-final win over Yorkshire last weekend.

In that semi-final he made two of England’s best batsman – Root and Jonny Bairstow – look decidedly average. Both squirmed and prodded nervously as wood fired the ball down the track at speeds of 150 kph. He returned career-best T20 figures of 4-25, forcing his way into the forefront of Trevor Bayliss’ mind.

If we’re going to pile the plaudits on Wood, then we have to look Roy’s contribution and continued growth at the top of the English order. The South African-born opener has begun his ODI career with England like a house on fire. In 26 games he’s managed 939 runs at an average of 40.82. What’s even more impressive, however, is his strike rate of 105.86 – if the Durbanite carries on like this, he could go on to become one of the best limited overs batsmen on the planet.

England are definitely the better side in every department. While it may not have looked that way in the Test series, the Pakistanis seem to battle without the leadership and guidance of Misbah and Younis Khan in the shorter formats of the game. They’re strong favourites as the betting suggests, and for good reason too.

Following their strong showing in the Test series, anything that the side accomplishes in the shorter formats of the game will be considered a bonus. Let’s be honest for a minute: although they were comfortably beaten in the first ODI, they were in no way disgraced.

A decent batting performance capped off by Azhar Ali’s magnificent 82, was followed by solid showings from Babar Azam (40) and Safraz Ahmed (55) who dragged the Asians to a moderately competitive total of 260 from their 50 overs.

The rain never helped their cause, although England never really looked like falling short of the total. The Pakistani attack toiled admirably with Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir opening things up with probing lines and lengths.

Those opening spells allowed the likes of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Nawaz, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul to go on the attack with varying degrees of success. While it would be unfair to call the Asian’s attack toothless, they did struggle to make inroads against a world class batting line-up.

Looking ahead, I'm not really sure what sort of changes that Mickey Arther can make to arrest England's dominance. I'd maybe open things up with Amir, Riaz and Wasim coming on at first change. I just think the pace and aggression that Riaz offers is valuable when the batsmen are still acclimatising to conditions.

Verdict: England 4/10
England are simply the better team and should be backed accordingly with a medium to large stake. On the batsman’s paradise that is the Lord’s deck, I reckon the home side will put on a massive score (if they bat first) and take the game away from the Pakistanis early on. 
Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.

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