England vs Pakistan: Third ODI Preview

Our cricket writer previews the third one day international between England and Pakistan to be played at Trent Bridge.

Pakistan will look to keep the ODI segment of their tour of England alive with a win over Eoin Morgan and his men at Trent Bridge come Tuesday evening.

Can Pakistan arrest the current trend or will the host’s dominance continue in the heart of England? Let’s take a look below:

England vs Pakistan | Tuesday 30 August | Trent Bridge | Nottingham, England | 14:30

To Win Match
England 32/100 | Tie 35/1 | Pakistan 5/2

England were full value for their four-wicket victory over the Pakistanis on Saturday at Lord’s. A top class bowling performance was followed by an unerring chase which got off the worst possible start as Jason Roy was dismissed off just the second ball of the innings.

While many pundits around the world have rightly aimed most of their praise at Joe Root for the victory, we need to take some time to acknowledge Mark Wood’s contribution to the win. The Durham quick bowled magnificently well, consistently getting his speeds up to the 150kph mark.

His first wicket was a thing of beauty – the ball pitched on leg stump and swung late to crash into the off stump, getting rid of Sharjeel Khan; one of Pakistan’s better batsmen. That delivery set the tone for what was a magnificent day’s work which saw him finish on 3-46. There’s no doubt that Wood adds some much-needed venom to an English attack that for some time, lacked genuine pace.

Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid also contributed with the ball while Moeen Ali did well to keep the scoring rate down with his gentle off-spinners. The attack will only get stronger too once Ben Stokes is cleared to bowl having only just recovered from knee and calf injuries. The Durham all-rounder has started the two previous ODI’s as a specialist batsman, a decision which came as a surprise to many, especially considering the form of Jonny Bairstow.

The host’s pursuit of Pakistan’s 251 didn’t get off to the ideal start, after Jason Roy and Alex Hales were dismissed cheaply inside the first eight overs. However, a superb stand between Joe Root and Eoin Morgan consolidated England’s position in the match and ensured that the Lord’s faithful got to witness the victory they had been expecting.

It was left to Stokes and Ali to see the English home in dream-like batting conditions at Lord’s. Their four-wicket win leaving them on the brink of yet another home ODI series.

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One feels that Pakistan lost this match before it had even begun. The decision to bat first on a pretty green Lord’s deck backfired in spectacular fashion as the Asians lost their first three wickets in just 3.1 overs for the addition of just two runs.

Sarfraz Ahmed (105) and Imad Wasim (63) did their best to arrest England’s dominance, but 251 never looked like enough at Lord’s, especially when you consider how strong this English top and middle order is.

Aside from the superb batting displays from Wasim and Sarfraz, credit has to go to Mohammad Amir who bowled with superb control, eventually finishing on 1-39 from his 10 overs. This tour has been massive for the young seamer who is now only spoken of for his ability with the ball and not for his past transgressions. His stock continues to rise and he looks as though he could go on to become an absolute world-beater – especially in the Test arena.

All of that said, I still don’t think that Pakistan have enough to really trouble England in the shorter formats of the game. Their top order simply doesn’t possess enough ability to lay the platform needed to beat the English.

If the Pakistanis are to claim victory here, they’ll need an almighty batting collapse from the English and an inspired bowing performance from Amir, Hasan Ali and Wahab Riaz to perform out of their collective skin. I don’t really see that happening, though. The English should be far too strong, even for a spirited Pakistan side.

Verdict: England at 32/100
The Pakistanis have given us absolutely no reason to stake our hard-earned money on them – no matter the price. England should be fairly confidently backed with a medium to large at a pretty dire 32/100.

Written by Jason Dewey for @Hollywoodbets.

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