Third ODI: England vs Pakistan

Third ODI: England vs Pakistan

The first completed match of the series between England and Pakistan may have gone largely according to script, but there were a few surprises.
England's batting power won the day but Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman fired a warning shot with a brilliant century that gave the tourists a shot at an upset.

Tuesday 14 May 
County Ground, Bristol 
14:00

To Win Match
England 7/20
Tie 35/1
Pakistan 23/10

England
Without Jofra Archer, Pakistan were able to target the England new ball bowlers for some treatment - and put the heavily favoured home side under pressure.

With the bat, England were structured and played the game to near perfection, with the top order laying an excellent platform for Jos Buttler to accelerate and power the team past 350.

The batting display was a near-perfect tune-up, with half-centuries for Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan - and Joe Root made 40.

With the ball, David Willey stood out as the most disciplined, while spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid picked up key wickets despite proving expensive.

England still seem eager to engage in further experimentation, but most pundits feel that their bowling attack is a lot better with Archer present.

Bristol has not been the best home venue for England in ODIs. They have won just five of 11 matches played at the ground.

Pakistan
Pakistan may have lost the second ODI of their five match series at the Rose Bowl, but they will take plenty of encouragement with how they challenged England all the way in a big chase.

Their weakness proved to be the regular loss of wickets, but the top order did well enough to suggest they aren't as far off the pace when it comes to explosive batting as has been estimated. The form of Babar Azam and Fakhar will remain central to the team's hopes in this series and beyond.

In a match where both sides blazed past 350, it might be a little harsh to hammer Pakistan's bowling performance, but the tourists struggled to build pressure and allowed the hosts an out all too often.

Pakistan have also shown they intend to rotate their squad throughout the series, in preparation for the World Cup where they will need to be smart about how they use their 15-man group.

The tourists have played just one game at the County Ground in Bristol - a 27-run win over the West Indies in the 1999 World Cup. The nature of the surface has changed markedly since then and, of course, nobody in this squad was plying their trade internationally 20 years ago.

Verdict: England 7/20
England will know more about Pakistan now - and should be able to outmatch them.

Written by @JonhenryWilson 

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