LONDON: Joe Root showed plenty of Yorkshire grit in making 89 as England beat Pakistan by four wickets in Saturday’s second one-day international at Lord’s after a collision with team-mate Adil Rashid.
The county colleagues both went for the same catch in the deep before Root somehow clung on to dismiss Hasan Ali, despite the impact of Rashid running into him.
Root then had to undergo treatment on his right ankle.
England’s star batsman had little time to rest, with the number three out in the middle again after opener Jason Roy’s second-ball duck.
A few more visits from the physio followed as Root’s well-paced innings paved the way for England to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
“Rash hit me pretty hard actually, it’s surprising that such a little guy would make such a strong tackle…but no dramas, it’s nothing serious,” said Root.
“It was a bit of a dramatic football sort of dive in the end. I’ve never seen him tackle me like that before, not even in the (five-a-side) warm-ups!,” Root joked.
“I could see him in the corner of my eye, I’m pretty sure I put my arms out and shouted to say it was my catch but he mustn’t have heard.
“He nearly headbutted my knee actually, so we got pretty lucky in that respect.”
England’s 50-over cricket has undergone something of a revival since their dire first-round exit at last year’s World Cup.
Saturday’s win was set up by pace bowlers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes who between them reduced Pakistan to two for three inside four overs.
Sarfraz Ahmed made 105 — the first ODI hundred at Lord’s by a Pakistan batsman — and Imad Wasim 63 not out, although a final total of 251 looked well below a competitive score.
“Fair play to Sarfraz, he played brilliantly but throughout we stuck at it with the ball,” said Root.
“The way we’re playing at the minute is brilliant — taking wickets regularly throughout the innings, scoring quite freely with the bat.
“Hopefully that can continue and we can keep gaining momentum with the wins we’re getting this summer.”
– ‘Work to do’ –
England started the series fifth in the International Cricket Council one-day international rankings and Root said: “I still think there’s a lot of work to do if we want to be the best team in the world, but we’re going about it the right way.”
By contrast Pakistan, although top of the ICC’s Test standings, are just ninth in the ODI table and in danger of missing out on automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England.
Prior to Saturday’s match, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said the side’s one-day cricket was “behind the times”.
The South African, who took over in May, warned that “nobody is 100 percent safe in the ODI side” and that “everybody knows they’re on notice”.
Pakistan one-day captain Azhar Ali, out for a duck on Saturday after deciding to bat first, said: “I think it’s clear we are a little bit behind but we’re working on it.
“We need to keep focusing and trying hard. This team has ability, in both games we have played some good cricket and and if we can apply ourselves more we can definitely change it around.”
Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez has been ruled out of the rest of the tour with the left calf injury that prevented him playing at Lord’s and has been replaced by Mohammad Irfan.
Towering fast bowler Irfan is expected to join up with the squad ahead of Tuesday’s third ODI at Nottingham’s Trent Bridge in the English Midlands.