England bowlers bowled exceptionally well in death overs to restrict Pakistan to 361 runs and won the second ODI by 12 runs at Ageas Bowl Cricket Ground on Saturday.
Dangerous Fakhar Zaman gained his form back and smashed 138 runs to put Pakistan back on track after being set to chase a mammoth total of 374 runs.
His inning saw hope for Pakistan ahead of the World Cup as the left-handed batsman made the most of the powerplay and overall struck 12 boundaries and four sixes during his stay at the crease.
While batting first, the full-strength hosts put a huge total of 373 runs on the scoreboard with Joss Buttler shining with his magnificent knock of 110 runs off just 55 balls. With smashing six boundaries and nine sixes, Buttler has scored second-fastest ODI hundred for England.
Johnny Bairstow and Jason Roy showed their power at home ground and smashed 115 runs for the first wicket. The opening partnership gave an ideal start to the inning for England in front of a well-looked Pakistani bowling attack.
Left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi, who is known for taking wickets earlier, managed to give a breakthrough to the green shirts as he removed in-form Jonny Bairstow. The wicket-keeper batsman scored 51 off 45 balls.
England’s second opener Jason Roy was looking in dangerous touch but couldn’t manage to convert his inning to three figures. He gave away his wicket at mid-on off Hasan Ali after scoring 87 off 98 balls.
Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler joined hands together on the fourth wicket and took opponents on the charge. They both played fearlessly all around the park scoring 162 runs. Morgan played captain’s knock of 71 runs.
Joe Root played a brief knock of 40 runs before falling to Yasir Shah who finished with the figures of 1-60 in his seven overs.
Hasan and Shaheen were the other two wicket-takers for Pakistan conceding 81 and 80 runs respectively.
In reply, Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman batted comfortably on a pitch which offered much to the batsmen. They both joined hands together to put 92 runs opening partnership on the scoreboard before Imam fell to Moeen Ali after scoring 35 runs.
Later, Babar Azam joined Fakhar on the crease with an aggressive mood as they both added 135 runs to the team’s total. Babar scored 51 runs off 52 balls before getting caught and bowled off Adil Rashid.
Asif Ali too had a good time at the crease as the right-handed hard-hitting batsman looked to take the match away from the opponents. He made 51 runs and partnered with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for a well-fought 49 runs partnership.
Sarfraz, who promoted himself up to the batting order, made quite a sensible contribution but couldn’t manage to hit big shots when the team needed. He scored 41 runs off 32 balls.
David Willey and Liam Plunkett took two wickets each while Chris Woakes, Moen Ali and Adil Rashid bagged a wicket each for England in their nail-biting victory.