Asif Ali falls, while Sarfraz Ahmed bring up his 50

Pakistan vs England at World Cup

Pakistani openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul Haq got Pakistan off to a decent start after they were invited to bat first by England after winning the toss. The openers opt for the attacking approach and took on England pacers from the first over of the match.

Jofra Archer was impressive in his first couple of overs and was bowling with three slips, but once the openers got settled, specially Zaman, he did not shy away from playing shots against him as well. The openers were ready for the short-pitched stuff, they left the good bouncers and scored on the weaker ones.

Imam and Zaman complemented each other well, with Imam rotating the strike and Zaman being the aggressor. However, one shot from Imam stood out when he came down the track to Chris Woakes and deposited straight over his head for a 85-meter six.

As Moeen Ali came into the attack, Zaman did not feel comfortable facing him and started playing dot deliveries which put him under pressure. He also almost ran himself out as he looked to steal a single against Mark Wood which was never there, but fortunately Morgan hit the stumps at the wrong end. However, the left-handed batsman could not cope up with the mounting pressure and eventually got stumped off Ali. He scored 36 off 40 deliveries.

Imam looked to carry on his inning in his merry way and build another partnership with Babar Azam. As the left-handed batsman was reaching his half-century, he played a fantastic inside out shot off Ali, but Woakes came in running and dived to his right to take an excellent catch. He scored 44 runs off 58 deliveries.

After losing the first two wickets, Pakistan’s run rate took a dip as Babar and Hafeez could not score freely. But, as they settled down, they started to score freely and brought up the run rate over 6 runs per over. Babar raises his half-century, as he looked to play another big shot off Moeen Ali, he found Woakes in the deep, who took another good catch. He scored 63 off 66 balls. On the other hand, Hafeez kept going despite losing his partner and raised his half-century on 39 deliveries.

Hafeez and Sarfraz kept the score board ticking with odd boundaries in the middle. As they approached the 40th over, the platform was set to launch a full fledged attack against England.

Mohammad Hafeez was in supreme touch, he was middling the ball to perfection. In a Mark Wood over, he just flicked the ball for a 69-meter six, in the same over, he played a fabulous lofted cover drive, but found Woakes in the deep, who another brilliant catch. He played a gem of an inning of 84 runs off 62 balls.

Sarfraz and Asif played aggressively and had a handy 32-run partnership in no time, before Asif Ali fell to Mark Wood.

Team line-ups

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt&wk), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood