Trust Pakistan to pull off an upset by beating an immensely strong England side. They are probably the most unpredictable side at this years World Cup, especially after a poor first game loss to West Indies and now a great bounce back against England.
The hosts were lackluster which proved costly in the end against a Pakistan team who came to play on the day. To win the game England needed to pull off the most successful run chase in World Cup history which they couldn’t achieve.
England’s Struggles vs Rejuvenated Pakistan
For Pakistan this might be one of the upsets of the season. Their form leading up to the game was quite alarming, they were on a run of 11 straight defeats but that all ended after they beat England by 14 runs on Monday at Trent Bridge. The key to victory for Pakistan was their batting display, it was reminiscent of their good old days. Mohammad Hafeez contributed the most with the bat after scoring 84 runs off just 62 balls. He was accompanied by Barbar Azam who scored 63 and Sarfraz Ahmed who scored 55. Pakistan managed to set a tough score of 349 for victory. This was rather surprising since it was their second highest score in tournament history but the previous game they scored their second last, only score 105 against the West Indies.
Solid English Batting
For England it was a close call, their batting certainly never let them down because they came incredibly close to chasing down the target. They were led by Joe Root who scored the first century of the tournament when he ended on 107. He wasn’t alone, he was supported by Jos Butler who managed to get a century as well and was dismissed on 103.
Wahab Riaz Finished England
The pairs 130 run partnership was the sole reason that England came close but they both threw their wickets away after reaching their centuries. The game was as close as England needing just 29 of 14 balls but in stepped Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz who dismissed Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes in successive balls, ending with figures of 3 for 82 which led Pakistan to victory.
England’s Fielding In Disarray
The most costly issue for England has got to be their fielding. They were nonchalant in the field which was quite surprising since they are a team that prides itself on its fielding. From the start their were signs of sluggishness after captain Eoin Morgan’s midfield. Jason Roy drooped Hafeez on just 14 runs and he never looked back by becoming the pick of the Pakistani batsmen. Root was another culprit after he took Sarfraz to his half century when he gave him a boundary off of over throws.
The hosts will have to take a good look at what went wrong and fix it quickly because they face a Bangladesh side who recently just beat the Proteas. Root explained that they just need to remain calm as it’s just one loss and there are many games remaining. In fact, we expect England to show their character and get back to winning ways. For Pakistan they will hope they can continue from here and use this as a kickstart for the rest of the tournament.