England effortlessly paced themselves to a four-wicket victory over Pakistan in the 2nd ODI at Lord’s.
The game started off in a similar fashion to the 1st ODI at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday. Pakistan won the toss once again and just as in the last game, elected to bat first. This meant England were going to have to chase down a total in order to win the game. In doing so, they would take a commanding 2-0 lead in the one-day international series.
England began well, continuing their fine performance with the ball that contributed hugely to their dominant win a few days back. In the opening game, they managed to restrict Pakistan to a low score of 260 with all the bowlers taking one wicket apiece apart from leg-spinner Adil Rashid who was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets.
The England bowlers bowled impressively at the Home of Cricket too. Chris Woakes took a wicket in his first over of the game with Aslam top edging through to Buttler for just 1.
Then, the next over saw Mark Wood back up the great bowling by his fellow seamer, bowling the other Pakistan opener Sharjeel with an absolute peach of a delivery – the ball squaring the batsman up and smashing into his off stump.
Chris Woakes then took his second wicket in his next over, carrying on his career best summer form after performing exceptionally well in the test series. Captain Azhar Ali, who performed so impressively in the first ODI (scoring 82) pushed tentatively at a Woakes delivery edging to Buttler for a duck.
The 27-year-old is finally starting to establish himself in all England teams. In fact, one may go as far as to say he is becoming one of the team’s key players and is crucial to the success of the England team currently and in the future.
Woakes’ second left Pakistan reeling in a precarious position at 2/3 but then they had three great partnerships that at least enabled them to post something to defend.
Firstly, 64 runs between Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed helped them somewhat recover from a disaster. The two batsman took their side to 66 in the 13th over before Plunkett came into the attack and ended the key partnership.
Babar, on 30 at the time, tried to steer a Yorker to leg but unluckilu ended up hitting the ball into his pads then onto the stumps.
Afterwards, Sarfraz and Shoaib Malik put on 59 runs to take Pakistan past 100 before Mark Wood bowled a perfect bouncer that made the latter edge through to Buttler. Then Sarfraz, who was the mainstay of the innings, managed to put together a 77 run partnership with Ahmed to take Pakistan to 202 in the 43rd over, though, they were unable to build on this position with England taking a flurry of wickets at the end of the innings. Pakistan were all out for 251.
England started off terribly with the bat themselves. Mohammed Amir bowled opener Jason Roy on the second ball for a duck. He was playing for the swing when the ball went straight on, meaning he inside edged onto his stumps. It was the worst possible start for England.
Joe Root came to the crease in tremendous form producing a couple of trademark attacking pulls at the start of his innings with Hasan Ali’s first over being quite expensive costing 8 runs and allowing England to settle down to the task of chasing down the 252 required to win. Alex Hales and Joe Root put on a well-constructed 35-run partnership before an ugly heave off the off-spin bowling of Imad cost Hales his wicket for 14 and left England on 35-2.
England ended the first powerplay (1-10 overs) on 39-2 going at a run rate of 3.90 which was below the required 5.04 runs per over. This slow run rate was because Root and Morgan were rebuilding the England innings, a job they did extremely well.
The two England batsmen were cruising throughout the middle overs of the innings and were able to up the tempo when Pakistan brought on their spinners. Boundaries were regular with Joe Root playing magnificently, scoring his 16th fifty in just 75 ODIs. They managed to stay together until the 31st over when Morgan was bowled for 68. Hopefully, for England supporters’ sake, this captain’s innings could do wonders for Morgan’s confidence and finally put to rest the doubters of his place in the team.
Morgan’s, Ben Stokes’ and Jos Buttler’s wickets proved to be the only negatives for England in the second half of their innings. This was after Ben Stokes had came in and scored a quick fire 42 off 30 balls. Buttler’s wicket was England’s own doing after him and Root went for a tight single when they were easing to the win.
Mooen Ali and Chris Woakes finally scored the runs that eased England to victory as England reached Pakistan’s total of 251 with relative ease.
England will go into the next one day international looking to take an unassailable 3-0 lead.