LONDON: England doubled their lead 2-0 against Pakistan in the five-match ODI series on Saturday with a four-wicket win at the Lord’s.
England reached the target of 252 for the loss of six wickets, thanks to Joe Root who scored a match winning 89 off 108 balls.
Muhammad Aamir got an early breakthrough for Pakistan in the first over in defence of a comparatively low total when he bowled Jason Roy for a duck. Alex Hales was also cheaply removed by Imad Wasim.
Bu then, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root rebuilt England’s innings by adding 112 runs for the third wicket partnership, which took the game away from Pakistan.
Root top scored with 89 while Morgan scored and 80-balls 68 to help England reach the target comfortably in the 48th over.
Pakistan went off to a disastrous start after winning the toss as three of the top batsmen — Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam and captain Azhar Ali — returned to the pavilion with only two runs on the board.
Then, Sarfaraz Ahmed led Pakistan’s fight back and got involved in three fifty-run-plus partnerships to complete his second ODI century—105 off 130 balls.
He became the first Pakistani wicket-keeper to score in triple figures in England and also the Pakistani to score a century at Lord’s in ODIs.
Sarfaraz was well supported by Imad Wasim, who smashed an unbeaten 63 off 70 deliveries, to help Pakistan post a comparatively respectable 251-all out in 49.5 overs.
Babar Azam (30) and Shoaib Malik (28) also played their part in scripting Pakistan’s return after an initial disastrous start, but in the end it didn’t matter as Pakistan lost the second ODI by four wickets with 15 balls to spare.
The third ODI of the series will be played on Tuesday, with England winning the first two, leaving Pakistan with no option but to win all three remaining matches for a go at the series.