Wicket! Imam c Woakes b Moeen 44 (Pakistan 111-2)
Another great catch from England! Imam-ul-Haq lofts Moeen inside-out over extra cover, and Woakes, at long-off, flings himself to his right to make a difficult chance look easy. Who said he had a bad knee?
20th over: Pakistan 111-1 (Imam 44, Babar 21) Stokes restores order, conceding a couple of singles and a leg-bye. This is a tremendous contest, absorbing, fluctuating, compelling.
19th over: Pakistan 108-1 (Imam 42, Babar 20) Babar, who has been elegant as usual, suddenly goes big, lofting Moeen over mid-off, one bounce. He has 20 off 20 balls. The challenge for him now is to get a winning hundred off 80, not another of the losing hundreds at a run a ball which have become a Pakistan speciality.
18th over: Pakistan 100-1 (Imam 41, Babar 14) Wood goes off to discuss his exemplary figures (4-0-13-0) with his friend the imaginary horse, and on comes Ben Stokes, the hero of the opening day. He starts by beating Babar outside off with a length ball before going for five singles as Pakistan’s hundred comes up. The second fifty took 64 balls, 20 more than the first. This pitch looks good for everyone, offering pace, turn, a little movement, and, as ever, plenty of runs.
17th over: Pakistan 95-1 (Imam 39, Babar 11) With Babar Azam out there, Moeen has a right-hander to contend with and Pakistan are instantly more purposeful, picking up five from the over.
“Morning Tim,” says Richard Dennis. “Hope you are well.” I am, thanks, keeping busy. “Nice little comeback from England’s bowlers here. Is it now a case that with Archer playing, Mark Wood firing, and if Mo can get his mojo back, that England’s strength is actually their bowling? Surely that couldn’t be the case, could it?” As that Chinese politician said about the French revolution, it’s a bit early to say. But, as Buzz Lightyear said, I like your thinking, Sheriff.
16th over: Pakistan 90-1 (Imam 38, Babar 7) Wood roughs up Babar, who starts by ducking and weaving and then produces a swivel-pull – the first four Wood has conceded. And that’s drinks, with the game so far dividing into two neat blocks – Pakistan winning the first eight overs (62-0) and England winning the second (28-1). We’re heading inexorably for a tie.
15th over: Pakistan 85-1 (Imam 38, Babar 2) Great stuff from Moeen, who has 4-0-15-1.
“Don’t worry,” says David Green. “I’m in Kopoko in Papúa New Guinea where the internet is insufficient for anything other than OBO updates.” Thank God for dial-up.
Wicket! Fakhar st Buttler b Moeen 36 (Pakistan 82-1)
Yes, Buttler knew – he whipped off the bails immaculately, and Fakhar’s momentum had taken him forward as he missed Mo’s drifting off-break. That’s a triumph for Mo, his third ODI wicket this year; a relief for Buttler, who had an off day on Thursday; and a shame for the crowd, as Fakhar had been on fire early on.
Wicket? Fakhar may be stumped
Off Moeen, by Buttler, who looks pretty sure he’s goddim.
14th over: Pakistan 82-0 (Imam 37, Fakhar 36) Another good over from Wood, who has the improbable figures of 3-0-8-0. There’s a run-out chance, and Morgan hits the stumps – at the wrong end! His second mistake as a fielder today, not like him.
“Please can someone explain net run rate to me,” asks James from London. “How has South Africa’s NRR increased from -2.08 (i.e the inverse of England’s) to -1.25 despite losing to Bangladesh yesterday?” Because it was a closer game, so they improved their average net run rate.
13th over: Pakistan 79-0 (Imam 36, Fakhar 35) Mo keeps it so tidy that even Fakhar is settling for singles now. Great over,” says Jos Buttler, getting in some practice for his second career.
12th over: Pakistan 76-0 (Imam 34, Fakhar 34) Wood is mixing fire with guile, starting his second over with two cutters, then busting a gut with a steep bouncer. Fakhar plays a hook so late that it threatens to connect with the next ball. That’s two overs for five from Wood, and four for 14 by him and Mo. Morgan has got the plug back in.
11th over: Pakistan 73-0 (Imam 32, Fakhar 33) Tidy from Mo, just the four singles.
“It’s quite nippy out there with this wind,” says Wasim Akram.
“England in summer, Wass,” Ian Ward retorts. “What do you expect?”
10th over: Pakistan 69-0 (Imam 30, Fakhar 31) Mark Wood comes on to replace Archer, and through no fault of his own, he has not a single slip. That is a rare sight: Eoin Morgan blinking first. Wood does well, conceding only a couple of singles and beating Imam as he jumps back to fend. Pakistan complete a cracking powerplay, but England have been better than the scorecard might suggest.
And here’s Phil Withall. “As I procrastinate in the vain hope the ironing will do itself, my stubble will voluntarily disappear and the dog will get its own dinner, I have decided to take the same approach to England’s World Cup campaign as I did with Norwich in the Championship. Low expectations, expect the worst… I just hope Australia can fill the Leeds United role and fall away spectacularly towards the pressure built conclusion.”
9th over: Pakistan 67-0 (Imam 29, Fakhar 30) Mo should be able to stem the flow of runs, as an off-spinner to two left-handers, but his confidence is low, his first two balls are dragged down and Imam puts the second away to fine leg. The predictor gizmo reckons Pakistan will get 379. That would be a lot of fun.
8th over: Pakistan 62-0 (Imam 24, Fakhar 30) Archer goes for another four as Imam finds his feet and clips him to midwicket. Then there’s the dud review, and a rip-snorting bouncer from Archer which feels like 95mph, only to be clocked at 87. In between times, Pakistan keep the board ticking, and here comes Moeen Ali.
“Strange World Cup so far,” says Krish. “SA not a force they used to be. Sri Lanka failing too. If Pak loses today all I will need is for India to implode too. Bring on a Aus vs WI final with the latter claiming the trophy.”
Yes, inside edge. That review was so bad, it could have been Stuart Broad.
Review! For LBW – Archer to Imam
Not given, and there were two noises.
7th over: Pakistan 49-0 (Imam 18, Fakhar 26) Fakhar is on fire now, slamming Woakes through the covers, then seeing fine leg up and playing a cool premeditated ramp. That makes 29 off the last 16 balls. Pakistan have got on top before you can say “mercurial”.
6th over: Pakistan 37-0 (Imam 15, Fakhar 17) This is a good contest between Fakhar and Archer. Archer drops short: Fakhar pulls him for four. Archer drops less short: Fakhar flails at thin air. Archer finds extra bounce: Fakhar edges, off the shoulder, and the ball loops past the solitary slip. Archer has none for 12 when he could easily have two wickets.
5th over: Pakistan 31-0 (Imam 14, Fakhar 12) Anchor? I take that back. Imam sees a full one from Woakes and lofts it into the stand at long-on, where it’s smartly held by the man in the grey hoodie. The first six of the day is followed by a streaky four as Imam edges through the vacant third slip. Why oh why doesn’t anyone start with four slips and a gully?
4th over: Pakistan 20-0 (Imam 3, Fakhar 12) It looks as if Imam is going to play the anchor while Fakhar has some fun. When Archer drops only slightly short, Fakhar whips him for a handsome four. Morgan, still itching to attack, posts a leg slip for Imam.
3rd over: Pakistan 14-0 (Imam 2, Fakhar 8) A maiden! From Woakes, who is right in the groove now and beating Imam twice outside off.
More on the BBC commentary. “The link you provided is for UK only.” says Alan Tuffery in Dublin. “Others can pick up the commentary — with video clips and other bells and whistles – at https://www.cricketworldcup.com/” Thanks. Is there an emoji for gritted teeth?
2nd over: Pakistan 14-0 (Imam 2, Fakhar 8) You wouldn’t know it from the scorecard, but this is a beautiful over from Jofra Archer – an edge first ball to the vacant fourth slip, followed by two snorters over the stumps, and a play-and-miss. There was a boundary, but it was leg byes, so Archer has figures of 1-0-1-0 and another feather in his cap.
1st over: Pakistan 9-0 (Imam 1, Fakhar 8) Woakes, unusually, struggles to find his length and Fakhar Zaman cashes in with two cuts for four, the first via a misfield that leaves Morgan cursing himself. “Little bit of a sloppy start from England,” says Nasser.
Never mind the fielding, one fan is already anxious about England’s innings. “What over do we think the batting collapse will start?” says Richard Clapton. “I’m going 27. Just enough time to get everyone singing ‘it’s coming home’ before we snatch defeat from those famous jaws.”
Chris Woakes, England’s No.1 swinger, keeps the new ball, so Wood may have to wait. There’s a strong breeze, Nasser says, which will accentuate Woakes’s inswing to this pair of left-handers.
A few readers have asked for the link to the BBC radio commentary. This may be it – if not, I’m afraid you’ll have to do your own Googling, because the players are on the field.
“England – the new Australia?” wonders Adam Giles. ”Following Amod’s early email, I see his point. England’s great strength at the moment isn’t Archer’s chin music, or Buttler’s ability to hit the leather off the ball, or Roy’s consistent bludgeoning of the cherry, but the fact that it’s a team of matchwinners. When you only need one or two players to have a particularly good day in order to take the win (see Mr Stokes’ and Mr Archer’s contributions on Thursday), the pressure comes off the whole team, because someone will get the job done. That’s massive psychologically, and intimidating for any opponent.” It is, but didn’t Roy, Root, Morgan, Rashid and Plunkett have a good day too?
The way Pakistan batted against West Indies was an invitation to England to pair Mark Wood with Jofra Archer, and they have duly accepted. My feeling is that they’re right to have picked Wood, but wrong to have dropped Liam Plunkett, the master of the middle overs. They could have rested Chris Woakes, with his dodgy knee, or left out Moeen Ali, whose ODI (as opposed to IPL) returns have been mediocre for months.
“I know it’s early days,” says Bob O’Hara, “but I think the ICC should be congratulated for deciding to only have 10 teams, ensuring there aren’t as many one-sided results.” Discuss!
The first email of the day comes with an eye-catching subject line. “England is the new Australia,” says Amod Paranjape. “Remember the Australian team of 1990s and later. That team would always find a way. The present English team is that team. (Never mind, you infernal pessimists).” Ha. It’s not just pessimism, to be fair: it’s the fact that England have never won a world 50-over tournament, and blew a great chance, at home, in the Champions Trophy two years ago.
So, the teams in full.
Pakistan Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt, wkt), Mohammad Hafeez, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir.
England Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wkt), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.
Teams: Pakistan make two changes
Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik come in for Haris Sohail and Imad Wasim, which means Sarfaraz only has four proper bowlers. A case of desperate times, desperate measures?
Teams: England pile on the pace
Just the one change for England. Mark Wood comes in for Liam Plunkett.
Toss: England bowl first
Morgan wins. “Is it a belter?” “It is.”
The shape of things so far
This may well look silly in a day or two, but a shape seems to be emerging from the early matches. England and Australia are on the top table, as expected. India should join them, when they deign to enter the room. Behind those three, before the tournament began, there looked like being a four-way scramble for the last semi-final place, but New Zealand and West Indies have both made big opening statements, and Bangladesh have been a revelation, so at the moment it’s more of a love triangle.
Then there’s a big gap before you get to Pakistan and South Africa, who have performed to nothing like their potential, and Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, who began as outsiders and remain so (I’ve seen 400/1 on both). But the thing about this roundest of robins is that anybody can recover from a bad start. It’s a bad finish that you really want to avoid.
Wanted: a hundred
Nobody has made an individual hundred in this World Cup, or even a 90 – the joint top scorers are Ben Stokes and David Warner with 89. Only Warner has faced a hundred balls (114), and only Dimush Karunaratne has lasted longer than 132 minutes (146). It’s a similar story in the bowling, where only Oshane Thomas has taken four wickets. None of this matters very much – it’s a team game and you can win a match with a quick 70 or lose it with a slow ton. But every so often it’s a thrill to see one player put a great big stamp on a game. Cometh the hour, cometh the Roy?
It’s coming home? No, no way (© Nasser), you cannot say that yet. What can be said with confidence is this: it’s warming up.
On day one, we had a good game and a great moment – a fine example of the right man being in the wrong place at the right time. On days two and three, not much to write home about, but on day four, a classic upset: David, sent in by Goliath, rattled up the highest score of the tournament and then bowled well enough not to blow it. Thank you Bangladesh, for delivering the first memorable result of this World Cup. And thank you South Africa, for showing, twice, that it’s perfectly possible to win the toss and lose the match.
Today we have England playing Pakistan, for only the sixth time in the past month. The score stands at 4-0. It would be a drag if it wasn’t the World Cup. And if it wasn’t Trent Bridge, where England made 481 last year against Australia and Pakistan were bombed out for 105 by West Indies three days ago. All things considered, Pakistan look certain to win.
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2019/jun/03/england-pakistan-cricket-world-cup-2019-live
Publish date : 2019-06-03 11:04:00