England and Pakistan meet again on Monday with the former looking to build on a terrific start to their World Cup campaign and the latter aiming to rebound from a horror show.
Hosts England tightened their grip on the favourites tag with a 104-run win over South Africa at The Oval on Thursday, during which Ben Stokes compiled a fine 89 and took a quite remarkable catch.
Pakistan, however, scored only 16 more runs as a team against West Indies than Stokes managed on his own against South Africa as they were hammered at Trent Bridge on Friday.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s men were rocked by the short ball – from the rapid Andre Russell, in particular – as they subsided to 105 all out against Jason Holder’s rampant West Indies and to an 11th ODI loss in a row.
Pakistan will also face England at Trent Bridge, on the same picth where Eoin Morgan’s men smashed the two highest totals ever in one-day international cricket – 444-3 against Pakistan in 2016 and a world-record 481-6 versus Australia in 2018.
Sarfaraz’s team know exactly what they are coming up against, having lost 4-0 to England in the pre-World Cup ODI series – will they stop the rot on Monday and will we see another Trent Bridge run-fest?
England vs Pakistan
June 3, 2019, 10:00am
Jofra Archer flustered South Africa with the short ball at The Oval and after Pakistan struggled against chin music versus West Indies, England batting coach Graham Thorpe has said the speedy Mark Wood is in contention to play on Monday to give the home side’s attack even more zip.
Morgan says pairing up Wood and Archer is an “awesome” prospect and Liam Plunkett would be the likely candidate to make way if Wood did start. Pakistan could add to their pace ranks with Mohammad Hasnain, while the hard-hitting Asif Ali may be drafted into the middle order.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
All eyes will be on Stokes, whose all-action display in south London included the final two wickets as South Africa were rolled for 207. The all-rounder, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Joe Root will be aiming to build on their opening-day fifties, while Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, who bagged a first-ball duck and scored just 18 against the Proteas respectively, will be eyeing a first meaningful innings of the tournament.
All of Pakistan’s batsmen will be eyeing a first significant hit of the tournament – Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman top-scoring with 22 apiece against West Indies – while Mohammad Amir could be key with the ball.
Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran walloped Wahab Riaz and Hassan Ali a few days ago, but Amir came through unscathed, taking the wickets of both batsmen en route to 3-26 from six overs. The left-armer could be Pakistan’s best bet of containing England’s brutal batting line-up.
WHAT THEY SAY
England batting coach Graham Thorpe: “The games that we played against Pakistan are irrelevant in that series which has gone. We know them but we also know how close those games were, so whether it makes them more dangerous or not I think they’re a dangerous side anyway.”
Pakistan seamer Wahab Riaz: “We didn’t play the short ball well but we’ve seen in past series that we can score runs against that sort of bowling. If people want to bowl us bouncers, we will have no problems with that.
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