Pakistan proved why they are an unpredictable side as they beat hosts England by 14 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match at Trent Bridge on Monday. They put their lacklustre loss against West Indies behind and clicked well as a unit with the bat by getting off to a good start riding on a solid opening platform by Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq. The duo added 82 runs for the opening stand and looked threatening before Zaman's innings was cut short by Moeen Ali. Ali then got rid of his opening partner Imam to leave Pakistan at 111/2.
Babar Azam was then joined by the experienced Mohammad Hafeez as they added 88 runs for the third wicket stand. Hafeez was given an early reprieve when he was dropped by Jason Roy at 14. Hafeez did not look back and made the hosts pay for their errant bowling combined with fielding. After Babar departed for a 66-ball 63, Hafeez got the company of skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed as they stitched an 80-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Just when it looked like Hafeez would register the first ton of this tournament, he was holed out by Chris Woakes off Mark Wood and fell for a fantastic 62-ball 84 at a strike rate of 135.48 which included eight boundaries and two maximums. The onus was then on Sarfaraz to anchor Pakistan's innings and he did it style with a cameo knock of a44-ball 55 at a strike rate of 125 including five boundaries. Post his dismissal, tail-enders Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan added finishing touches to take Pakistan to a huge total of 348/8 in their 50 overs.
Meanwhile, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes were the pick of the bowlers for England. Ali's bowling figures were 3/50 in his 10 overs at an economy rate of 5 while Woakes' finished with figures of 3/71 at an economy rate of 8.88.
In reply, the hosts did not get off to a good start as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. After skipper Eoin Morgan was castled by Mohammad Hafeez, England were in a spot of bother at 86/3 and things got more complicated when they lost their star all-rounder Ben Stokes in the 22nd over as England's scorecard read 118/4.
Joe Root then accelerated his innings along with wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler. Root was given an early reprieve when he was dropped by Babar Azam at slips. He made the most of that reprieve and never looked back as he played some delightful strokes which kept England in the hunt. Root added 130-run stand for the fifth wicket with Jos Buttler. The stylish English batsman registered his 15th ODI century which was also the first ton of this showpiece event.
Buttler also scored a quickfire ton. He scored a 76-ball 103 including nine boundaries and two maximums. Once, he was dismissed, England lost their way and they ended up getting to 334/9 in their 50 overs.