Pakistan to face England in 3rd ODI today
BRISTOL: Pakistan will face England in 3rd One-day international match today. Their defeat in the second one-day international to England extended Pakistan’s winless streak, but there were positive signs from which they will look to draw confidence heading into today’s match.
Pakistan’s ODI record in 2019 has been poor so far. In 12 matches across three series, they have won only two and have lost nine. More worryingly, they’ve been winless in their last eight games, including a washout in the first ODI of the ongoing series.
With the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 pretty much at the doorstep, Pakistan has plenty of reason for concern. But things may not be as gloomy as the numbers suggest, for they put up a remarkable fight in the second ODI in Southampton, going down by only 12 runs in a chase of a mammoth 374 against some pretty good bowling.
One of the big question marks over Pakistan’s readiness for the World Cup has pertained to their ability to score rapidly, but they seemed to do rather well in that department, thanks largely to Fakhar Zaman’s boundary-laced 138. But even Asif Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed scored at well over run-a-ball.
The positive signs notwithstanding, Pakistan will want to pull together in all departments to get some wins under their belt ahead of 30 May, when the World Cup gets underway.
Their job won’t be easy, however, seeing as they’re facing the side placed No.1 on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI team rankings. England is a mighty batting unit, with various batsmen capable of stealing the show on any given day. It was Jos Buttler who did the honours in the previous game with an unbeaten 55-ball 110.
The hosts’ bowling attack looks robust too, and they will be very pleased with David Willey’s three-over spell in the death in Southampton, during which he took 2/17 including the big wickets of Asif Ali and Imad Wasim.
From the little evidence so far, the attack looks further threatening when Jofra Archer plays, and it will be interesting to see whether they bring him back in for the third ODI after resting him for the second. His potential World Cup call-up hinges on how he performs in this series after all.