After 11 straight ODI loses, including a humiliating loss against West Indies in their first match of the tournament Pakistan finally find their form and defeat one of the title favorites England. Moreover, in a tournament where we did not see any close games, we can say this was one of the closest finishes of this tournament until now.
England won the toss and elected to bowl first. Pakistan came out all guns blazing with both their openers providing a steady start and a quick fire 84 from Mohammad Hafeez helped Pakistan to reach an above par total of 348/8 in their fifty overs.
Chasing 349 in a world cup match would never be easy even with a batting friendly track of Trent Bridge. England almost looked like creating history by chasing the highest ever total in the history of the world cup, but untimely dismissals of both the centurion’s Root and Buttler made England fall short of 14 runs in the end.
Mohammad Hafeez was named man of the match for his brilliant performance with both bat and the ball.
Let’s have a look at what both captains had to say after the match.
Morgan, England captain: Very good game of cricket. Great advert for the tournament. Extremely disappointed to be at the wrong end especially when it got so tight. TB (Trent Bridge) is a high-scoring ground. Wasn’t concerned with 350. Wicket was very good, outfield was rapid. We felt if we got going, 350 was achievable. Losing early wickets isn’t ideal. Joe (Root) and Jos (Buttler) kept us in it as far as the 40th over. Thought we were outfielded today. Probably the difference between the sides. It was way below par today. Probably cost us 15-20 runs. They bowled well. We got a considerable partnership to stay in the game. All round today we weren’t that bad. Pakistan played well. Sides will beat each other. Don’t think many sides will go unbeaten. Going to be a competitive tournament. Looking forward to Bangladesh.
Sarfaraz, Pakistan captain: It’s a great team effort. Credit to batsmen for taking us to 350. Then bowlers bowled really well today. Game starts at 10.30, so the first 10 overs are very important. If you lose early wickets, you can’t this sort of a total. Fakhar and Imam did a really good job. Started with Shadab today, because we know they’re not good batsmen against spin – Roy and Bairstow. Fielding a very important part. The last ODI series, fielding made the difference. Confidence booster for the future. Hopefully we’ll play better cricket from here. Not easy to come back from 11 losses in a row.