Pakistan has made a strong start to their 211-run chase against England in the do-or-die Champions Trophy semi-final being played in Cardiff today,
With 20 overs gone, Pakistan is at 111 without a loss; needing 101 off 30 overs to win.
Looking for wickets, Eoin Morgan has introduced spinner Adil Rashid to the bowling attack.
Fakhar Zaman reached his half-century with a healthy strike rate of 102, as both Ali and Zaman’s partnership crossed the 100 mark in 17.2 overs.
Ramiz Raja is convinced Pakistan can reach the target if only they “play the overs out” while Shoaib Akhtar tweets the Pakistani openers just need to “stay there and mint English bowling”.
Adil Rashid and Mark Wood continue the bowling attack against Pakistan, but at the moment Pakistan is racing towards the target with all their wickets in hand.
“There will be a result for today’s match even if Pakistan ties the game,” the commentator has said. For the first time in ODI history, he explains, there will be a super-over in case Pakistan and England have their scores tied at 211.
Off to a steady start, the English middle-order crumbled to a fierce pace attack by Pakistan. Eventually, England folded their account with 211 runs.
For Pakistan, the star of the day was Hasan Ali, who picked up three crucial wickets and contributed to England’s sluggish run rate. Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan each got two wickets while Shadab Khan claimed the vital Joe Root wicket.
England’s highest scorer was Joe Root, who made 46 off 56 deliveries. He is followed by opener JM Bairstow, who added 43 off 57 to the 211 run total posted by the hosts.
This is the first time England and Pakistan are playing against each other in a Champions Trophy match.
Last summer England defeated Pakistan 4-1 in a UK home series. The one match in which Pakistan emerged victorious was held in Cardiff, where Sarfraz Ahmed helped his side chase a 300-plus target.
Muhammad Amir developed a back injury during yesterday’s practice session and is not part of the playing eleven today. He is replaced by Ruman Raees, 25-year-old left-arm medium-fast bowler from Karachi.
Additionally, Shadab Khan will be replacing Faheem Ashraf for today’s fixture.
Morgan’s side is sporting one change from its match against Australia as Jonny Bairstow replaces Jason Roy.
The match is expected to go ahead uninterrupted, with only a slim chance of rain later in the day.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (w + c), Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan
England: JM Bairstow, AD Hales, JE Root, EJG Morgan (c), JC Buttler (w), BA Stokes, MM Ali, AU Rashid, LE Plunkett, MA Wood, JT Ball