Pak post challenging 348-8 against England

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NOTTINGHAM, Jun 3 (APP)::Like the sun which shone brightly almost the whole day at Trent Bridge, the sun of Pakistan team’s fortunes rose and they posted a challenging 348 for the loss of eight wickets in the stipulated 50 overs during their second match of the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 19 tournament at the Trent Bridge on Monday.
England Captain Eoin Morgan had won the toss and put Pakistan into bat on a bright day to test his opponents’ batting prowess in English conditions but, luckily, Pakistan were able to construct an innings on a batting paradise which had already produced world record scores of 481 and 444. Pakistan had scored a meager 105-10 against West Indies at the same ground but a different strip last Friday and lost under 13 overs.
Three half-centuries from Babar Azam (63), Mohammad Hafeez (84), Sarfraz Ahmed (55) and an opening stand of 82 runs between openers Fakhar Zaman (36) and Imam-ul-Haq (44) catapulted Pakistan to a total which might the mighty English batting line-up. The other partnership between Babar Azam – Mohammad Hafeez (88) and Mohammad Hafeez – Sarfraz Ahmed (80) were instrumental in recording 300. Asif Ali (14) had a short stint at the crease and coined 32 runs in partnership with Captain Sarfraz Ahmed.
Sarfraz Ahmed played a responsible innings and took the team’s score past 300. Shadab Khan (10 off 4 balls) closed the innings with a boundary of Chris Woakes last delivery of the innings.
Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes returned with 3 scalps each but it was Moeen Ali (3-50) who had put brakes on the early strides by Pakistan openers and claimed first three wickets of the match. Jofra Archer remained wicketless and cost 79 runs off his 10 overs. Adil Rashid was taken apart by Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez as he gave away 43 off 5 overs and was taken out of the attack by Englnad skipper Eoin Morgan. Ben Stokes went wicketless as well but Mark Wood bold impressively and claimed two wickets for 53 runs.
Pakistan continued their good run against England and scored fourth 300 plus score since they landed in the English isles a month back. Pakistan had failed to defend or chase 300 plus runs during their England exploits while England twice chased 300 plus targets against Pakistan during the ODI series last month.
England require 349 runs to chase another 300 plus target from Pakistan and this should prove an easy task for the English batsmen keeping in view their recent form with the bat but the world cup matches have their own pressures and challenges.
In their chase of 349 runs, England have already lost two wickets for 62 runs in 10 overs. The wicket of Jason Roy (8) was claimed by Shadab Khan while Wahab Riaz outwitted Jonny Bairstow (32) through pace and bounce.