In case you missed it...
WICKET! Amir c & b Woakes (Pakistan 275 all out)
43rd over: Pakistan 275 (Shah 26) “We’ve entered into the realm of farce,” quips Atherton, after Chris Woakes bowls a slower ball that bounces at his toes. Moments before, a top edge from Amir sees Buttler race away to square leg and dive in vain to make amends for an earlier drop. A four smashed over cover and then another skyer sees Woakes call himself... and take it! That’s the game – England win by 169 runs!
42nd over: Pakistan 268-9 (Yasir 26, Amir 52) Ali comes back and it’s quite the over! A misfield sees a single taken, before Shah charges and is nearly brilliantly caught by Root at cover, who gets finger tips to the ball. Then Shah, back on strike, slog sweeps Ali for four, just beyond the dive of Jason Roy in the deep.
41st over: Pakistan 260-9 (Shah 20, Amir 50) Amir’s at it again – two consecutive sixes over midwicket! Make that three!!! The third goes into the sightscreen behind Rashid to take Amir to a 22-bll half-century! The second six also saw him break the record for the highest ODI score for a number 11. No record is safe!
40th over: Pakistan 241-9 (Yasir 19, Amir 32) What bat speed from Amir! Wood, around the wicket, goes for a in-swinger to cramp the leftie for room, but Amir flashes one through point for four. Tries to finish his set of 10 with a yorker but over-shoots and is driven through cover for four. One for 75 for Wood...
39th over: Pakistan 231-9 (Shah 19, Amir 23) Gorgeous shot from Amir as he drives Rashid, against the spin, through extra cover, having given himself room to slap across the line to leg.
38th over: Pakistan 221-9 (Shah 17, Amir 14) Yes, Yasir! He’s not going to hang back to Mark Wood, clearing the font foot to larrup the quick over wide long off for four. Tries to go even bigger but gets a top edge to square leg that is... DROPPED by Buttler! That’s a dolly. He did the work to get there, had the mitts and still shelled it! Seemed to close the gloves early.
37th over: Pakistan 214-9 (Shah 11, Amir 13) Amir, having been done by a few googlies from Rashid, decides to just clear his front leg and smear a delivery to midwicket for four. Ooooo and now a six! The very next ball! What that means now is that Pakistan will not succumb to their heaviest defeat, which they “achieved” when they were skittled for 75 against Sri Lanka in pursuit of 310.
36th over: Pakistan 202-9 (Shah 10, Amir 2) “England since last summer have been awesome,” starts Chris Evans. “But their consistent excellence is really making wonder why they haven’t played like this for the last three bloody years?” It’s a good question, Chris. It was telling when Andrew Strauss took on the role as director of cricket and immediately stated that he wanted England to focus on limited-overs cricket. You could sense that, even as a player, he thought the tactics and personnel used indicated that the team were almost a generation behind current trends.
WICKET! Riaz LBW Wood 14 (Pakistan 199-9)
Riaz is sent hopping on the crease as Wood spears one into his pads. There’s no bat, but Riaz reviews almost instantly. And you can kind of see why: impact with leg stump seems at the very limit of “Umpire’s Call”.
35th over: Pakistan 198-8 (Riaz 14, Yasir 8) Rashid is close to a third wicket as Shah sends a skewed edge high to midwicket which plugs between two converging fielders. “Surely this is the more relevant Gene Wilder clip,” writes Kieron Shaw. “It pretty much covers being an English cricket fan, whatever the circumstances...”
34th over: Pakistan 194-8 (Riaz 11, Shah 7) Fair play: most of the crowd have stayed put. Riaz and Shah don’t look like they have anywhere to be, either. A sedate over by Wood’s standards see three from it.
33rd over: Pakistan 191-8 (Riaz 9, Shah 6) Somehow, Yasir Shah manages to deliberately cut between the keeper and first slip for four. He sort of jams down on the ball – keeping it on the ground – yet still bisecting a gap that must only have been about a yard wide.
32nd over: Pakistan 183-8 (Riaz 6, Shah 1) Back to pace on the ball now – Mark Wood comes into the attack for Moeen and is immediately in the high eighties.
31st over: Pakistan 180-8 (Riaz 5, Shah 0) Riaz strikes to deep midwicket but a fielder keeps it to one. An attempted hack into the floodlights away at square leg brings four leg byes as Buttler and leg slip are distracted by the flashing blade. He falls though – a decent cameo that momentarily saw his ODI average reach 101.
WICKET! Nawaz c Morgan b Rashid 34 (Pakistan 180-8)
Nawaz doesn’t quite get to a full length ball from Rashid and drives straight into the hands of Morgan at mid off.
30th over: Pakistan 174-7 (Nawaz 33, Riaz 4) Just three singles as more good work from Ali keeps the attacking shots at bay. Some snap, this:
29th over: Pakistan 171-7 (Nawaz 31, Riaz 3) Bit of aggression from Riaz as he thumps Rashid square but good work from Alex Hales saves a couple of runs. The game might be petering out, but England are still diving about Fair play to them. Phil Withall emails in: “I got up for work at 4.25 and did my usual zombie like shuffle around the house before checking the score. Please confirm that the events I am reading about are real and not the result of a sleep deprived imagination.” Do not adjust your set, Phil. England are white ball monsters. This is the world we live in now.
28th over: Pakistan 164-7 (Nawaz 27, Riaz 0) One run and a wicket, as Moeen uses the situation to buff his figures.
WICKET! Hasan b Moeen 4 (Pakistan 164-7)
Proper off spinner’s wicket – flight, drift, grip, spin, gate, through, off stump, pinned.
27th over: Pakistan 163-6 (Nawaz 26, Hasan 4) See below.
26th over: Pakistan 159-6 (Nawaz 23, Hasan 3) Another tight over from Hasan Ali. You’d assume these two might want to give it some humpty instead of dabbing the ball around here and there. Ah well.
25th over: Pakistan 158-6 (Nawaz 23, Hasan 1) Sarfraz goes. If the game had long gone, now, so has the entertainment. Here’s some Gene:
WICKET! Sarfraz c Root b Rashid 38 (Pakistan 155-6)
An attempted slog sweep goes high in the air and Root, originally at first slip, waddles over to leg slip to take a simple high catch.
24th over: Pakistan 155-5 (Sarfraz 38, Nawaz 22) A couple of fours for Nawaz, albeit unconvincing ones. A clump down the ground plugs and dribbles to the long off sponge, before a late cut is just out of the reach of first slip. A patented Mo Ali beamer is dabbed to point for two. That sort of game now.
23rd over: Pakistan 140-5 (Sarfraz 38, Nawaz 8) Plunkett has a blow to allow Adil Rashid a go. No great signs of turn, but a leading edge from Sarfraz almost gives Rashid a return catch. Luckily for Safraz, Rashid is about as tall as Feivel from An American Tail.
22nd over: Pakistan 136-5 (Sarfraz 35, Nawaz 7) Excellent strike for Sarfraz, who turns a full ball from Moeen Ali into a full toss and sweeps hard square for four.
21st over: Pakistan 131-5 (Sarfraz 30, Nawaz 7) Unlucky for Plunkett, as Sarfraz inside-edges past his own stumps for four. “So what’s the biggest ever margin victory one day sort of thing?” asks Paul Grifin. Well, Paul, the greatest margin of victory is 290, when New Zealand beat Ireland after scoring 403 at Aberdeen in 2008. England’s greatest victory came last year, actually, against New Zealand. The full list of sizeable ODI margins can be found here.
20th over: Pakistan 123-5 (Sarfraz 25, Nawaz 4) Quite tame in the end as Moeen Ali varies his pace, preventing both batsmen from effectively using their feet against him. The hit straight down the ground, as you could tell from the first innings, is fairly short.
19th over: Pakistan 120-5 (Sarfraz 24, Nawaz 2) Nawaz gives it the Neo from The Matrix sway to avoid a fierce bumper from around the wicket, as Plunkett looks to test the left-hander’s nerve. That required rate is 10.48 by the way. Moeen Ali will take the next over.
18th over: Pakistan 119-5 (Sarfraz 24, Nawaz 1) Stokes honing his wide yorkers well enough to nearly cause a run out, as Sarfraz is desperate to keep the runs ticking over. A change of line brings a lovely swish across the line through square leg only for Plunkett to field brilliantly to save two. Sarfraz has the last say in the over with a four through extra cover.
17th over: Pakistan 112-5 (Sarfraz 18, Nawaz 1) Apparently that delivery to remove Malik was 90mph. I say “apparently” because it looked a heck of a lot quicker than that. Mohammad Nawaz, the allrounder, comes in.
WICKET! Malik c Buttler b Plunkett 1 (Pakistan 108-5)
Seriously quick from Plunkett but a non-shot from Malik, as he tries to drive a short length delivery (yes, really).
16th over: Pakistan 107-4 (Sarfraz 15, Malik 1) The wicket of Azam brings on drinks and the floodlights, as Shoaib Malik strides to the crease. Single off the final ball.
WICKET! Azam c Morgan b Stokes 17 (Pakistan 107-4)
Pace off the ball and a bit of grip sees Azam offer a leading edge to Morgan at cover. Easy as.
15th over: Pakistan 107-3 (Azam 8, Sarfraz 17) Sarfraz is onto Plunkett again, pulling him in front of square – and the man in the deep – for another boundary.
14th over: Pakistan 100-3 (Sarfraz 11, Azam 8) The ton up for Pakistan with a single to square leg. In any other situation, they’d be on for a very healthy score. The required rate has drifted about 9.5...
13th over: Pakistan 98-3 (Sarfraz 10, Azam 7) Plunkett’s second over gets taken for eight as Sarfraz picks up a short ball early and finds a gap at midwicket for four. Good pick-up.
12th over: Pakistan 90-3 (Azam 6, Sarfraz 3) Ben Stokes gets his first bowl of the series. He says he has found not bowling “boring” and finds himself at a loss in the field (presumably the times in between taking outrageous catches). An assortment of slower balls keeps the usually busy Sarfraz quiet.
11th over: Pakistan 86-3 (Azam 4, Sarfraz 1) The calm after the storm. Sharjeel’s departure brings a halt to the boundary blitz. Three from the over in singles, albeit one from a very nice straight drive which takes out the nonstriker’s leg stump.
SHARJEEL KHAN BRINGS UP HIS HALF-CENTURY (26 BALLS!)
10th over: Pakistan 83-3 (Azam 2) He’s out though **sad face**. That was great fun. Consecutive fours off the first two balls took him to a second ODI fifty. Woakes does him with a slower ball which he misses completely. But in attempting to repeat the trick, Woakes is smashed for six over midwicket. For futile context, England were 64-1 after their first Power Play...
WICKET! Sharjeel c Stokes b Woakes 58 (Pakistan 83-3)
Huge shame, that. Sharjeel Khan, having obliterated Woakes during that over, nails one straight to Stokes, who is basically sat in the front row.
9th over: Pakistan 69-2 (Sharjeel 44, Azam 2) Brilliant from Sharjeel Khan. He’s keeping his shape in every shot, but the noise off his bat is a pleasing, acoustic thunk, like that off a particularly lavish glockenspiel. He flips three fours off Mark Wood through backward square leg, with a chip over mid on for another to add a bit of variety. He tries another flip off his legs to the final ball but finds Alex Hales in the deep who... drops him!
8th over: Pakistan 52-2 (Sharjeel 27, Azam 2) An attempted hoik down the ground plugs fo two. An attempted swipe is caught. And so Azhar Ali’s nightmare of a day ends. The Pakistan captain looks like he could do with a brew and a bath.
WICKET! Azhar c Rashid b Woakes 13 (Pakistan 50-2)
Azhar tries to go big. But Azhar trying to go big is like Will Smith trying to go toe-to-toe with the NWA. Caught slicing to third man, who has to run in from the boundary to take the catch.
7th over: Pakistan 48-1 (Sharjeel 27, Azhar 11) A first over without a boundary, though Mark Wood tests Jos Buttler’s reach with a high bouncer. Better from Wood, though, as he looks to cramp the batsmen for room (and succeeds).
6th over: Pakistan 45-1 (Sharjeel 27, Azhar 10) Seems like shoddy fielding is contagious. An easy gather at cover point is fluffed by Morgan and allows Sharjeel Khan’s push to go for four. A single brings Azhar on the strike, who gives it the full maker’s name for four through mid on.
5th over: Pakistan 34-1 (Sharjeel 22, Azhar 4) Ooof, real class from Sharjeel Khan. Wood bowls what looks a good length delivery, but Sharjeel pulls it ferociously through straight midwicket for four. Wood decides to go fuller and this one – 95mph! – is timed through wide mid on for four. Now Azhar gets off the mark with an easy tuck through square leg. Belting pitch, this – 13 from that Wood over. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands...
4th over: Pakistan 21-1 (Sharjeel 13, Azhar 0) After three dots to start, Aslam was always going to try for the big shot. Didn’t come off, though. No tinkering with the order as Azhar Ali comes out at number three to dot out the remaining two deliveries to give Woakes a wicket maiden. Why wouldn’t you promote Sarfraz Ahmed in this situation?
WICKET! Aslam c Ali b Woakes 8 (Pakistan 21-1)
Aslam is rushed into a pull shot, which he cloths straight to Moeen Ali stationed at a catching square leg. Easy as you like.
3rd over: Pakistan 21-0 (Aslam 8, Sharjeel 13) The pace of Wood, for all the thrills, is being embraced. First by Aslam, who drops one beyond the dive of Ben Stokes at second slip to get four through third man. Then, with one on his hip, Sharjeel Khan times nicely in front of square on the leg side.
2nd over: Pakistan 10-0 (Aslam 2, Sharjeel 8) Looks like both left-handers are willing to go after the short ball. And fair play to them. Sami Aslam only gets one as he finds Adil Rashid at fine leg on the bounce, but Sharjeel Khan gets four through square leg. Chris Woakes isn’t happy.
1st over: Pakistan 5-0 (Aslam 1, Sharjeel 4) An appeal first ball as Mark Wood hits Sami Aslam on the front pad. Not out is the call and England don’t seem too fussed with that... but the replays show that it pitched in line and would have smashed into leg stump. A dabbed single and then Sharjeel Khan announces himself with a four through extra cover. Pakistan now need 440 from the remaining 49 overs...
Any excuse to dig this up again – South Africa’s chase from *that* ODI. Most startling bit for me is when the South African team jump off the balcony. At the time, I had no idea it was only a three foot drop.
Evening all. Now, what the hell was that?! Seems only right to start my stint with this email from David Brown: “Surely even the most pessimistic/ardent fan can’t have the slightest Fear. This is enough right?” If Pakistan get a good start...
Phew! So just how much is there to take in from all that? England’s best ever individual and collective ODI scores. Another astonishing display of belligerent brilliance from Jos Buttler. A silky smooth big score for Joe Root. Eoin Morgan continuing his return to form in style. And then Pakistan’s sloppiness in the field. Wahab Riaz going for the second most expensive ODI figures of all time (0 for 110). Who would have thought, 18 months ago, that we’d be writing about England’s batting line-up as the most potent and brutal in one-day cricket, but they look pretty damn close to that now, albeit that today they have been up against an inexperienced and hopelessly outclassed Pakistan, who’ve got a job of rebuilding to do.
I’m going to stick my neck out here and say England will win this. But you never know, and there may be more landmarks and records to chew over later. Vish will be here shortly to talk you through Pakistan’s reply. Thanks for your company and emails.
England 444-3 off 5o overs – a world record ODI total!
50th over: England 444-3 (Buttler 90, Morgan 57) Hasan Ali has the unenviable task of bowling the final over – he’s inexperienced but has bowled well today, and concedes only one off the first ball when Buttler pulls the ball straight into Morgan’s midriff at the non-striker’s end. A solitary bye ensues when Morgan plays and misses at a decent short-ish ball, leaving Buttler with three balls to slog towards a century. He can’t get there though, a wide slower ball giving the batsman nothing to work with – he plays and misses, then does so again, leaving four needed off the last ball to reach the all-time world record ODI total. WHICH HE DOES! Buttler makes room for himself and cracks it over extra-cover for four. Incredible performance. (And almost as a footnote, that was a really good over from Hasan – possibly the best of the whole innings)
49th over: England 438-3 (Buttler 85, Morgan 57) Amir bowls his last over, beginning with a dot ball and conceding two off the second, to Buttler. But the batsman is irrepressible and he slices a low teasing full-toss somehow over extra-cover for four. Two more follow before Amir anticipates Buttler’s movement and spears in a fine ball through him down the legside. A single completes a relatively frugal over.
England reach highest ever ODI total
48th over: England 429-3 (Buttler 76, Morgan 57) Wahab bowls his final over: can he reach his own ignominious century? He surely can. Buttler hammers the first ball of the over into the crowd for six to bring up ENGLAND’S RECORD. Then Pakistan’s hideous afternoon is encapsulated when Buttler is clean bowled off a no-ball. The only consolation is that Buttler swings and misses at the free hit. He adds a single before Morgan punishes a shorter ball and swings it into the stand over deep midwicket to bring up a fine fifty. The next ball is sent into the same part of the same stand. The all-time record, 443 is surely in reach now.
Mohammad Amir, earlier:
47th over: England 405-3 (Buttler 69, Morgan 45) How do you cope with such an adept ramp-er and scoop-er as Buttler? Amir would like to know, as Buttler sends his first ball over the keeper to the boundary for four. You could try a fuller attempted yorker length outside off-stump, I s’pose, but Buttler stretches and sends one such skimming through extra cover for four. He has a wide called harshly against him before a good yorker is dug out and they run two more to bring up England’s 400, and four leg-byes round off the over for the luckless Amir, courtesy of another terrible misfield by Babar at fine leg. This record is in the bag anyhow.
“In honour of another astonishing batting performance,” writes Robert Taylor, “I’d like to pose this question: How well would the best of England’s retired ODI cricketers fair against this current team?
My (very debatable) team: Trescothick, Knight, Pieterson, Robin Smith, Hick/Collingwood, Stewart + Botham, Flintoff, Gough, Swann/Willis Underwood”
46th over: England 389-3 (Buttler 58, Morgan 45) Wahab continues, having conceded 80 off his previous eight overs, and Morgan inside-edges a single down to fine leg. Wahab then sends down the kind of wide you’d half-expect to see at the end of such a merciless afternoon. Morgan cuts for a single but Wahab is belatedly finding a bit of a strategy here, bowling straighter and mixing it up his pace, such that there are no boundaries at all from it. A triumph.
45th over: England 383-3 (Buttler 56, Morgan 42) To think people were fretting a tad about Hales and Morgan only four short days ago: he swipes Amir over deep midwicket for another SIX before inside-edging down to fine leg for a flukey four, prompting the bowler to smile awkwardly at his rank bad luck, which for him began in the very first over with a dreadful misfield. Morgan cracks another four on the offside, just for hits and giggles, before a single and a two and a bye – the last off a very good ball down the legside that cuts Buttler in half – round off the over. Who’d be a bowler in one-day cricket at Trent Bridge?
44th over: England 365-3 (Buttler 54, Morgan 27) No sooner do Pakistan produce something impressive in the field than they do something unutterably sloppy, the normally reliable Yasir spilling a mistimed Morgan skyer from Wahab’s bowling. A sitter. The punishment is predictably uncompromising – Morgan cracking a straight six at the sightscreen, followed by a delicious rasping square drive for four, as lovely a shot as many of the sixes. This is now England’s joint highest ODI total, with six overs still to go and the record of 408 in sight.
43rd over: England 352-3 (Buttler 54, Morgan 14) Some rare and excellent Pakistan fielding, from Hasan Ali, after he tries to catch another almighty Morgan slog off Amir over deep midwicket – it’s heading way over the ropes but Hasan manages to grab it, and though he can’t cling on for the catch without his momentum taking him over the boundary, he tosses it back onto the outfield to ensure only two runs are conceded. Three more singles follow to complete a really rather good over in the circumstances.
42nd over: England 347-3 (Buttler 53, Morgan 10). Utter mayhem. This is a proper catching practice session for punters in the Radcliffe Road end stand – Buttler thrashes another straight drive off Shoaib high towards its patrons for SIX more. It appears to have landed in someone’s pint, prompting the ball to be examined for damage. Adds a bit of zest and tang to your poncey craft beer I guess. A couple of singles follow before Buttler makes room for himself and belts another SIX into the same stand. The next SIX is even better, clouted over wide long-on into the crowd, where a bold punter dives at the fence for the catch and falls over it, attempting cheekily to claim it. What can we end the over with? Yup, another SIX – this one is almost taken in the deep but just clears the fielder and dobs down just beyond the ropes. Buttler has 5o already, off 22 balls.
41st over: England 321-3 (Buttler 28, Morgan 9). Will the third power play bring Pakistan any respite? No, frankly. Hasan’s first delivery is played at and missed but Buttler scoops the following one down to fine leg for four. A no-ball/free-hit combo brings five more, Buttler belting the no-strings delivery, a low full toss, over extra-cover for four. Three more singles ensue. This partnership is worth 38 from 19 deliveries already – 400 is on.
40th over: England 309-3 (Buttler 18, Morgan 8). Nawaz bowls his final over, and Buttler takes a figurative axe to the spinner’s hitherto relatively tidy figures, hammering two consecutive sixes, over midwicket and straight over the bowler’s head respectively. It takes England beyond 300. A single gives Morgan a chance to join the festivities and he too takes aim at the top tier of the Radcliffe Road stand, belting Nawaz’s final delivery of the innings over the top for six. And there ends Pakistan’s brief spell of, if not quite ascendance, then at least not being humiliated.
39th over: England 289-3 (Buttler 5, Morgan 1). You can hear Pakistan’s supporters for the first time all afternoon, and to encourage them further Hasan beats Buttler outside off-stump and follows it up with an inswinger into the batsman’s pads that prompts a stifled lbw appeal – a leg-bye follows. A slip is duly brought in, and suddenly England are casting around for mere singles, as a risky single that has Morgan diving at the non-striker’s end demonstrates. A really good over is undermined at its end by a lazy full-toss that is clipped away by Buttler for his first four.
Wicket! Root c Sarfraz b Nawaz 85
38th over: England 283-3 (Buttler 1). As suspected, Jos Buttler is sent in at No4 in an attempt to twist the knife. Root takes a single off Nawaz, who then beats Buttler with a lovely ball that grips and rips past the new batsman’s outside edge. A couple of singles follow before Nawaz finally – finally – gets the wicket he deserves, inducing an inside-edge behind from Root to end an excellent innings. Suddenly, Pakistan’s weary, battered attack finds itself bowling at two new batsmen.
Wicket! Hales lbw b Hasan 171 (England's highest ever individual ODI score)
37th over: England 281-2 (Root 84). Eventful and groundbreaking over as Hales reaches England’s highest ever individual score and is then dismissed. It starts with a review! Hasan has a big, and rare, shout for lbw against Hales after a full toss hits him low on the pad as he attempts to sweep, though it looked like it was drifting down the legside. Hasan decides to review it – there’s no reason not to at this stage after all – and after the umpires take an eternity to get to ball tracking, the outcome we all suspected – that it was going down leg – is confirmed. It even pitched outside. They had taken one so Root faces the next delivery, which is an above-waist-height no-ball that Root guides down to third man, giving Hales a free hit to reach the England record score. Extraordinary. When your lucks in … though Hales can only eke out a single off the added delivery, to go level with Robin Smith’s score.
Then, a run-out review! Root takes a quick single and faces a tight call as the direct hit prompts another Pakistan appeal, though replays confirm he was in. Before HISTORY IS MADE as Hales pulls a shorter ball across the line for four to reach the landmark record score. A magnificent performance in the circumstances. And then wouldn’t you know it - he’s OUT NEXT BALL, hit on the boot by a yorker. He reviews it but it looked plumb at the time, and he’s gone.
36th over: England 272-1 (Hales 165, Root 82). Root is beginning to cut loose now and he unfurls another crunching drive, off Malik, for four more. Hales, meanwhile, is closing in on England’s highest ever ODI individual score – Robin Smith’s old-cricket 167 in 1993 – with four more on the legside followed by a single in this over. Root top-edges on the legside for two to complete another cruel and expensive over.
35th over: England 260-1 (Hales 160, Root 75). Wahab continues and beats Hales with a decent attempted yorker outside off stump. Hales cuts for one before Root hoiks a back-of-a-length ball over deep midwicket for four. Root adds a single to give Hales a chance to belt the leather off another delivery, this one straight past mid-off for another four. The 30th four of the innings follows, Hales thumping it over mid-on. Even Wahab’s better overs are being brutally punished
34th over: England 246-1 (Hales 151, Root 70). Shoaib Malik gets his first bowl of the innings, and begins with a clever dot ball, straight and just short of a length to foil the advancing batsman. Root sweeps for one before short fine leg misfields a similar shot from Hales, and gifts England another run. A delicious reverse-sweep just behind square on the offside gives Root four more. Such is Pakistan’s desperation that a sweep and miss that hits Root on the back way outside the line attracts a half-hearted lbw shout – it goes for two leg-byes.
So what is the problem with Pakistan’s ODI cricket in the modern era? This statistical nugget suggests it’s not just about the current set-up:
33rd over: England 238-1 (Hales 150, Root 65). Wahab Riaz looks a broken man – strumming his guitar on the porch and lamenting the loss of his dog – and Hales punishes him again with a pull just backward of square on the legside for four before swatting away a slower-ball bouncer in a manner that makes the bowler look utterly innocuous to add one more to the total. A Root single gives Hales the chance to swipe another four away on the legside and reach another landmark – the highest ever ODI score by an England player against Pakistan, and the 200 partnership. To twist the knife further, Wahab has a ball outside off stump called wide and Hales slashes and edges the extra ball over the top of the keeper for four to bring up his 150. And more drinks are needed.
32nd over: England 223-1 (Hales 137, Root 64). Nawaz, Pakistan’s best bowler so far, returns to bowl his eighth over, and immediately outfoxes Hales with drift and bounce and induces a hack-and-miss. Two singles follow before Hales offers up a half-chance square-cutting high but just wide of the diving Yasir Shah. It goes for four instead, such has been Pakistan’s day. Another belligerent and much more controlled square cut for four takes Hales to his highest ever ODI score. A single completes an expensive over.
In other news, South Africa have beaten New Zealand by 204 runs to win their two-match series 1-0.
31st over: England 212-1 (Hales 127, Root 63). The original ball now does come back into play for Wahab’s return to the attack. There are singles straight away for Root then Hales before the former gets an easy four with a purposefully slashed edge through the vacant slip area to the third man boundary. At this stage, Michael Holding is just imploring Wahab to just bowl straight and true, though both batsmen are seeing it like a football and Root pulls another easy single to deep midwicket. A thick-edged single from Hales rounds up another satisfying over for England. They’ll be disappointed with less than 350 now.
30th over: England 204-1 (Hales 125, Root 57). Root clips the first delivery with the replacement ball, from Amir, on the legside for a single to bring up the 200 before they find the original but carry on with the new one. It’s a rare boundary-free over, which keeps Amir’s figures vaguely respectable in the context of this match (0 for 29 off six), but still brings five runs to keep England ticking over without a care in the world.
29th over: England 199-1 (Hales 122, Root 55). Yasir, who’s been one of Pakistan’s better bowlers, is now being taken on too, and Root wallops him over midwicket for four off the first ball of the over. He adds a single before Hales joins in and thumps him over the top for four. And then, to compound Pakistan’s woes, a DROP – Azhar Ali leaping high at a slashed drive from Hales but managing only to parry it. Hales responds with gleeful malice, slogging the next ball high over deep midwicket for SIX more. And they can’t find the ball.
28th over: England 182-1 (Hales 110, Root 50). Amir returns, and bamboozles Hales with a slower-ball bouncer that the batsmen attempts to hook and gets nowhere near. He does connect with the next ball, a firm pull to the square leg boundary for two. Pakistan’s fielders are being outrun by England’s batsmen at every turn here, as well as gifting them plenty through misfields, as they do here to give Hales another single. Then Rooot reaches the most minor-key, yet flawless, fifties you could wish to see with a deft dab down to third man. A hundred’s there for the taking for him too.
27th over: England 177-1 (Hales 107, Root 48). Yasir continues, and though he’s not being hammered to all parts, England are picking up ones and twos at will here, as well as finding the boundary when they want, as Hales does just in front of square on the offside with the last ball of the over.
26th over: England 169-1 (Hales 101, Root 46). Hales can go very big here, with only half of the innings completed, and he looks as if he knows it, though they take a modest three singles from this Hasan over. I’ve always been inclined to persist with Hales even in Tests, not least in the absence of really obvious replacements at the top of the order, even with the failings that have undermined his Test career, simply because of the manner in which he can dominate. The idea of leaving him out of the ODI squad certainly has always seemed absurd.
Alex Hales reaches 100!
25th over: England 166-1 (Hales 100, Root 44). A chastened Azhar Ali swiftly removes himself from the attack and hands spin responsibility back to Yasir Shah, who replaces him at the Pavilion End, and starts by ripping a turner past Hales’s outside edge. The Notts man adds a single before Root, who’s hit only three fours, does likewise. Hales drives down the ground to advance to 99, and Root again responds in kind, giving Hales the chance to BRING UP HIS HUNDRED, which he does with an effortless flick to midwicket. An emphatic, excellent innings.
24th over: England 161-1 (Hales 97, Root 42). Hasan – the only wicket-taker – returns to the attack at the Radcliffe Road End, and at least manages to put the lid on things a little. Root drives for an easy one and Hales does likewise to move within three of his century. Two more for Root follow
Neil Harris, whose earlier prediction of a 400 score I wrongly scoffed at, wonders if this is a Buttler at 4 sort of day. He might not even be needed at this rate.
23rd over: England 157-1 (Hales 96, Root 39). Carnage. Azhar Ali replaces Wahab, and manages to be even more expensive. Hales’s response is to have a go, clubbing his first ball straight past mid-on four four, and smiting a straight SIX over the bowler’s – and everyone else’s – head off the very next one. He biffs another single to deep midwicket before Root adds another, though it could have been more but for a good diving stop by Yasir Shah at backward point. Hales is having as much fun as he’s had all summer now and cracks Azhar through the covers for four more to bring the 150 up and adds four more – a crunching on-drive – to round off the over.
22nd over: England 137-1 (Hales 77, Root 38). A Hales single brings up a fine century partnership, before Root executes a risky-looking reverse-sweep that he manage to make look effortless and sensible for one more. A measure of the man. Nawaz is finding spin but also being milked for some ones and twos.
“I probably should have asked this earlier,” asks Harvey Lock, “but what is the advantage in taking the batting powerplay straight away? Surely it makes death overs tonking more difficult?” Death-overs tonking isn’t quite the be-all and end-all as it once was. All-overs tonking, general momentum at the top of the innings, and other such free-form craziness is much more the way of things now Harvey.
21st over: England 132-1 (Hales 74, Root 36). Wahab – sometimes the world’s most exciting bowler, sometimes its most maddening – continues, conceding a couple of singles before teasing the Pakistan supporters by taking a wicket with a no-ball. Wahab’s short-ish ball is pulled by Hales straight into the hands of deep midwicket. But it had been called by the third umpire, Erasmus, straight away, who under the new high-tech system in place had zapped his decision onto umpire Fry’s wristwatch to make it look all natural and instinctive. Root then slashes, and slashes hard, over the top of the keeper for four more. A single rounds off another cripplingly expensive over. And we can now say that England are emphatically on top.
20th over: England 122-1 (Hales 72, Root 30). Pakistan continue to give away too many singles – one each at the start of the over – before Hales plays his best shot against spin so far, rocking back, swivelling and cracking it through the gaps on the onside for four. The shot’s status as Hales’s best against spin so far lasts only one ball – the next one is clobbered, against the spin, over long-on for SIX. Nawaz’s neat figures have been rather messed up there.
19th over: England 110-1 (Hales 61, Root 28). An eventful over. Wahab finds some movement off the seam, which surprises both Root and Sarfraz behind the stumps, both of whom miss it, gifting England four byes. This just doesn’t feel like Wahab’s kind of pitch, or day. The best bit of outcricket from Pakistan so far features Shoaib Malik diving heroically at the third man boundary to deny Hales’s footwork-free offside carve a four. They take two instead. Hales then throws his bat at it recklessly, going for the straight drive and edging high into the air behind him but Shoaib this time can’t get there in time. They take two instead.
18th over: England 101-1 (Hales 57, Root 27). Nawaz continues, and is milked for a couple more singles to take England to 100. He’s bowled very well, Nawaz, but if there’s one batsman you’d trust to have the measure of him it’s Root, who looks pretty serene out there, and hasn’t fallen into any traps.
17th over: England 98-1 (Hales 56, Root 25). Pace returns at the Pavilion End, with Wahab back for his second over, the first ball of which is fired awkwardly into Hales’s upper thigh, but the opener gets right on top of the next one, which he deftly pulls down towards the fine leg boundary for four and a vital fifty. We all know Hales has proved himself more in ODI cricket than Tests anyway but in the context of a tough summer, this is a big knock. As if to acknowledge that, he pulls a rank long hop to the square leg boundary for four with gleeful abandon. Wahab switches to round the wicket, but he still drops short, and Hales pulls again – this time only down to fine leg via one bounce for a single. A quick Root single completes a productive over for England.
And that’s drinks.
16th over: England 88-1 (Hales 47, Root 24). The left-arm spinner Nawaz really isn’t giving England much room at all, finding a pleasing variety of pace and length, and Hales isn’t looking anything like as comfortable as he did against the quicks. The batsmen take a single each but nowt more, and the final ball of the over is a beauty, turning sharply and ripping past Root’s outside edge.
15th over: England 86-1 (Hales 46, Root 23). There’s a bit of grip in this paceless pitch for the spinners, though Root on song can play spin with effortless class and he sweeps to the square leg boundary with exquisite timing for four. A reverse-sweep single completes a better over for England.
“With Gillespie set to move on, who’s the likely candidate for the Yorkshire coach?” asks Tom v d Gucht, blurring the line between Yorkshire discussions and England discussions in the time-honoured fashion. “My money is on Peter Moores crossing the pennines and repeating his successes with Lancashire and Sussex; helping Yorkshire achieve the treble next year (one day, county champions and T20) before his fresh success propels to him take over as the England coach for a third bite at the cherry.”
14th over: England 78-1 (Hales 45, Root 17). A tight over from Nawaz, conceding only one single. His three overs have yielded only six runs, and have certainly stopped the game getting away from Pakistan.
13th over: England 78-1 (Hales 45, Root 16). England continue to prosper from lax fielding as Root scurries for another with nothing more than a straightforward push to mid-off. Hales and Root milk a couple more before Hales swipes Yasir over midwicket for four – not the most delicate of shots but struck with conviction. He’s a bit too cocky next ball though, trying to hit Yasir over the top but it was pushed through more quickly, span away a little and Hales just whacks it into his pad, adding a single. Root has made his way painlessly and quietly to 16
12th over: England 71-1 (Hales 40, Root 14). Nawaz continues, and generally manages to deny the batsmen much room. There’s a flicked single for Root before Nawaz finds Hales’s edge with just a fraction of turn but it falls wide of slip. This is better from Pakistan.
11th over: England 68-1 (Hales 39, Root 12). Straight into power play 2 then, and we have spin at both ends now, with Yasir on at the Pavilion End. Hales carves a single out to deep cover, and Root grubs out another with a drive to mid-off. Two more off-side singles complete a fairly decent over. Spin has enabled Pakistan to stem the flow a little here.
10th over: England 64-1 (Hales 37, Root 10). Time for a bit of spin as the returning Nawaz gets the final over of the first power play. It’s tight and accurate too, yielding only singles to Root and Hales. Spin might have something to offer here.
“Afternoon Tom.” Afternoon Chris Dew. “Just saying you’re not going to hex is provocation enough to induce the hex. Out you go, spit and curse time.”
9th over: England 62-1 (Hales 36, Root 9). The first bowling change, and it’s Wahab on for Amir. Hales cuts towards wide third man for a single, the presence of three fielders either side of square on the offside cleary there to tempt Hales in one of his strong/susceptible areas. A Root pull-shot adds a single before Hales mows, a tad agriculturally, at a wide one outside off-stump without any footwork but it skims along the ground to the boundary for four.
8th over: England 56-1 (Hales 31, Root 8). The most profitable over of an already productive afternoon for England. Roooooot starts it off with his first four of the day – a sumptuous back foot drive past backward point. A legside clip off a no-ball brings three more – and a free hit. Hales tucks in, swinging hard and high and into the stand for SIX, and chops towards third man for a single to complete the over. Is it just my bias towards bowlers that makes me sometimes wonder whether free hits are a slightly excessive punishment? There are worse sins than over-stepping, one might venture. Just throwing it out there as a bit of modest click-bait anyhow.
7th over: England 41-1 (Hales 24, Root 1). Hales plays his first rank bad shot of the day, a ludicrously laid-back waft outside off-stump at a teasing delivery Amir slanted across him, but there’s not enough pace on in it for it to carry to the keeper. Less than urgent fielding gifts Hales another two in front of square on the legside when Wahab Riaz might have stepped a bit livelier to restrict them to one. A rather smarter stop at extra cover denies a crunching Hales drive a certain four at the end of the over.
6th over: England 39-1 (Hales 22, Root 1). Hales takes another single off the first ball of the over before HASAN STRIKES, drawing Roy into an attempted pull on the legside but the ball isn’t exactly pinging off the pitch and the batsman gloves it into the hands of Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps. Root gets of the mark with an easy single, before Hales punishes one that’s pushed a bit too far towards the legside and flicks it nonchalantly through midwicket for four. Lovely shot. I’m not going to even hex it by saying Hales looks in lovely touch, but let’s just say this has been a classy 22 so far. And leave it at that.
Wicket! Roy c Sarfraz b Hasan 15, England 33-1
Well that came from nowhere. Roy top-edges a shorter ball from Hasan, gets onto the shot too quickly and it loops behind to the keeper for a simple catch.
5th over: England 32-0 (Roy 15, Hales 16). Amir is bowling reasonably well here – nothing loose, plenty of thinking and variety – but Roy manages to get another four when he clubs a shorter ball round the corner towards the fine leg boundary. A quick well-run single to the leg-gully area follows, and Amir looks a bit miffed with proceedings.
4th over: England 26-0 (Roy 10, Hales 15). Hales and Roy milk Hasan for singles at the start of the over before Hales elegantly square drives on the offside through the gaps for four more. There’s not much going on for the bowlers, though Hasan manages to discomfort Roy with one that jags back a little into his pads, conceding a leg-bye. A quick single then rounds off another free and easy over for England.
3rd over: England 18-0 (Roy 8, Hales 10). Amir puts two slips in place for Hales, as he looks to slant the ball off the seam against the right-hander, but Hales manages to on-drive firmly at one speared into his pads, which is ACTUALLY RETRIEVED BEFORE IT HITS THE ROPES. Just. Three ensue. A well-earned four follows, Roy sending a textbook punchy drive past mid-off to the boundary. This could be a long afternoon for Pakistan.
2nd over: England 11-0 (Roy 4, Hales 7). Hasan Ali gets the ball at the Ratcliffe Road End and Hales turns his first ball away on the legside for two before the second four of the day also comes from abysmal fielding, Babar letting Hales’s back-foot drive through his legs at extra cover. Hasan has pace, but the pitch doesn’t appear to, and it’s a comfortable over for the batsman.
1st over: England 4-0 (Roy 4, Hales 0). Mohammad Amir opens up from the Pavilion End, over the wicket and keeps Roy honest with four dot balls before England get up and running when Roy’s simple clip through square leg is fumbled five yards short of the boundary onto the ropes for a frankly stupid four. Amir didn’t deserve that – it was a decent over.
The players are on their way out, Trent Bridge is looking resplendent as ever, the finest international cricket ground in England, maybe even the world (why can’t all modernised sporting arenas be like this?), and Neil Harris (not, presumably, the Millwall manager) is feeling optimistic: “England batting first, glorious weather. Short boundaries. We must be set for 400?” I’m still not quite used to this sort of talk, myself.
Meanwhile, Nick Knight, doing his obligatory Sky trail for other stuff, intones “Transfer deadline day … when will it end?” with what I like to think is strong and appropriate sarcasm.
The Spin is in, and this week John Ashdown talks about Ian Bell – as polarising a figure as Kevin Pietersen, he argues – and the historic allure of the great comeback.
Read it all here:
England: Hales, Roy, Root, Morgan (capt), Stokes, Buttler (wk), Moeen, Woakes, Rashid, Plunkett, Wood
Pakistan: Sami, Sharjeel, Azhar (capt), Babar, Sarfraz (wk), Malik, Nawaz, Yasir, Wahab, Hasan, Amir
England win the toss and bat
Eoin Morgan has no hesitation in deciding that an unchanged England will bat first on a glorious looking sunny day. Morgan swashes away questions about Bangladesh – ‘we’ve still got 10 days’ – and just says ‘today is a day for playing cricket’. Azhar Ali says he would have batted first also on this pitch, though he reckons it will still be a decent enough surface to bat second on.
Bits and bobs: In other news, New Zealand are currently toiling at 69 for four in pursuit of an already unreachable-looking target of 400 in the second Test against South Africa at Centurion, though given that they were seven for four at one point, it could be even worse.
Alastair Cook has confirmed his place on the tour of Bangladesh, and Ian Bell has signed up for the Big Bash but hasn’t ruled out fluttering his eyelashes and beckoning an England return should he get back near his best.
And a tremendous climax to the County Championship season looks in the offing, so why not read Gary Naylor’s county cricket talking points while we’re waiting:
Afternoon everyone. So, England stand on the verge of a rare summer-ending ODI series victory. For all the team’s new perkiness post-2015 World Cup, England’s habit of running out of steam towards the end of a summer, or tour, has remained a problem (think South Africa’s recovery from 0-2 down to win the ODI series earlier this year, or last year’s Australian victory). Indeed, England have not won the final ODI series of a home summer since 2011, when a tired India were seen off and we waved our tearful farewells to Rahul Dravid.
This time though, surely, England can see this one through. They’ve barely had to break sweat to win the first two matches against a Pakistan side whose scoring rate has been so retro you half expect them to take the field in whites and cite Boycott and Brearley’s opening stand at the 1979 World Cup final for inspiration. They may be world No1 in Tests but Pakistan have thus far lived down to their ODI ranking of 9, so perhaps it will be in everyone’s interest if they’re given a chase today and England get to bat first and lash out a bit.
Not least because there is more focus on the batting than bowling presently. The quicks are flinging it down with successful abandon but poor old Alex Hales at the top of the order continues to labour under all the scrutiny. He needs to follow his captain out of the doldrums pronto, in order to clear his head for any Bangladesh and India tour obligations he may be invited to pursue.
England also have the chance to go an entire one-day summer unbeaten, so don’t go anywhere. Toss and team news coming up.