About the Match
England went up 4-0 against Pakistan after winning the 4th ODI by 4 wickets; the two teams will play each other in the 5th and final ODI at Cardiff on 4th September. The hosts had already taken the series with three straight wins but denied Pakistan any chance to victory by chasing down 248 runs with ease; Pakistan, on the other hand, has a last chance at redemption before playing the only T20 of the series. The visitors had extremely well to square off the test series in a 2-2 draw but haven’t managed to find the winning combination in the shorter format of the game till now. It needs to be seen if they can do things differently here to register a face-saving win on Sunday.
After a staggering start to the 248-run chase in the 4th ODI, the lower middle order took charge with batsmen like Jonny Bairstow posting 61 and all-rounders Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali contributing with 69 and 45 runs respectively to steer the team to another win against Pakistan. Jason Roy and Joe Root, who had impressed with the bat in the last few matches, failed to create something special but the deep batting line-up held its nerve and got the scoreboard ticking.
Earlier, spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali took 5 wickets between them to stifle the Pakistani batting line-up; speedster Chris Jordan supported well with 2 wickets while Plunkett continued with his wicket-taking form by dismissing the well-set Sami Aslam. The bowlers have been marvellous on the field as seen in the past game whereas the batsmen have left no stone unturned to dominate the visitors.
In the 3rd ODI, Alex Hales top-scored with a brilliant 171 off 122 deliveries to take the team to a record-breaking 444 runs total batting first; Root, Buttler, Morgan and Bairstow are in very good form as well and their motivated spirits can help them register a 5-0 whitewash here.
Azhar Ali fought a lone battle in the top-order after Pakistan chose to bat first; his 80 off 104 wasn’t enough to give the team a solid score on the table. All-rounder Imad Wasim batted well as he scored an unbeaten 57 from just 41 balls but the others in the middle order failed to build partnerships or score the big runs.
Seamer Mohammad Irfan gave 2 quick breakthroughs by dismissing Roy and Hales within 7 overs and he can be a vital asset in the pace attack here; while Umar Gul and Hasan Ali contributed with a wicket each, Imad Wasim used his spin tactics to take 1-50 but their efforts went in vain as the English batsmen romped off to victory with their batting strengths.
In the 3rd ODI, the bowlers put up a lacklustre effort, failing to pull off surprises and in the end gave away too many runs. The 444-run target was too much and the batting line-up collapsed under pressure to perform. They have the resources with bat and ball to make a comeback provided they keep a cool head above their shoulders and can execute the strategy to perfection.
England has emerged as a formidable force to reckon with and can combine well to win again; Pakistan has resources to put up a better fight but we feel this match too will go in the hosts’ favour