Cyprus Mail
Cricket

Pakistan triumph as England fall short in huge run chase

Jos Buttler (above) and Joe Root both hit centuries, but it wasn't enough as Pakistan beat England in a thrilling encounter. No side had ever lost a Cricket World Cup match after having two players score a century

Pakistan beat England by 14 runs at Trent Bridge on Monday as the World Cup’s first centuries from Joe Root and Jos Buttler were not enough to help the hosts and pre-tournament favourites overhaul the huge target of 349 set for them.

England had won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat, banking on the pace of fast bowlers Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer for early wickets and no doubt hoping to recreate the way the West Indies skittled Pakistan out for 105 on Friday.

Instead, the visitors put that woeful performance behind them and racked up 348 runs for eight wickets, delighting their cheering fans in the stands with 29 fours and six sixes.

Mohammad Hafeez was his side’s top scorer with 84 off 62 balls, while Babar Azam made 63 and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed belted a quickfire 55.

In reply, England steadily lost the wickets of their top-order batsmen Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes to leave the side on 118 for four and give Root and Buttler a mountain to climb.

The two did their best, each eventually reaching three figures. Root hit 10 fours and one six on his way to 107 before scooping an easy catch off Khan to Hafeez at third man.

Buttler smashed a four to notch up his own hundred a few overs later, only to fall to the very next ball.

As the balls-remaining count dwindled, Moeen and Woakes swung valiantly at everything they could. But after they were both caught out in successive balls, Mark Wood and Adil Rashid were left stranded at the crease as the target slipped beyond their reach.

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