England v Pakistan, 5th ODI – 5 Talking Points

Sarfraz Ahmed of Pakistan walks off after being dismissed. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

Pakistan put an end to the forgettable ODI series with a memorable 4 wicket win at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. The loss also ends England’s clean record at the home. They had not lost an ODI since Valentine day this year. England lost the toss and were made to bat first. Jason Roy (87) and Ben Stokes played pivotal roles in the first innings and took England to a comfortable 302 at the end of the first innings.

Pakistan did not have the best of the start but Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed rallied the chase wonderfully. Later on, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Rizwan took the responsibility and gave the finishing touches to the chase. For the first time in the series, they showed that they could actually compete head to  head with England.


1.Top contributor – Jason Roy:

Jason Roy’s bat was silent for the past three games after beginning the series with a fine half-century. His premature departure had become a slight reason to worry for the Brits who otherwise were having a great time batting wise. It was strongly hoped that he will bat well today and he did not disappoint at all. The start was quite ordinary for the hosts, Hales, Root and Morgan departed for cheap scores.

But Roy was in a different mood and carried forward the innings brilliantly to hit an 87 runs knock almost off an run a ball. His knock had equal amounts of aggression and brains. Moreover, it helped England reach a very comfortable position. His 72 run stand with Stokes for the 4th wicket laid the platform for the rest of the others to post a commendable total.

2. Sore Nuts:

Ben Stokes had to deal with some breath taking pain when batting after he was hit between the leg off the bowling of Umar Gul. It was 38th over of the game when Stokes mistimed a pull shot which deflected directly to his box. The hit forced him to go down at the crease. He tried to compose himself by walking away after few second.

The incident had his batting partner and Root (in the balcony) giggle and smile. Meanwhile, the doctor had to come out and had to take pills before he could take a few deep breaths and recover to resume batting. Later on, in the 2nd innings, Mohammad Rizwan also had to face the same pain after he was also hit at the same spot off Mark Wood’s bowling.

3. Mohammad Amir back to his old form:

Mohammad Amir could not live up to his reputation with the white ball. The left arm fast bowling sensation had only one wicket in the three ODIs which he got to play in the series. The Amir bowling in England never looked like the one who sent shivers down the Indian batsmen’s spine during the Asia T20. The favourable conditions were meant to help his style but it seemed that England had already done their home homework.

His threat was neutralised to such an effect that he no longer looked effective. But, after struggling so much, it was refreshing to see Amir get back to his rhythm and bowl with command. The left armer picked 3/50 in his 10 overs spell. His day began with the wicket openers Alex Hales in the 5th over. He later broke the Roy-Stokes stand with the wicket of Roy and gave an important breakthrough for his team. His last wicket came in the form of Liam Dawson.

4. Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik take charge:

Pakistan did not have the best of the starts after Sharjeel Khan lost his wicket pre-maturely. Babar Azam and Azhar Ali took care of the proceedings for a while before both departed in quick succession to leave Pakistan in a state of bother.

But, Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz Ahmed then combined together and rescued Pakistan. Both added 163 runs in 23.5 overs for the 4th wicket to lay the platform for the chase. The duo could not complete the job on their own but their resistance in the middle overs eased the pressure of the team and made the chase possible.

5. Mohammad Rizwan and Imad Wasim finish the job: 

After the Malik-Sarfraz stand, Pakistan again faced a slump as both decided to go back to the pavilion one after another leaving Pakistan in a bothersome state once again. England sniffed a close chance. But, Pakistan looked determined to break their winless streak.

Mohammad Rizwan and Imad Wasim came together and piloted the chase carefully and eventually accumulated the required runs to give Pakistan a much-needed win. Rizwan led the charge with a run a ball 34 run knock while Imad played a sensible supporting knock of 16 runs.