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Hales, Woakes help England level series

Pakistan goes down by 95 runs in second ODI after visitor dominates in all departments

Hales, Woakes help England level series - Cricket News
Alex Hales's maiden ODI century helped England win the first ODI by 95 runs.
Alex Hales's maiden One-Day International century and a four-wicket haul from Chris Woakes gave England a big 95-run win in the second game of the four-match series against Pakistan on Friday (November 13). 
 
Hales's 109, and half-centuries from Jason Roy (54) and Joe Root (63) took England to a strong 283 for 5 after it elected to bat on a slow surface at Sheikh Zayed International Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
 
In reply, Pakistan was thwarted by Woakes (4 for 33) and David Willey (3 for 25), who ran through the top and middle order as the host was shot out for 188 despite a fighting 64 from Sarfraz Ahmed. With the win, England levelled the series 1-1.  
 
England's batsmen made merry, two partnerships doing most of the damage. First, Roy and Hales put on 102 for the opening wicket before Roy was dismissed for 54. Hales then added another 114 for the second wicket with Root before his innings ended on 109. 
 
Wahab Riaz, Pakistan's most effective bowler with 3 for 43, led a late fightback that started off with the wicket of Root for 63 and that prevented England’s late surge.  
 
Hales and Co was particularly severe on Yasir Shah, the legspinner, who had a rare off day, conceding 70 runs in nine overs. With the pitch expected to assist spin, Shah was introduced as early as in the eighth over of the innings, but the move did not pay off, Roy starting off the big hitting by switch-hitting the bowler over point off the bowler’s third delivery.
 
Both batsmen drove well and used the sweep to good effect against the spinners. The hundred of the innings came up by the end of the 17th over, but Pakistan would have respite in the next over when Roy tried to clear Shoaib Malik at mid-on, but holed out.
 
Root and Hales then continued the good work. Pakistan nearly had Hales when it appealed for a caught behind off a pull against Riaz, and the umpire took a long time before raising his finger. But Hales opted for a review, and with replays showing that the ball had brushed his trousers, the batsman survived. Hales was on 48 then. The fifty came up with a single against Malik in the next over. 
 
Hales and Root prevented the scoreboard from stagnating before Hales broke the shackles with two sixes against Shah in the 30th over. Root was offered a reprieve shortly thereafter when Riaz spilled him at short cover against Iftikhar Ahmed, the debutant off-spinner. Hales raised his century against the same bowler with a paddle sweep past short fine-leg. However, Iftikhar would get the better of him when, in his next over, Hales dragged his back foot out of the crease while attempting a slog sweep and Sarfraz clipped the bails off. 
 
Root, who had in the meantime, quietly marched on to 49 off 59 balls, brought up his half-century with a scoop over short fine-leg. 
 
Pakistan then fought back with some late strikes. First, Riaz knocked over Root's leg stump as the batsman perished on the slog. Riaz returned to castle Jos Buttler with a slower one, while Eoin Morgan holed out to deep mid-wicket off Mohammad Irfan as Pakistan did well to concede just 56 runs off the last ten overs. 
 
Pakistan needed one good partnership at the top of the order to give it a chance. But Willey, the left-arm pacer, upset their plans by removing Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez in quick succession to dent the chase. Willey struck with the first ball of his second over when he trapped Azam lbw, and followed it up with another wicket in his next over when he got the in-form Hafeez to edge one to Jos Buttler, the wicketkeeper, who took a good low catch. 
 
Woakes then added to Pakistan's woes with three big wickets. First, Iftikhar holed out to mid-on off the pull shot. The short ball experiment gave Woakes another wicket when another pull, this time from Malik, landed in the hands of James Taylor at mid-wicket. Azhar Ali then chopped one on to the stumps when he chased a wide offcutter. At that stage, Pakistan was 50 for 5 and in need of a big partnership. 



The first signs of a fightback came through Sarfraz, who added 30 for the sixth wicket with Mohammad Rizwan (17) off 56 balls. But with the required rate climbing, Pakistan had to take a more proactive approach. That resulted in Rizwan dragging Adil Rashid on to his stumps. 
 
Anwar Ali joined Sarfraz and the two shared a meaningful seventh-wicket partnership of 65 runs off just 67 balls. That was until Anwar ended up offering a catch straight down the throat of long-on as the pressure of the mounting asking rate accounted for yet another batsman. With the last of the recognised batsmen gone, a major twist in the tale was highly unlikely. 
 
The tail hardly showed resistance. Sarfraz was eventually the ninth man dismissed when he offered a catch to the wicketkeeper and Woakes got his fourth wicket. Shah resisted with an unbeaten 16, but the damage had already been done. 
 
The third ODI takes place in Sharjah on Tuesday. 

To view the full scorecard, please click here.

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