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Confident England looks to seal series

Morgan's side leads the four-match series against Pakistan 2-1, with the batsmen and bowers doing well

Confident England looks to seal series  - Cricket News
England now has a chance to secure a series victory, leading 2-1 after three games.
Spin, searing desert heat and a few moments that didn't go their way saw England lose the Test series 2-0 to Pakistan in UAE but, in the One-Day International series, it has been the visiting side that has looked right at home. 

England now has a chance to secure a series victory on Friday (November 20), leading 2-1 after three games. Eoin Morgan, the captain, has continued his excellent form with 140 runs at 46.66 but, heartwarmingly, the youngsters have looked the part as well. 

Alex Hales hit a thrilling 109 off 117 balls, his maiden ODI century, to set up a 95-run win in the second game in Abu Dhabi. But the significance of his knock was not just limited to the ongoing series. It may also earn him a Test debut against South Africa next month, after the Moeen Ali experiment at the top of the order fizzled out.

James Taylor, too, has been quietly impressive, with two half-centuries in the series. He's shown an excellent command over slow bowling. He top-scored for England in the first innings of the Sharjah Test despite not having played the previous two Tests and, in the process, virtually booked his ticket to South Africa.

But it's not just the batsmen that have come good; the bowlers, specifically the pacemen, have also come out on top of Pakistan. Chris Woakes is the leading wicket-taker of the series at the moment, with eight wickets, after his 4 for 40 in the third game. Reece Topley has also consistently troubled the Pakistan batsmen, generating good bounce. 

Pakistan now faces a tough task to save the series against a side brimming with confidence. After a six-wicket win in the first match, Pakistan has not been able to bounce back. The dropped catches in the second game and the three run-outs in the third hurt its chances. It was only thanks to Wahab Riaz that the total went past 200 last game. 

“As a team, we are in the process of settling down,” said Azhar Ali, the Pakistan captain, after the recent defeat. Yasir Shah was ruled out of the last game, having suffered a knee injury, and Pakistan may not want to risk playing him so soon.

The batsmen too will need to stand up. Mohammad Hafeez has been exceptional, with 147 runs at 73.50, but Azhar and Shoaib Malik have only a combined tally of 121 runs. Meanwhile, the move to put Sarfraz Ahmed up the order in the last match misfired and Pakistan may consider asking him to bat lower, where he has generally flourished, for the decider.

Teams (from):

England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Bilal Asif, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Amir Yamin, Anwer Ali, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan.