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Sarfraz powers Pakistan to consolation win

Wicketkeeper’s 90 and Hasan’s four-for consign England to four-wicket defeat in final ODI

Sarfraz powers Pakistan to consolation win - Cricket News
England still won the series 4-1, but the result meant it was denied a first home 5-0 ODI clean sweep.
Pakistan managed to avoid a whitewash with a four-wicket consolation win in the final One-Day International against England at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Sunday (September 4). Sarfraz Ahmed (90 off 73) and Shoaib Malik (77 off 80) both hammered half-centuries in a record 163-run stand for the fourth wicket that formed the bedrock of the chase.
Pakistan ended at 304 for 6 in 48.2 overs, with Mohammad Rizwan (34 not out) and Imad Wasim (16 not out) adding an unbroken 38 for the seventh wicket to see the chase through. England had earlier posted 302 for 9, riding on Jason Roy’s 87 and Ben Stokes’s ODI-best 75. Hasan Ali, the Pakistan paceman, took an ODI best 4 for 60, with Mohammad Amir returning 3 for 50.
England still won the series 4-1, but the result meant it was denied a first home 5-0 ODI clean sweep. The result also ended its hopes of an unbeaten season in 50-over cricket.
Early in its chase, Pakistan lost Sharjeel Khan (10) when he plonked Chris Woakes straight to mid-on, but Babar Azam and Azhar Ali steadied things with a 55-run stand for the second wicket. However, England broke through with two quick wickets, Mark Wood scalping both batsmen in three balls in the 14th over. He first went through Babar’s gate before inducing an edge off Azhar and correctly calling for a review. Pakistan was at a precarious 77 for 3.
However, Malik and Sarfraz then got together to propel the chase. Malik was dropped on 10, Joe Root spilling a tough chance, but that apart, the two were solid. They didn’t quite shoot off the blocks, but they ensured the scoreboard was kept moving. As the innings progressed, they found the fence with regularity, with Sarfraz at one point picking consecutive fours off Liam Dawson, the debutant left-arm spinner. Malik then went on to pillage a six off Dawson, but crucially, the batsmen didn’t get carried away and paced themselves appropriately.
But with Sarfraz homing in on a second century in the series, Dawson struck back with a quicker delivery that prompted the batsman to mistime his loft. Malik looked to give the innings the final push, picking Dawson for a four and a six in his next over before holing out off the final delivery. Mohammad Nawaz lasted just three balls before he was run out, and the match seemed headed for a tense finish.
However, Imad, who was born in the nearby south Wales city of Swansea, and Rizwan held their nerve to see the chase through, Imad hitting the winning runs when he struck a four off Chris Jordan with 10 balls to spare.

Earlier, England was put in on a pitch with a significant tinge of green in cloudy conditions, with Azhar, the Pakistan captain, hoping his pacemen could rattle the opponents early.
Contrary to his hopes, though, Alex Hales and Roy put on a quick, albeit brief, 37-run stand. Hales struck Amir, recalled in place of the injured Mohammad Irfan, for three successive fours at the start of the fifth over before the Pakistani paceman had his revenge from around the wicket, prompting Hales to chip to Malik at mid-on.
Roy carried on unperturbed, but watched on as his partners struggled at the other end. Hasan had Root (9) walking back after chopping one on to stumps and Eoin Morgan struggled to a 26-ball 10 before chipping one back to Imad, the left-arm spinner.
However, with Roy – dropped on 56 by Rizwan – striking the ball well, the run-rate didn’t really suffer. Stokes joined him and the two added 72 for the fourth wicket. Roy launched Malik, the offspinner, for two straight sixes, but when within touching distance of what would have been his fourth ODI century, he top-edged a pull off Amir's slow bouncer.
Despite the big wicket, Pakistan didn’t get much of a let-off. Bairstow provided support for Stokes, the two adding 55 for the fifth wicket. Stokes went on to launch Umar Gul and Nawaz for straight sixes before suffering a painful blow when he inside-edged an attempted pull off Gul into his groin, which needed lengthy treatment.
Bairstow, having played a supportive 36-ball 33, then succumbed to Gul, but at 219 for 5 in the 38th over, England was still in line for another huge score. However, Stokes then flicked Hasan to Gul at short fine-leg, allowing Pakistan to fight back. England was, in fact, in danger of falling short of 300 until Jordan launched Gul for six in the last over.

Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre.

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