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England vs Pakistan 5th ODI, Cardiff - Preview

With Mickey Arthur promising a shake-up of the ODI side, onus will be on Pakistan's batsmen to stand up and be counted

England vs Pakistan 5th ODI, Cardiff - Preview - Cricket News
England have been ruthless in their approach throughout the series.
England will eye a clean sweep over Pakistan when the two teams lock horns in the fifth and final One-Day International in Cardiff on Sunday (September 4).
The home side has been ruthlessly dominating throughout the ODI series, with the visiting side offering only brief patches of resistance.
Proactive teamwork has been the theme for England, as witnessed in the previous game in Leeds when England bounced back from 72 for 4 to complete its chase of 248 quite comfortably in the end.
Jonny Bairstow (61 off 83), the recalled wicketkeeper-batsman, and Ben Stokes (69 off 70) joined hands to stitch up a course-changing 103-run stand for the fifth wicket, before Moeen Ali (45* off 48) helped England see off the chase with two overs and four wickets to spare.
It didn't help Pakistan's cause that Mohammad Irfan, arguably its most effective bowler on the day, was able to deliver only five overs before a niggle resurfaced, leaving him with figures 2 for 26.

However, even a cursory look at the scores in the series reveal that it is the batting discipline that has let Pakistan down. Barring the third ODI where Pakistan's bowlers were plundered for 444 runs, they have done rather well against a fearless and efficient batting line-up.

Azhar Ali, the Pakistan skipper, scored a gutsy 80 off 104 deliveries, but failed to spur any substantial contributions from the rest of the top order. Despite Azhar's knock, Pakistan was tottering at 180 for 7 at one stage, and only a feisty, unbeaten 41-ball 57 from Imad Wasim, the allrounder, at No. 8 helped it to a respectable total.

Plenty of Pakistan batsmen have shown promise in the four games so far; Azhar has scored in the eighties twice, Sarfraz Ahmed has a hundred and fifty to his name and Imad has scored a couple of quick fifties. But they haven't been able to perform as a unit.
Mickey Arthur, the Pakistan coach, stressed on the shortcomings of Pakistan's batting while acknowledging England's prowess. “England are a phenomenal cricket team, power-hitters all the way down,” he said. “We haven’t been able to get quick starts and clear the ropes. We just don’t have the players to do that within our group of 15 at the moment. I look at the strikers England have at their disposal – it’s unbelievable.”
Arthur also hinted at a shake-up following the conclusion of the series. “I’m finding my way with the one-day team. I want to give opportunities and then we’ll know by the end of the tour who we can and can’t take forward.”
Pakistan's troubles in the batting line-up are significant, but if it clicks as a unit, a pride-salvaging win might yet be in store. Victory will also renew its dampened spirits for the lone T20I to be played at Old Trafford on September 7.

Teams (from)
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Liam Dawson, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Jake Ball, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz.

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