England were clinical in the first ODIs against Pakistan and took a 2-0 lead. In the third game at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, the Three Lions had to strain a wee bit but won the game by three wickets with 12 balls left. James Vince became the Player of the Match for his match-winning ton.
After being put in to bat first, Pakistan didn’t make a great as Saqib Mahmood pinned Fakhar Zaman. However, Imam-ul-Haq (56) and Babar Azam (158) stitched together a 92-run stand for the second wicket to bring Pakistan back into the contest. Thereafter, Mohammad Rizwan lent Azam support.
Rizwan hammered his way to a 58-ball 74 with eight fours and he shared a 179-run stand with Babar. The latter got his 14th ODI ton and carried the Men in Green to 331.
England found themselves in trouble after being reduced to 165 for in 23.3 overs. Phil Salt, Zak Crawley, and Ben Stokes scored in the 30s, but couldn’t carry on. Dawid Malan perished for a duck even as John Simpson scored two. At the other end, Vince looked venous and in impressive touch.
He and Lewis Gregory stitched together a partnership of 129 runs for the sixth wicket to keep England in the hunt. Vince went on to score 102 with 11 fours while Gregory ended with a 69-ball 77 with six fours and three sixes.
After Pakistan’s defeat, their Babar rued the missed chances on the field. However, he sounded confident of making a comeback in the T20I series. Stokes, the English skipper, on the other hand, was happy with his team’s show.
“We couldn’t bowl in the channels consistently at the start and the sloppy fielding didn’t help either. England were really good and special credit to James Vince. In international cricket, the margins are very small and these kinds of errors cost us the game.
“All the efforts from all the guys who turned up last week, I just want to say a massive thanks to the players, support staff, and everyone who made this possible. The normal personnel, a huge amount of credit must go to Morgs (Eoin Morgan), (Chris) Silverwood, and Trevor Bayliss to allow the new guys to play the way they play and be really happy,” Stokes stated.