Woakes guides England win final ODI before World Cup

Leeds [England]: Fast bowler Chris Woakes’ five-wicket haul guided England to win its final ODI before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Coming with three victories in the five-match bilateral series against Pakistan, England won by 54 runs at Headingley, Leeds on Sunday night.

Chasing a par total of 352, Pakistan were 6/3 as Woakes trapped the top-order. Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed successfully brought their side into contention with a 146 partnership. Soon both fell to run outs in quick succession as Babar (80) was caught short by Adil Rashid while wicket-keeper Jos Buttler removed the bails of Sarfaraz, who was three shy hundred.

Asif Ali and Imad Wasim helped Pakistan cross the 200-run mark. The lower-order of the visiting side swung the bat around, however, England’s fielding proved the difference.

Woakes returned to pick two more wickets in the name of Wasim (25) and Hasan Ali (11) while Asif (22) was dismissed by pacer David Willey. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid completed the formalities and got Mohammad Hasnain (28) stumped. Pakistan folded for 297.

Earlier, electing to bat, Joe Root’s 84 and skipper Eoin Morgan’s 76 helped England post 351/9.

Jonny Bairstow and James Vince laid the platform as they chipped in quick 30s each to race 95/1 inside 10 overs. With Root and Morgan, a 400-plus target seemed easy on cards, but Shaheen Shah Afridi denied the hosts’ dreams as Morgan gave a simple catch to Abid Ali at mid-wicket. Soon after, Root followed Morgan to the pavilion as Asif Ali caught the English right-hander off Mohammad Hasnain.

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes tried to consolidate with a run-a-ball 34 and 21 respectively. Stokes fell when England were on 310/8, which seemed the host would get bowled out on below-par total. However, Tom Curran’s cameo (29 off 15 balls) dragged England past 350.

England will next take on Australia and Afghanistan on May 25 and 27 in the warm-up games before opening its World Cup campaign against South Africa on May 30. Meanwhile, Pakistan will meet Afghanistan and Bangladesh on May 24 and 26 in the warm-up before clashing with West Indies in their World Cup opening match on May 31.

Brief scores: England 351/ 9 (J Root 84, E Morgan 76, SS Afridi 4/82, I Wasim 3/53) beat Pakistan 297 (S Ahmed 97, B Azam 80, C Woakes 5/54) by 54 runs.


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