4th over: England 22-1 (Bairstow 8, Root 5) Root almost drags Amir back onto the stumps, with the ball bouncing over the top of off. The upside of this situation – and England are where Anthony Joshua was at the start of round four the other night – is that this would be a heck of a game to win. If they do pull this off, they will collect so many more morale tokens than after their usual 330+ chases.
“Jason Roy looks an incredibly petulant person to me,” says Andy Bond. “I reckon this inner rage is probably the secret of his success, but in a pressure situation (which every single game in this World Cup will be) its not the most productive of temperaments. Bit worrying.”
Send him home!
3rd over: England 18-1 (Bairstow 5, Root 5) Roy, who has had a stinker today, had a longish chat with the umpire Marais Erasmus on the way off. I’m not sure what that’s about. It seems he was annoyed because of an overzealous send-off from one or two of the Pakistan players. They are all over England, and it’s exhilarating to watch.
WICKET! England 12-1 (Roy LBW b Shadab 8)
I’m telling you: something’s happening! Jason Roy misses a premeditated sweep at a very full delivery and is plumb LBW to Shadab Khan. To make things worse for England, he throws away their only review by deciding to query the decision. That’s an abysmal review, and I’ve no idea why Bairstow didn’t tell him to do one.
2nd over: England 12-0 (Roy 8, Bairstow 4) Mohammad Amir shares the new ball. This is a much better Pakistan attack than the one England faced last month, when Amir, Shadab and Wahab were all missing. Bairstow is so close to another golden duck when a gorgeous inswinger zips between bat and pad and just misses the off stump. After a few respectful strokes, Bairstow spanks the last ball of the over just wide of the flying Imam at cover and away for four. That would have been an awesome catch because Bairstow gave it all sorts of humpty.
That was a cracking over from Amir. The early signs are that Pakistan’s bowlers are in a state of haal, and when that’s the case they are seriously hard to withstand. In fact, this innings might be the irresistible force versus the irresistible force.
1st over: England 8-0 (Roy 8, Bairstow 0) The Shadab experiment has mixed results. Roy chips the first ball not far short of mid-on, larrups the second and third to the boundary and then survives a big LBW appeal after offering no stroke. It was missing off stump.
The legspinner Shadab Khan will bowl the first over. This is pulsating stuff – and they haven’t bowled a ball yet.
“That run predictor from the 39th over is absolute rubbish,” says Robert Darby. “I hope it doesn’t see the light of day again.”
I’ve changed my mind. Pakistan will win this. Something brilliant is happening.
Thanks Tim, hello everyone.
Lads, it’s Pakistan. Anyone who assumed an easy England win simply hasn’t been paying attention for the last 50 years. Pakistan have always been an affront to logic, one of the few teams in world sport capable of being in ominously bad form. They have their own high-speed train that runs exclusively between the sublime and the ridiculous, and when they suddenly hit form they can scare the haal out of the opposition.
England are getting quite a fright at Trent Bridge today: they need 349 to win, which would be the highest run-chase in World Cup history. They were ragged in the field, shockingly so at times, and Pakistan panelled the bowling to all parts. I’d still make England very slight favourites – they chased 341 to beat Pakistan on this ground last month – but I wouldn’t bet my dignity on it. This is Pakistan, the team who make us all ask the same question: is something brilliant happening?
50th over: Pakistan 348-8 (Hassan 10, Shadab 10) A third wicket for Woakes, but Shadab Khan slashes for four over Buttler’s head, then mullers the last ball past the diving long-on for four more. Shadab’s 10 came off only four deliveries, reflecting Pakistan’s re-found confidence. They will be delighted with that total. England bowled well in patches but their fielding veered from excellent (Woakes) to awful (Roy).
This is going to be fascinating. On one hand, England just have to do what they kept doing against Pakistan last month. On the other, they have to complete the highest run-chase in World Cup history, pipping Ireland’s heroics against them in 2011. Hands up who wants to be Kevin O’Brien.
And with that I’ll leave you in the Woakes-like hands of Rob Smyth. Thanks for all the emails, and especially the ones I didn’t get round to reading.
Wicket! Shoaib c Morgan b Woakes 8 (Pakistan 337-8)
Anything Hassan can do, Shoaib can’t do better as he goes for a slog, slices it and gives Morgan a catch as simple as the one Roy dropped.
49th over: Pakistan 337-7 (Shoaib 8, Hassan 9) Scrub that – Hassan has hit Archer for six! It was a case of long hop, long handle.
48th over: Pakistan 327-7 (Shoaib 7, Hassan Ali 0) So there were two wickets in that over, and it still yielded ten runs. Pakistan are eyeing 350 but, with seven down, Shoaib may have to get them on his own.
Wicket! Wahab c Root b Woakes 4 (Pakistan 325-7)
Another skyer, and this time it’s a dolly for Root, who does a Woakes rather than a Roy.
Wicket!! Sarfaraz c & b Woakes 55 (Pakistan 319-6)
That’s the one England wanted, as Sarfaraz, who had been inelegant but effective, offers yet another skyer and this time it’s within reach. Woakes takes his first wicket of the day and his fourth catch, equalling the World Cup record for an outfielder.
47th over: Pakistan 317-5 (Sarfaraz 53, Shoaib 4) Out comes Shoaib Malik, who is 37, allegedly. He could get a little puffed in the next few minutes. Wood finishes his stint with 10-0-53-2, a fine return in both senses.
Wicket! Asif c Bairstow b Wood 14 (Pakistan 311-5)
Wood’s short ball is there for the cut and Asif hits it well, only to pick out Bairstow on the sponge at cover sweeper. That would have been six.
46th over: Pakistan 311-4 (Sarfaraz 51, Asif Ali 14) That deep-set legside field comes at a price as Sarfaraz gets away with two mishit pulls off Archer, both of which hung in the air for some time. When Archer pitches it up, Sarfaraz plays a much better shot and gets four to long-off. And then a run-out chance (to Root) turns into four overthrows, or buzzers as the commentators are now contractually obliged to call them. Sarfaraz has raced to fifty off 40 balls. What kind of idiot would suggest that he was flattered by being at No.5?
45th over: Pakistan 295-4 (Sarfaraz 38, Asif Ali 11) Good from Wood – only five off the over. He has 1-47 off nine.
“I’ve not been following this morning,” says Neil Harris. “Bit of a shock seeing the score. Have Pakistan gone from the shambles of Friday to this???? Have we overhyped England?” Possibly, but Trent Bridge is the home of the monster total, so we’ll see.
44th over: Pakistan 292-4 (Sarfaraz 38, Asif Ali 9) Asif Ali, who lost his small daughter to cancer only two weeks ago, gets a suitably dignified welcome from Mike Atherton, the most genial of commentators. Asif could be run out off his first ball, as could Sarfaraz at the other end, but by the end of the over he’s smashing Archer for six with a tennis shot over cover.
43rd over: Pakistan 279-4 (Sarfaraz 34, Asif Ali 0) Wood replaces Stokes, which is (I think) the first time Morgan has had high pace at both ends. Wood instantly produces his worst ball of the day, a half-volley outside leg, and Hafeez flicks it for a contemptuous six. But Wood bounces back, as good bowlers do, to take his first World Cup wicket, with a stylish assist from Woakes.
Before that, Andy Bond sent this email. “Just re that guy who was speculating if England’s bowling attack is actually our strength?”
Wicket!!! Hafeez c Woakes b Wood 84 (Pakistan 279-4)
That is the big one. Hafeez drop-kicks Wood into the middle distance and then kicks himself because he’s picked out Woakes, who collects his third catch of the day. At last, a wicket for a seamer.
42nd over: Pakistan 271-3 (Hafeez 77, Sarfaraz 33) Archer returns, Morgan sets the field deep on the leg side, so Hafeez goes inside-out and chips over extra cover for four. Archer has bowled plenty of bouncers today, several of which have been wides. But only six off the over, a tiny triumph at this stage.
41st over: Pakistan 265-3 (Hafeez 72, Sarfaraz 32) Stokes continues and the batsmen cash in – Sarfaraz picks a slower ball and chips it over mid-on, Hafeez pulls the bouncer past deep backward square. The misery goes on for England’s seamers. They have missed Plunkett, sorely.
40th over: Pakistan 252-3 (Hafeez 64, Sarfaraz 27) The commentators are just saying Pakistan aren’t going fast enough, when Sarfaraz whacks Woakes over mid-on to bring up the fifty partnership – 52 off 42, which seems all right to me.
Here’s Peter Salmon. “Do you think this England team has now reached a point of confidence and excellence that some of them will secretly be willing Pakistan’s score upwards, to see exactly how big a total they can chase down?” It’s a great question, but I trust the answer is no.
39th over: Pakistan 243-3 (Hafeez 62, Sarfaraz 20) Hafeez is timing it masterfully now, in both the literal sense (starting this over with four and two on the offside off Stokes) and, more broadly, in terms of the match situation. His 62 has come off 50 balls, and a fast hundred is there for the taking. The predictor is now giving Pakistan 349.
38th over: Pakistan 235-3 (Hafeez 55, Sarfaraz 19) Woakes returns, after practising his cutters on the outfield. Sarfaraz isn’t bothered – he greets him with a mow for four, and rounds off the over with something similar for two, well stopped by Bairstow.
37th over: Pakistan 226-3 (Hafeez 54, Sarfaraz 12) Moeen bows out with an over of three singles and three dots, which is immense in the circumstances. He finishes with figures of 10-0-50-3 and a well-earned ovation. Could someone else please take a wicket?
36th over: Pakistan 223-3 (Hafeez 53, Sarfaraz 10) Another decent over from Wood, but another fumble in the field as James Vince, on as 12th man, joins the club descending to amateur level today – Jason Roy missed a run-out chance a few minutes ago as well as that sitter. “On a clear day,” says Kumar Sangakkara, “England have looked just a little bit muddled in their thinking.”
I know how they feel – there are more emails than I can open at the moment, so please bear with me. Here’s a nice one. “I’m not sure when Trent Bridge morphed into the run-soaked batsmen’s paradise that it is today,” says Matt Emerson. “My first trip there was to see the fifth Test against the West Indies in 1995. I missed Brian Lara’s 152 off 185 balls, which was the day before I went, but was lucky to catch Shivnarine Chanderpaul, starting on 8 not out, move serenely to 18 off 101 balls, including one stretch where he was 12 not out for just over an hour. Happy days.”
35th over: Pakistan 218-3 (Hafeez 52, Sarfaraz 7) Sarfaraz always seems a bit flattered by coming in at five but he gets off to a good start, sweeping Moeen over the head of short fine leg.
34th over: Pakistan 210-3 (Hafeez 50, Sarfaraz 1) Now even Wood is going for boundaries – his bouncer is hooked for four by Hafeez, who then spots the yorker and blocks it for four more. In between, Wood touches 149kph (92mph) but that’s fifty off 39 balls for Hafeez, who has made sure the loss of Babar hasn’t cost anything in terms of momentum.
33rd over: Pakistan 200-3 (Hafeez 41, Sarfaraz 0) Morgan took Rashid out of the firing line and went back to Moeen Ali, the only bowler who had actually taken a wicket today. And it worked. Mo now has 3-39, while the rest of the bowlers have 0-152. Babar played very well, only to be undone by one bad decision.
Wicket!! Babar c Woakes b Moeen 64 (Pakistan 199-3)
Mo does it again! Babar Azam went for the big shot, didn’t get hold of it, and picked out England’s best fielder today, Chris Woakes, who took a crisp low catch. England needed that.
32nd over: Pakistan 196-2 (Babar 63, Hafeez 38) Morgan replaces fire with fire as Wood takes over from Archer. No more fireworks, but seven off the over, Hafeez has matched his age, and that’s drinks, with Pakistan in dreamland.
Rob Smyth, who will be on later, is warming up already. “Since taking four wickets in five balls to win the 4th ODI against West Indies,” he spots, “Rashid has taken five wickets in 287 balls an at average of 58.”
31st over: Pakistan 189-2 (Babar 62, Hafeez 33) Hafeez resumes the assault on Rashid with a lofted straight drive for six and a pull for four. This partnership is worth 78 off only 65 balls, and England are holding fretful conferences.
30th over: Pakistan 176-2 (Babar 61, Hafeez 21) Archer’s pace is bothering both batsmen, but they keep him out and Babar squirts a couple of twos.
Here’s an unusual email. “Morning Tim,” says Sam Hey, “Much enjoying your coverage from a relatively quiet surgical ward this morning.” Love it. “From an intermittent cricket enjoyer like myself is there anything particular I should look out for in this game from either side?” Yes: whether Pakistan can post a huge score – 370 to 400 – rather than the merely big ones they kept getting as they lost 4-0 to England in May. And whether England can get wickets now, in the middle overs, without their specialist in that role, Liam Plunkett. But I want to know what’s happening in that ward…
29th over: Pakistan 170-2 (Babar 56, Hafeez 20) After taking a battering in his last over, Rashid needs a hand and Jonny Bairstow provides it with a lovely running stop on the sponge at deep cover.
28th over: Pakistan 165-2 (Babar 52, Hafeez 19) Morgan sends for Jofra Archer, who ambles in and beats Hafeez. Babar then reaches fifty with an uppish prod past backward point. That was possibly the worst shot in a fine innings.
27th over: Pakistan 160-2 (Babar 49, Hafeez 18) It’s a good time to go after a bowler – but you wouldn’t expect it to be Adil Rashid, or Babar Azam, who wallops a four and a six off the first two balls of the over. Rashid, who has seen it all before, responds with three dots, but Babar has the last word with a pull for four more. He has 49 off 49.
26th over: Pakistan 146-2 (Babar 35, Hafeez 18) Five off the over from Stokes, who has gone for just 22 from 30 balls, with only one four. He has under-performed for the past year or so, but not now, on the big stage.
An email from James Walsh. “Further to the ‘why isn’t this on the telly’ question, my friend in Nottingham was hoping to head to the fan zone they’d set up in the market square on his lunch break. Only they appear to have decided that the day England are playing in the city, against a team with decent local support, is the day to pack up the big screen. We really don’t help ourselves…”
25th over: Pakistan 141-2 (Babar 31, Hafeez 17) Bad luck for Rashid, and that could be an expensive miss – this partnership is already worth 30 off 29 balls. At the half-way stage, Pakistan are probably on top, just.
Dropped! Hafeez by Roy off Rashid
Rashid bowls straight, Hafeez goes big, gets under it, that’s a sitter – and Roy, in a beautiful position, lets it bounce out of his hands. It’s almost as if he was trying to achieve the exact opposite of Stokes’s catch the other day.
24th over: Pakistan 134-2 (Babar 29, Hafeez 14) Stokes is bowling well, mixing wide slow ones outside off, which Hafeez misses, with sharper deliveries angled in at middle-and-leg. Good over.
23rd over: Pakistan 132-2 (Babar 28, Hafeez 14) Because of the pair of right-handers, Morgan replaces Moeen with his mate Adil Rashid, who makes a good start, conceding four singles.
“Match-losing hundred?” splutters Sandile Xaso. “I’m not nearly old enough to start yelling at the clouds but I can never get used to the concept of a run-a-ball 100 now being considered a losing hundred. What a time to be alive, eh?”
22nd over: Pakistan 128-2 (Babar 26, Hafeez 12) Another four from Hafeez, who helps a bouncer round the corner and bisects the men at long leg and deep square. Stokes makes it clear that he thinks deep square, Bairstow, should have cut it off. Hafeez has 12 off six and Pakistan are back in the driving seat.
“Why,” asks Bruce Kercher, “are we in Australia able to watch England v Pakistan live on free to air TV when English viewers aren’t? And why weren’t we able to watch Australia’s one-day matches on free to air TV during our last summer. I know the answer, his name begins with M and cricket, like politics in the US, UK and Australia, has been corrupted.”
21st over: Pakistan 119-2 (Babar 24, Hafeez 5) So Mo has seen off both openers and doubled his ODI wicket tally for 2019. But he may be a victim of his own success, as there are now two right-handers at the crease. Mohammad Hafeez opens his account by dancing down the track to play a lofted straight drive. Nonchalant stuff.
Wicket! Imam c Woakes b Moeen 44 (Pakistan 111-2)
Another great catch from England! Imam-ul-Haq lofts Moeen inside-out over extra cover, and Woakes, at long-off, flings himself to his right to make a difficult chance look easy. Who said he had a bad knee?
20th over: Pakistan 111-1 (Imam 44, Babar 21) Stokes restores order, conceding a couple of singles and a leg-bye. This is a tremendous contest, absorbing, fluctuating, compelling.
19th over: Pakistan 108-1 (Imam 42, Babar 20) Babar, who has been elegant as usual, suddenly goes big, lofting Moeen over mid-off, one bounce. He has 20 off 20 balls. The challenge for him now is to get a winning hundred off 80, not another of the losing hundreds at a run a ball which have become a Pakistan speciality.
18th over: Pakistan 100-1 (Imam 41, Babar 14) Wood goes off to discuss his exemplary figures (4-0-13-0) with his friend the imaginary horse, and on comes Ben Stokes, the hero of the opening day. He starts by beating Babar outside off with a length ball before going for five singles as Pakistan’s hundred comes up. The second fifty took 64 balls, 20 more than the first. This pitch looks good for everyone, offering pace, turn, a little movement, and, as ever, plenty of runs.
17th over: Pakistan 95-1 (Imam 39, Babar 11) With Babar Azam out there, Moeen has a right-hander to contend with and Pakistan are instantly more purposeful, picking up five from the over.
“Morning Tim,” says Richard Dennis. “Hope you are well.” I am, thanks, keeping busy. “Nice little comeback from England’s bowlers here. Is it now a case that with Archer playing, Mark Wood firing, and if Mo can get his mojo back, that England’s strength is actually their bowling? Surely that couldn’t be the case, could it?” As that Chinese politician said about the French revolution, it’s a bit early to say. But, as Buzz Lightyear said, I like your thinking, Sheriff.
16th over: Pakistan 90-1 (Imam 38, Babar 7) Wood roughs up Babar, who starts by ducking and weaving and then produces a swivel-pull – the first four Wood has conceded. And that’s drinks, with the game so far dividing into two neat blocks – Pakistan winning the first eight overs (62-0) and England winning the second (28-1). We’re heading inexorably for a tie.
15th over: Pakistan 85-1 (Imam 38, Babar 2) Great stuff from Moeen, who has 4-0-15-1.
“Don’t worry,” says David Green. “I’m in Kopoko in Papúa New Guinea where the internet is insufficient for anything other than OBO updates.” Thank God for dial-up.
Wicket! Fakhar st Buttler b Moeen 36 (Pakistan 82-1)
Yes, Buttler knew – he whipped off the bails immaculately, and Fakhar’s momentum had taken him forward as he missed Mo’s drifting off-break. That’s a triumph for Mo, his third ODI wicket this year; a relief for Buttler, who had an off day on Thursday; and a shame for the crowd, as Fakhar had been on fire early on.