England managed to take 1-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, who lost in the first match. But Pakistan will hope for a better show against the host as they prepare for the second ODI at the iconic Lord's cricket ground on Saturday.
Pakistan scored a decent 260 runs from their allotted 50 overs in the first game, which did not prove to be a winning total as England won the game via D/L method. Things could have been much better for Pakistan had their batsmen converted their starts into meaningful scores. At this level, batsman have to make their starts count. Most of their batsmen got decent starts, but only skipper Azhar Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed scored 82 and 55 runs respectively.
To be fair, one also needs to give credit to the English bowlers, primarily Chris Woakes and Mark Wood, who bowled a tight line and length with good pace to stifle the Pakistan batsmen. These bowlers will hope to contain the Men in Green in the second ODI as well.
Meanwhile, Pakistan bowlers were not at their best in the first ODI, as England were comfortable during the chase. They were well ahead of the required run rate as well. Skipper Ali is aware that they were not upto the mark in the field as well.
"We didn't bowl in good areas and were too short in the beginning which allowed the in-form English openers to score quick runs," The Express Tribune quoted Ali as saying.
"Fielding wasn't good either and I know we can field much better. When you are defending a total of around 260 you need to be disciplined in your bowling and fielding."
Pakistan need to come up with all-round cricket if they are to have any chance of levelling in the series against an assured England side. The hosts will be confident after their bowlers and batsmen looked good in the first ODI.
Jason Roy and Joe Root were the stars of the first ODI, scoring important runs, and if the duo get their act together in the second ODI, Pakistan will find it difficult. What makes this England team even stronger is contribution from other players when needed. If stars like Root fail to deliver, they can depend on Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan and the rest.
There are four matches yet to be played, and England have just taken a 1-0 lead. They cannot afford to take it easy against Pakistan, who have showed that fighting spirit in the Test series as well. This match is an important one for both sides. If England manage to win, they will inch closer to the series win, and Ali's team triumph at Lord's will make the five-match contest even interesting.
Where to watch live
England vs Pakistan 2st ODI is scheduled for 10:30 a.m BST (3 p.m IST, 2:30 p.m Pakistan time)
Here is live TV and streaming information for the match.
India - TV: Star Sports 2/HD. Live Streaming: Starsports.com
Pakistan – TV: PTV Sports. Live streaming: PTV Sports live
UK: TV: Sky Sports 2. Live Streaming: Sky Go