England beat Pakistan by 6 wickets in the 3rd ODI at Sharjah, reaching the posted target with nine overs to spare.
Pakistan started their innings well after batting first, moving along at a comfortable pace till around the 30-over mark, when a deluge of wickets left them with a very low total. Mohammad Hafeeez and Sarfraz Ahmed were looking good at the crease with the score at 132/2 in the 30th over, but their departure in quick succession meant that the going got tough.
The new batsmen coming in could not keep up with the scoring rate, and there was a major batting collapse – engineered by Chris Woakes’ 4/40 and two run-outs.
No.9 Wahab Riaz gave a late charge to the English bowlers, becoming the first Pakistani to hit three or more sixes in an ODI while batting at 9th or a lower position on two different occasions. His 35-ball 33 gave some hopes to drooping Pakistani hopes of a contest.
Taylor and Buttler take England home after early hiccups
In what has become an English tradition, they lost an opener within the first few overs to Mohammad Irfan, who troubled the batsmen throughout. Joe Root was picked up quickly too, as the spinners were introduced early on. At 27/2, a lot of work needed to be done for the visitors.
Captain Eoin Mogan and Alex Hales took responsibility of steadying the ship, before a composed 5th wicket partnership between James Taylor and Jos Buttler took them to shores of victory.
The two made the chase look easy, turning around what could have been a tough match for them. With his commanding half-century, James Taylor has made a good claim to being the regular No. 5 in the side.
With this win, England have a 2-1 lead in the 4-match series. The final match will be played on Friday, before the teams move on to a T20 series. After the disappointment in the Test series, England have given a good account of themselves so far in the limited-overs games.
Pakistan: 208 all out (49.5 overs)
|Azhar Ali||36 (54)|
|Babar Azam||22 (30)|
|Mohammad Hafeez||45 (71)|
|Shoaib Malik||16 (29)|
|Mohammad Rizwan||1 (3)|
|Iftikhar Ahmed||3 (10)|
|Anwar Ali||7 (19)|
|Wahab Riaz||33 (35)|
|Zafar Gohar||15 (15)|
|Mohammad Irfan||0 (7)|
|TOTAL||208 all out|
|Jason Roy||7 (6)|
|Alex Hales||30 (49)|
|Joe Root||11 (14)|
|James Taylor||67* (69)|
|Jos Buttler||49* (50)|
|TOTAL||210/4 (41 overs)|