SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) â€” England prevailed over Pakistan by a convincing six wickets on Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the one-day international series it can clinch in the last match.
Chasing a target of 209 after bowling out Pakistan in the 50th over, England reached 210-4 in 41 overs.
England's batting effort was led by a battling fifth-wicket stand of 117 runs between James Taylor (67 not out) & wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (49 not out), who came in with their side in a spot of bother at 93-4.
p>Pakistan looked like making a match out of it when swift bowler Mohammad Irfan removed Jason Roy for 7, & then left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar, making his ODI debut for the injured Yasir Shah, received rid of danger man Joe Root for 11. At that stage, England was 27-2.
Alex Hales (30) & captain Eoin Morgan (35) batted cautiously & added 60 for the third wicket before both were dismissed in quick succession. Hales turned a Gohar delivery straight into the hands of Mohammad Rizwan in the slips, while Morgan was clean bowled by a Shoaib Malik delivery that turned & jumped.
Taylor & Buttler, who has been struggling with the bat, took over & negotiated the Pakistan spinners well.
Taylor, who hit two sixes off Malik, reached his half-century in 51 balls, while Buttler finished off the match with a six off Iftikhar Ahmed.
On a pitch that really did not offer much to the bowlers in the first innings, Pakistan was 132-2 in the 30th over, yet inept batting & running between the wickets saw four wickets fall in the space of six overs for just 13 runs.
There were three run outs, including that of captain & opener Azhar Ali, who was looking increasingly comfortable on 36. Only a rearguard action from Wahab Riaz (33 not out) helped his side go past the 200 mark after being 161-8 at one stage.
Mohammad Hafeez top-scored with 45, yet it wasn't the most fluent knock from Pakistan's most successful batsmen in the series. He hit two sixes off legspinner Adil Rashid yet otherwise consumed 71 balls, & was at fault in running out Azhar. Hafeez was the third batsman to go, flicking David Willey to Root.
Azhar won the toss for Pakistan & made a steady start in the company of his opening partner Babar Azam. The duo looked untroubled against the English pace attack & put up 43 runs in the first 10 overs. Chris Woakes struck in the 11th.
Azam was on 22 & confident when he tried to pull a short-pitch delivery yet mistimed & handed a catch to Adil Rashid at long leg.
Azhar was the next to go, responding to a call from Hafeez when no run existed, & was left stranded against Taylor's throw to Buttler from point.
Pace bowler Chris Woakes was the most successful bowler for England, picking up 4-40.
Moeen Ali did an superior job with his spin, giving away just 30 runs, & collecting the wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed for 26.
England lost the first match by six wickets in Abu Dhabi, & won the second at the same venue by 95 runs on Friday. The fourth & final match is in Dubai on Friday.
Source: “Associated Press”