ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Confident England face ‘wounded’ Pakistan

Omkar Paranjape
Monday, 3 June 2019

Pakistan, who have now lost 11 ODIs in succession will look for an improved performance after being heavily beaten here by West Indies on Friday.

London: As England take on Pakistan in Nottingham on Monday, it can be termed as the battle of contrasts-given the manner of England’s opening day win and Pakistan folded out against the West Indies. Limited overs cricket, however, throws up surprises and unexpected turnarounds, so it need not be a total mismatch.

It’s been just three weeks since England blanked Pakistan 4-0 in an ODI series, with one of the victories coming in Nottingham. Since then, England have opened their tournament account with a resounding victory over South Africa at The Oval.

Pakistan, who have now lost 11 ODIs in succession will look for an improved performance after being heavily beaten here by West Indies on Friday.

A couple of good points for them were an aggressive spell from Mohammad Amir (3-26), who hasn’t been in prime form over the last year.

But it was in-your-face West Indian fast bowling and poor shot selection that did for them. Sarfraz Ahmed’s side were the architects of their own downfall in many ways and it will take serious soul searching for them to bounce back.

England, on the other hand will be feeling very confident. With Ben Stokes getting runs, wickets and spectacular catches, and Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy and Joe Root also making fifties they will be thinking they can repeat the results of the very recent past.

Batting paradise
The ground is renowned as a batsman’s paradise, with England having twice set the world record for the highest score in a one-day international - 444 for three against Pakistan in 2016 and last year’s 481 for six - on the very pitch that will be used for Monday’s match at Trent Bridge.

But Pakistan’s batsmen had anything but an easy ride in Nottingham as they succumbed to a bouncer barrage from the West Indies that saw them slump to 105 all out and a comprehensive defeat in their opening match of the World Cup on Friday.

England, who launched their quest to win the World Cup for the first time with a 104-run rout of South Africa at the Oval in which fast bowler Jofra Archer starred may now, in the light of Pakistan’s problems against short-pitched bowling, unleash Wood in partnership with the Sussex speedster.

Ticketing fiasco
Monday’s match will also be an important test for what World Cup organisers insist will be improved procedures after thousands of frustrated fans were left queuing for hours on Friday, in some cases missing the entire Pakistan innings, as they waited to collect their match tickets.

World Cup Managing Director, Steve Elworthy clarified: “I sincerely apologise to every single fan who was affected by the queues today. It is certainly not what we want their first experience of what is already proving to be a fantastic Cricket World Cup to be.

“We have delivered over 700,000 tickets to more than 120 countries, but not all tickets were successfully delivered and as such we have seen a higher volume collecting at the venue. It is only right that we refund these fans by way of apology. The refund will happen automatically so the fans do not need to do anything.”

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