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One Dramatic Match and some breathtaking thoughts

Pakistan beat host England by 14 runs. Hafeez said they believed they could bounce back while Root says they are not disappointed.

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One Dramatic Match and some breathtaking thoughts
Pakistan defended their score of 334 runs against a strong English batting. Photo: Reuters

Joe Root and Jos Buttler scored hundreds & architect of England innings but Pakistan managed to restrict England at 334 & grabbed a 14 runs victory in a high-scoring encounter.

Mohammad Hafeez saluted Pakistan’s “total team effort” after they stunned hosts England with a 14-run victory over the tournament favourites at Trent Bridge on Monday. Hafeez earned the man-of-the-match award for his influential innings of 84 from 62 balls as he punished England for dropping him when he was on 14.

The 38-year-old also took the key wicket of England captain Eoin Morgan, slowing the run chase before Pakistan held on despite centuries for Joe Root and Jos Buttler.

It was a remarkable result for Pakistan, who made 348-8, just days after they were thrashed by the West Indies in their first match of the tournament at the same venue. On that occasion, Pakistan were bowled out for just 105, but they proved a much tougher side against England and Hafeez put that down to the whole squad sticking together and producing their best at key moments. He told, “Everyone was believing we could do this. We were playing good cricket but not winning crucial stages of the game. We needed one winning performance and then everyone contributed accordingly. It was a total team effort. It is a very happy dressing room.”

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed echoed Hafeez’s assessment of his unpredictable team’s against-the-odds triumph and singled out leg-spinner Shadab Khan. “It was a great team effort. Bowlers bowled really well. We tried a couple of different things. We started with Shadab because we know their openers are not good against spin,” he said. “Fielding is a very important part. In the last ODI series it was different. Today we feel better and we bowl better.”

On the other side, Root said, “Very disappointed if I’m being honest. One thing we have to make sure we don’t do is panic and go away from what’s been so successful for us. We probably just left a little too much to do at the end. That’s probably my fault.”

Insisting England will emerge stronger from their surprise defeat, Root added:

“We’ve been nowhere near our best cricket throughout these two games, so with that still to come we feel like we’re in a good place.”

It’s been a great comeback from unpredictable Pakistan. After winning yesterday’s match against England they just made full stop in there 12 straight forward loose in One-day International Matches.

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