David Willey shows his mettle at the death and proves his World Cup worth to England

Nick Hoult
David Willey takes two for 13 in his last two overs to swing the match back England's way - Getty Images Europe

David Willey bowled his way into ­England’s World Cup squad with a ­display of nerveless death bowling but, even with his feet up in the dressing room, Jofra Archer confirmed his ­importance to this side.

As Pakistan threatened a remarkable run chase after Jos Buttler had scored England’s second-fastest ODI hundred, Willey showed his mettle just when captain Eoin Morgan needed one of his seamers to deliver. Willey gambled on pulling off his yorkers, taking two for 13 in his final two overs as Pakistan lost by 12 runs having looked well placed with five overs to go.

But apart from Willey, England’s quick bowlers struggled and the attack lacked penetration without Archer’s pace as Fakhar Zaman matched ­Buttler’s strokeplay with his own ­brilliant hundred.

Resting Archer confirmed he has done enough to be in the final World Cup XV, but for seamers such as Liam Plunkett and Willey this was an important chance. Plunkett lacked penetration while Chris Woakes appears short of fitness. Woakes has done enough in the past to be certain of a World Cup berth. Plunkett is now fighting with Tom Curran for the final slot.

It was a flat pitch, with no help for the bowlers, but that is what will be produced for the World Cup and only serves to show the importance of raw pace. Without Archer, England’s attack was one-dimensional and predictable, thankful they had the weight of runs on their side.

Jason Roy contributed the lion's share to another century stand with Jonny Bairstow but holed out when well set and three figures of his own begging Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Buttler celebrated his eighth ODI century by rocking his bat in his arms in recognition of the birth of his first child two weeks ago and for England batting against a Pakistan side without their star leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who is recovering from hepatitis, was child’s play.

A fifty for Jonny Bairstow in his first innings of the summer, Jason Roy’s 87 on his return to action from a back injury and Eoin Morgan’s 71 off 48 balls meant England did not need to call on the likes of Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali. 

This was the 35th time in 82 innings since the last World Cup they have ­broken through 300. To put that in ­perspective, England managed only 300 or more 34 times in their entire one-day history up until 2015.

Roy took a while to find his timing after a three-week lay off but a six over long-on off Faheem Ashraf settled his nerves and another over extra cover showed that even when his timing is off, he can rely on sheer power to see him through. His dodgy back was tested by Bairstow’s running but they have built a natural understanding and their century stand was their sixth in 25 innings. It left Pakistan having to muzzle England’s gunslingers with wickets in hand.

Jos Buttler pays tribute to his newborn daughter Georgia when posting his century Credit: IN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images

Bairstow was brilliantly caught on the boundary and while Roy was not at his most fluent, this was important time spent at the crease. A hundred beckoned but a brief rain break disrupted his momentum, and he was caught off a top edge.

Morgan bristled with intent. Joe Root slapped a Yasir Shah long hop to midwicket but England could afford to lose their anchor. It was time to steam away from the opposition. Buttler thrashed Yasir for a six and two fours in three balls; the leg-spinner’s lack of variation making him easy picking for two fine players of spin.

With no reverse swing or turn, ­Pakistan were facing a mauling. They tried cramping Buttler for room, bowling back of a length with the leg-side field pushed back but Buttler got round that by stepping to the onside to hit a slower ball from Ashraf for four. 

Bowling full to Buttler is even more of a gamble. His bat speed and power enables him to smash slower-ball ­yorkers straight into the stands. ­Pakistan bowled 17 full deliveries; ­Buttler smoked them for 39 runs.

The only defensive option was to try to force him to hit to the longer boundary. It did not work for Buttler has the power to clear any rope and he reached his ton with a six over long on. It was England’s second-fastest ODI century behind Buttler’s own record set four years ago against the same team.

Fakhar Zaman makes a brilliant hundred in Pakistan's thrilling chase Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

For large parts of their reply, ­Pakistan were ahead of the game. Fakhar was brilliant. The first Pakistani to score an ODI double hundred, he carries their World Cup hopes. ­England bowled too short to him, fearful of the straight boundaries, but he had the power to help himself to leg.

Morgan left his seamers on in the middle overs, but England only broke through when Fakhar chased a wide ball from Woakes. Morgan, fielding at extra cover, was the only one convinced he heard the edge and reviewed.

When Babar Azam was out in the next over, the run rate looked daunting but Sarfaraz Ahmed went after Adil Rashid and with 53 needed off five, Pakistan looked favourites. But Willey found the blockhole and England held on.

7:18PM

OVER 50: PAK 355/7 (Sarfraz 40* Hasan 0*) chasing 374

Wide yorkers will be the default delivery. Hasan Ali drills two to cover off one and, after a debatable wide, slashes a cut to short third man. Sharp stop from Moeen who saves three. Woakes goes seventh-stump to Sarfraz who gropes after it and misses. The Pakistan captain can only chip the fourth ball to point for a single. Pakistan need 14 off two balls. Woakes again finds the extent of the tramline to keep it legal and a dot ball and Hasan squeezes out a single off the last ball. England win by 12 runs.  

7:13PM

OVER 49: PAK 355/7 (Sarfraz 40* Hasan 0*) chasing 374

Plunkett is back for the penultimate over. He begins with one painting the tramlines and Faheem can only squeeze it out for one. Sarfraz pulls the slow-ball bouncer riskily but it lands between square leg and fine leg and they run three. Faheem sacrifices himself slogging and Pakistan are left requiring 19 from the final over which will be taken by Woakes. Plunkett will not bowl out but trots into the deep with 9-0-64-2. 

7:10PM

Wicket!!

Faheem c Stokes b Plunkett 3 Reaching desperation stakes he spoons a length delivery from outside off to midwicket. Easy catch for Stokes. FOW 353/7

7:06PM

OVER 48: PAK 347/6 (Sarfraz 34* Faheem 1*) chasing 374

Willey shows his mettle and control, restricting them to two and a single, then winkles out Imad. Sarfraz crossed to get on strike and drives the next ball for a single, digging out the yorker. Willey closes it out with a single and a dot ball with his yorker strategy from round the wicket. He finishes with 10-0-57-2. Pakistan need 27 off 12. 

7:02PM

Wicket!!

Imad c Buttler b Willey 8 Top-edged a cross bat swipe and Buttler ran back to fly slip and leapt headlong to take the catch. FOW 345/6

7:01PM

OVER 47: PAK 342/5 (Sarfraz 30* Imad 8*) chasing 374      

Sensational shot from Sarfraz, drilling Rashid's googly through the covers for four. Bairstow makes a terrific diving save on the rope from another cover drive, saving two and then Willey cuts off a pull at midwicket, restricting them to two again. But Imad Wasim thrashes the last ball over long-on for six. Huge over. Rashid ends with one for 81. Pakistan need 32 off 18. 

6:57PM

OVER 46: PAK 325/5 (Sarfraz 19* Imad 2*) chasing 374      

Asif brings up his fifty with an off-drive for two but expires trying to up the tempo. Enter Imad who bunts two past mid-off helped by a wild throw. Pakistan require 49 off 24 balls. 

6:53PM

Wicket!!

Asif c Stokes b Willey 51  Lofts a drive right out of the screws to Stokes at long-off. FOW 323/5

6:51PM

OVER 45: PAK 321/4 (Asif 49* Sarfraz 19*) chasing 374     

Rashid's googly is taken by Sarfraz about two yards outside leg-stump and late cut past the stumps for a single. Asif whips a single off his legs, Sarfraz sweeps two and Asif steps away to cut two. Good stops from Willey and Bairstow stem the wound. 

6:46PM

OVER 44: PAK 313/4 (Asif 48* Sarfraz 12*) chasing 374    

Willey will have another go at cementing his place in the World Cup squad. He takes an age with his captain to set the field. He comes round the wicket and adopts a full length. Asif digs it out to mid-off. Dot ball. He lands his next attempted yorker, though, too soon and Asif creams it over long off for six. The right-hander swats two through point but Willey fighst back to end with two dot balls. Pakistan need 61 off 36 balls. Morgan has 12 balls from Rashid up his sleeve and brings him back now. 

6:40PM

OVER 43: PAK 305/4 (Asif 40* Sarfraz 12*) chasing 374    

Woakes has to try to repair the damage inflicted on Plunkett and he does so for four balls until Asif climbs into his wide yorker and creams it through point for four. Pakistan need 69 off 42 balls. 

6:35PM

OVER 42: PAK 296/4 (Asif 34* Sarfraz 10*) chasing 374    

England have done well this past five overs to rope in the runaway steer and they have done it by holding their nerve. Sarfraz is slowing them down like Root did for England but after Plunkett bangs in a bouncer so loopy it is called wide, the Pakistan captain wakes up and takes his left leg out of the way to smear a length ball off middle over midwicket for four. Plunkett is visibly tired and bowls another wide then Asif thrashes a cross bat hoick past mid-on for four. Good stop by Root at short fine leg turns a four into a single. Pakistan need 78 off 48 balls. 

6:29PM

OVER 41: PAK 283/4 (Asif 29* Sarfraz 4*) chasing 374   

Morgan rotates back to Woakes and he restricts them to five singles. The run rate goes above 10.  

6:25PM

OVER 40: PAK 276/4 (Asif 27* Sarfraz 1*) chasing 374  

Sohail's top hand came off the bat when he played the shot. Slower ball from Plunkett? Haris certainly had to overreach for it. The batsmen cross and Asif takes the next ball, working it behind square for a single. Sarfraz, is off the mark with a French/Chinese cut that was  almost a Welsh drag-on. Ten overs to go and Pakistan need 98. 

6:20PM

Wicket!!

Haris c Bairstow b Plunkett 14 Holes out to deep point after top-edging his cut. FOW 274/4

6:19PM

OVER 39: PAK 274/3 (Asif 26* Haris 14*) chasing 374 

Moeen is going to bowl out and begins with two dots by virtue of one that was flighted and the other he darted in. Sohail chips two over the infield, the batsmen exchange singles then Haris ends Moeen's spell with a lofted drive over wide mid-off for three. Moeen ends with one for 66. 

6:17PM

OVER 38: PAK 267/3 (Asif 25* Haris 8*) chasing 374 

Asif Ali smites a six over long on and then chips the next but one ball to mid-on. Willey sprints forward and dives, getting his hands under it and grazing his knuckles on the grass before it spills out. A hard chance but one he should have taken. Willey excoriates himself, stomps about a bit. Rashid looks crestfallen. Pakistan require 107 runs from 72 balls. 

6:13PM

OVER 37: PAK 257/3 (Asif 18* Haris 6*) chasing 374

Asif, who has extraordinary power hitting in the arc between the bowler and midwicket, comes down the pitch and blasts it over wide mid-on for six. Stokes reached its destination but it was too high for him to gather. Four singles and a two erode the target score with a handy 12. Moeen has 9-0-59-1 so far. 

6:10PM

OVER 36: PAK 246/3 (Asif 8* Haris 4*) chasing 374   

Rashid begins with three dot balls and then Asif decides to take him on and swats a shovelly drive over the midwicket sweeper for six. Pakistan need 129 from 84. 

6:07PM

OVER 35: PAK 237/3 (Asif 2* Haris 3*) chasing 374  

Two new batsmen are the trigger for Moeen to return. Haris Sohail on-drives a single, Asif sweeps another and Haris ends an important over for England with a third single off it. England have clawed it back.  

 

6:05PM

OVER 34: PAK 234/3 (Asif 1* Haris 1*) chasing 374 

Pakistan promote the big-hitting Asif Ali to No4. Before he faces a ball Babar posts his fifty with a whip off his pads for two. Asif gets off the mark with a slappy cover drive but it's all by the by compared with Rashid's happy knack getting England out of trouble again. 

Pakistan need 140 off 96 balls.

6:01PM

Wicket!!

Babar c&b Rashid 51Throwing the kitchen sink at a long hop, his bottom hand comes off the bat and he spoons it back up the pitch, giving the bowler a dolly. FOW 233/3

5:59PM

OVER 33: PAK 227/2 (Babar 46* Asif 0*) chasing 374

England had a mid-pitch conference after Fakhar had scooped Woakes for four and dabbed two down to third man. They decided to switch to wide yorkers for the last two balls and it immediately brought dividends. Buttler was the only one who was certain he had nicked it. Woakes was unsure but Morgan backed his keeper and they finally break the partnership at 135. Superb innings from Fakhar. 

5:55PM

Wicket!!

Fakhar c Buttler b Woakes 138 Chasing a wide yorker, he got the slightest touch with the toe of the bat as he it scooted under it. FOW 227/2

Credit: Sky Sports

 

5:54PM

England review!

Fakhar c Buttler b Woakes Did he feather it through? 

5:49PM

OVER 32: PAK 220/1 (Fakhar 132* Babar 45*) chasing 374

Rashid manages to turn the gushing tap back to a respectable flow until an overthrow, a slog swept four and a lofted off-drive ruin his figures. Twelve off the over. Quaking. 

 

5:45PM

OVER 31: PAK 208/1 (Fakhar 124* Babar 42*) chasing 374  

Morgan turns to Woakes rather than Rashid and he rigidly adheres to the short-ball policy to Fakhar. He starts with a slower one and Fakhar climbs into the pull, swatting it behind square for four. A single apiece follows to raise the 200. Morgan brings up fine leg and Fakhar brazenly scoops the next ball over his shoulder for four. He resumes an orthodox approach to drive a pair of twos. Fourteen off the over. Pakistan have batted beautifully. Rashid, belatedly, is coming back. Pakistan require 166 off 114. 

5:38PM

OVER 30: PAK 194/1 (Fakhar 111* Babar 42*) chasing 374 

Babar wears one in the goolies after Stokes jags one in to him. He limps a leg-bye, eyes leaking at the corners. Fakhar waits for one that is pitched up, withdraws his front leg and threshes it through mid on with a cleaving horizontal-bat heave. 

5:34PM

OVER 29: PAK 187/1 (Fakhar 105* Babar 41*) chasing 374 

 Terrific stop by Rashid off Plunkett's bowling cuts off a certain four at third man after Babar's uppercut. He'll be back bowling soon, key to breaking this partnership.  They run three and then milk more singles into the legside off Plunkett's half-trackers.

 Pakistan need 187 off 126 balls. 

5:30PM

OVER 28: PAK 177/1 (Fakhar 103* Babar 33*) chasing 374

Ben Stokes, old golden arm, comes on for the first time today. He, too, sticks to the plan of banging it in to Fakhar to keep him quiet. It works in restricting him to singles but Stokes then strays on to Babar's pads and he whisks him through square for four. Sweet, sweet shot.  

5:26PM

OVER 27: PAK 168/1 (Fakhar 100* Babar 27*) chasing 374

Plunkett continues with this screw-turning approach of banging in in for Babar and bowling it into Fakhar's hip. One error from Plunkett, too full from over the wicket sits up and Fakhar murders it through mid-on for four. Plunkett responds with a good bouncer that climbs on the batsman who swings and misses but he punches the last ball through cover for the two that brings up his hundred off 84 balls. 

5:21PM

OVER 26: PAK 160/1 (Fakhar 93* Babar 26*) chasing 374

Willey continues to aim for the bullseye on Fakhar's ribs and the left-hander swivels to pull fine for a single. Babar plays tip and run to mid-on. Another short ball is cuffed round the corner for a single by Fakhar  while Babar glances another. A run a ball is fine for England. Pakistan need 214 off 144 balls. 

5:17PM

OVER 25: PAK 155/1 (Fakhar 90* Babar 24*) chasing 374

Fakhar punches a drive through mid-off for a single. Babar rides the bounce and dabs a single to third man. Better by Plunkett. 

5:14PM

OVER 24: PAK 152/1 (Fakhar 88* Babar 23*) chasing 374    

Four singles and a two off Willey. Pakistan ticking along nicely. Have they got the firepower to kick on beyond 350?

5:10PM

OVER 23: PAK 146/1 (Fakhar 86* Babar 19*) chasing 374   

Double change as Plunkett returns and the left-handed Fakhar swipes second ball, that was arrowed into his hip, over deep backward square for six. Four sixes for the opener so far in his 82 off 67 balls. Smart running, diving stop by Bairstow at deep backward square saves two when Fakhar pulls again. England are so wary of giving him any width outside off-stump, the quicks are firing everything into his ribs.  He hooks the last ball which flies off the top edge but lands safely. Rashid hurls it back from the fine leg boundary. 

5:05PM

OVER 22: PAK 136/1 (Fakhar 76* Babar 19*) chasing 374  

Decent return for Willey, just a couple of singles after opening with a legside wide first ball. He almost induces Babar to nick off with a late cut but the ball sears past the edge without clipping it. 

5:01PM

OVER 21: PAK 133/1 (Fakhar 75* Babar 18*) chasing 374  

Moeen turns one past Fakhar's edge but next ball the batsman comes down and mows one over cow corner for four. Roy's momentum take him over the rope where he bundled over a cameraman. Could have been nasty. Pakistan need 241 from 174 balls. Willey is coming back on. 

4:58PM

OVER 20: PAK 125/1 (Fakhar 69* Babar 16*) chasing 374 

Fakhar flicks a single off Rashid's googly through square leg, cuts the leg-break to point and Babar carves another through the off-side.  

Fakhar leads the assault Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

 

4:52PM

OVER 19: PAK 122/1 (Fakhar 67* Babar 15*) chasing 374 

England playing a game of patience with the batsmen in the last over before drinks and despite conceding five off te first four deliveries, it almost pays off when Fakhar almost plays on, cutting one that wasn't wide enough. The ball squirts diagonally past off-stump down to fine leg for a single. 

4:50PM

OVER 18: PAK 116/1 (Fakhar 65* Babar 11*) chasing 374 

Seven off Rashid's over. Giving them no room to smash him, using drift, lack of pace and dip but they happily manipulate him around for singles and a couple of twos to square leg and point respectively. 

4:48PM

OVER 17: PAK 109/1 (Fakhar 64* Babar 5*) chasing 374 

A moment after Nasser Hussain is speculating whether anyone in the World Cup will target Moeen, Fakhar slog sweeps him high into the crowd at deep backward square. Glorious shot. Immaculate timing. They'd been happily milking him, rotating the strike, messing up his line by alternating between the right and left-handers. 

 

4:45PM

OVER 16: PAK 97/1 (Fakhar 56* Babar 2*) chasing 374 

Adil Rashid restricts them to three singles, using his googly judiciously against the left-handed Fakhar. He premeditates a sweep and is struck on the sternum as it spits up at him. He stays on his feet next ball and runs it down to third man for a single off the last ball. 

4:40PM

OVER 15: PAK 94/1 (Fakhar 52* Babar 1*) chasing 374 

Excellent from Moeen. England's spinner given the pitch will be key here. 

4:36PM

Wicket!!

Imam-ul-Haq c&b Moeen 35 Stuck in the pitch a little after gripping, forcing Imam to be too early in his drive and spooning it up off a leading edge. Moeen dived forward on his knees and to his right to get his hands under it. FOW 92/1

4:36PM

OVER 14: PAK 91/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 35* Fakhar 52*) chasing 374 

Morgan turns to his key bowler, Adil Rashid, who begins with a googly that Fakhar plays late, reading it off the pitch. He tickles the next round the corner for two and repeats the stroke for the same return to reach his half-century off 39 balls. 

4:32PM

OVER 13: PAK 84/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 34* Fakhar 46*) chasing 374    

Fakhar has had enough and pulls out a stroke from his Champions Trophy-winning knock against India, advancing and mowing a drive over wide mid on for six, striking a woman spectator on the biceps 10 rows back. That will smart, but she smiles nonetheless. 

4:29PM

OVER 12: PAK 77/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 34* Fakhar 39*) chasing 374     

Plunkett, too, is trying to tie the batsmen up on leg stump. It risks leg-byes and Imam duly takes one. Fakhar glances two round the corner and then spoons a pull through midwicket for a single.

 

4:26PM

OVER 11: PAK 71/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 33* Fakhar 35*) chasing 374    

Moeen spears one from round the wicket across Imam, trying to cramp him up on leg-stump and it works except when he drifts too wide and the ball beats Buttler. They run two wides to add to the three singles milked into the legside. 

4:21PM

OVER 10: PAK 66/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 32* Fakhar 33*) chasing 374    

Plunkett told Waqar this morning that he prefers bowling cross-seam now because the ball sits easier in his hand. Waqar says it helps impart dome backspin and hence swing but feels he should mix it up more. Fakhar tickles a single off his pads, Imam clips a pair of twos through square leg. Cranking up the speed now, Plunkett reaches 87mph. 

4:18PM

OVER 9: PAK 61/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 28* Fakhar 32*) chasing 374    

First change - Moeen replaces Woakes and stems the tide for a while. Imam works two off his pads and a single. Fakhar just the one into the onside. Double change. Plunkett will replace Willey. 

4:14PM

OVER 8: PAK 57/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 25* Fakhar 31*) chasing 374   

Fifty up for Pakistan when Imam pulls Willey for four and cracks his bat in the process. The ball was bowled from over the wicket across the left-hander and climbed above his right shoulder. Imam only helped it on its way but I suppose these new bats are brittle. His new bat brings him four from a back-foot drive through point. Fine start this from these two ... but then again they are both class acts, having scored more than 1,000 runs each in 50-over internationals over the past 12 months. 

4:10PM

OVER 7: PAK 46/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 15* Fakhar 30*) chasing 374  

Woakes continues. Of the seamers under threat from Archer, I suspect he's safe. Seems it's going to be a shootout between David Willey and Liam Plunkett, possibly Mark Wood who we have yet to see. A couple of singles and then Fakhar clears his front leg and plays a baseball shot, drilling it into the seats at rightfield for a home run for six. Woakes finishes with a slower ball, too short, and Fakhar flips it off his pads at mid-shin height for four through long leg. Good start from Pakistan, this. England's opening bowlers have no bite on this belter of a pitch. 

 

4:04PM

OVER 6: PAK 33/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 13* Fakhar 19*) chasing 374  

Stokes chases down a pull through midwicket, racing round from deep backward square and hauls it back from the rope with a headlong dive, a foot inside. His bullet throw keeps them down to three. 

4:02PM

OVER 5: PAK 28/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 11* Fakhar 16*) chasing 374  

Brutal from Fakhar,a  front-foot pull, stand and deliver style, clattering it over midwicket for four. Woakes responds with a slower ball and Fakhar skips down and larrups a drive past mid-on for four more.  

3:57PM

OVER 4: PAK 18/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 11* Fakhar 6*) chasing 374 

Gorgeous timing from Fakhar to punch the ball off the front foot down the ground for four. No followthrough at all, his bat stood still at the vertical, the pendulum sticking and yet it flew to the boundary. He hacks a cut into the covers for a single and his partner thick edges another behind square for two. 

3:53PM

OVER 3: PAK 10/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 8* Fakhar 1*) chasing 374

Imam channels Buttler ... actually Roy. He chassés out of his crease and absolutely pastes the ball over the leaping Morgan at mid-off. It bounces once before hitting the fence. Four eyes, one vision. He dabs the next ball for a single and Wokes then proceeds to bind Fakhar with a tight line and some late cutters. 

3:49PM

OVER 2: PAK 5/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 3* Fakhar 1*) chasing 374

David Willey, with white Alice band holding back his fringe, takes the other new ball. Rob Key claims never to have seen one before. 'What is it?' he asks. He has a daughter. Weird. Good shape from Willey and he entices the bespectacled Imam to jab his hands at one that lifts late at him, trying to force it through cover but instead grinning ruefully when it whistles past the edge. Only a wide and a single, from a pull off the last ball, added to the score. 

 

3:43PM

OVER 1: PAK 3/0 (Imam-ul-Haq 2* Fakhar 1*) chasing 374

Chris Woakes  opens the bowling for England. Imam pushes the first ball to midwicket and runs a single, Fakhar invites his partner to take on Stokes' arm when he punches a drive into the covers. Imam cuts a single through point and Fakhar goes against the grain with an almighty swish outside off-stump. Woakes already looks sharper and more penetrative than he did at the Oval after his long lay-off, persuading two to nibble away from the left-handed openers. 

3:39PM

Jos Buttler

Pays tribute to his baby daughter Georgia, born a fortnight ago.

Jos Buttler cradles his bat Credit: IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images

 

3:36PM

The players are coming back out

Pakistan's chase will begin at 3.40pm. 

3:34PM

Pakistan require a record successful chase to win

Their highest victorious chasing score in the past five years was the 304 for six against England at Cardiff in 2016 when Sarfraz made 90 off 73 balls and Shoaib 77 off 80. Their highest ever successful chase is the 329 for seven against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2014.  

3:15PM

Change of innings

Thanks, Charles. Bagchi back until the bitter end. Naive bowling from Pakistan after the rainbreak but they were caught in the eye of the Buttler storm for the last 14 overs and, given the lack of reverse swing because of the moisture and no Shadab, they had no answer. More wide yorkers, perhaps but then Buttler was creaming everything out of the blockhole. Pakistan have three fine Test match tempo batsmen in their top three but it will take something special from the captain to get Pakistan anywhere close. 

 

3:06PM

OVER 50: ENG 373/3 (Morgan 71* Buttler 110*)

Shaheen opens with a dot ball before Buttler, backing away, tries to guide a leg side delivery over the off side, simply because the leg side field is so stacked. He fails the first time, but then pushes for a quick single before the England captain closes it out. Morgan lifts one over the field at extra cover for two before hitting a single straight down deep mid-wicket's throat. Only 5 off the last over from Shaheen and it was far, far better, but it seems like it was a case of too little, too late.

3:01PM

OVER 49: ENG 368/3 (Morgan 67* Buttler 109*) 

A real struggle for Hasan and Pakistan, here, as Buttler adds two more fours and a single as England begin to pull away. He does end the over with a tighter ball, however, but Morgan still manages to scamper for a single. 

2:59PM

Century for Buttler

Morgan opens with a single off Hasan and here is Buttler, searching for his hundred. He creams another massive six straight over long off. It's England's second-fastest ever tonne, from 50 balls. It's also Buttler's ninth six.

2:57PM

OVER 48: ENG 351/3 (Morgan 65* Buttler 94*) 

Morgan scares the crowd with an uppish slog over extra-cover which gives him a couple, thankfully evading the onrushing field. He then adds three with a lovely stab on the leg side. Buttler then smashes another six behind square before chipping dangerously into no man's land with his 100 looming. Buttler had to change his bat at the end of the last over as one of his sixes cracked it! Pakistan, incidentally, have bowled only one yorker since the 40th over which, I do not need to tell you, is odd. The 350 is up for England; can they push on even further from this?

2:51PM

OVER 47: ENG 336/3 (Morgan 60* Buttler 84*) 

Party time. Buttler opens with another huge six over deep mid-wicket and a stab down the ground gives him two more. He steers a wider delivery from Hasan for two behind square. He slams another two down the ground from the next delivery and Pakistan can't stop the scoring as Buttler ends the over with his seventh six. That over from Hasan went for 20. England's run rate is now well over 7.

2:48PM

OVER 46: ENG 310/3 (Morgan 60* Buttler 64*) 

That's the 300 for England as Buttler digs out a yorker for a single, but they will want at least 300 with 7 wickets still in hand. Then Morgan puts it 20 rows back with another mega six. Faheem follows it up with a wider delivery that Morgan paddles at for two square of the wicket. A slight mis-field gives the England captain a single just behind square. It does seem that Faheem, in a desperate attempt to avoid more sixes, has taken a wider line to Morgan. Buttler then hits a tentative six through the covers which on another day Imam might have stopped.

2:42PM

OVER 45: ENG 299/3 (Morgan 51* Buttler 57*) 

Hasan Ali is the only Pakistani bowler with a maiden as it stands and he is reintroduced to the attack. Following a dot ball, Morgan dabs another single to mid-off and Buttler finds the fielder with two consecutive balls, in mid-off and extra-cover. But all of Hasan's good work is ruined by a monstrous six from Buttler over long-on. It hit the toe-end of the bat; how far would it have gone if he'd have middled it?

2:37PM

OVER 44: ENG 291/3 (Morgan 50* Buttler 50*)

Faheem starts the over with a rank wide after Morgan moved slightly across his stumps. The England captain then hits a lovely shot through cover that is well fielded, but it's not enough to prevent him from reaching 50 with a single. Buttler then tries some acrobatics: he tries to scoop it over Sarfaraz again but only succeeds in a limp leading edge that comes to nothing. But then he brings up 50 with an astonishing shot: he backs off a bouncer and, with the bat over his head, guides the ball over the fielding cordon at point for 4. Two fifties in one over but a slight improvement from Pakistan.

2:31PM

OVER 43: ENG 285/3 (Morgan 49* Buttler 46*)

Morgan moves nearer to 50 with another nimble single. Buttler creams a shorter delivery from Shaheen for 6. He does exactly the same with the following ball which was basically a free hit; perfect length for him. Shaheen comes around the wicket and gets some joy; the last two balls of the over were dots.

2:27PM

OVER 42: ENG 272/3 (Morgan 48* Buttler 34*)

Buttler opens up with two down to long on, but it was spearheaded by Morgan who ran with ferocity. Yasir fields Buttler's next driving attempt wonderfully but he steals two with the next down to long off. This has been tighter from Yasir as Morgan steals another single with the last ball of the over.

2:24PM

OVER 41: ENG 266/3 (Morgan 47* Buttler 29*)

A slightly better over from Pakistan, just 5 runs from it. Buttler and Morgan both played cleverly into fielding gaps to keep England ticking over. Imad's wide did not help Pakistan's cause; he has conceded 63 runs and is yet to take a wicket. 6.49 is England's current run rate.

2:20PM

OVER 40: ENG 261/3 (Morgan 45* Buttler 27*)

Buttler and Morgan share singles before Buttler blasts a short ball through mid-wicket but it is straight at a fielder and only results in a single. Morgan pushes for another single before Faheem sends a ferocious bouncer down that Buttler swipes at without success. It was very close to a wide. Buttler steps across a short delivery and scoops down towards fine leg for four. Pakistan look like they will struggle for a dot ball here, let alone a wicket.

2:16PM

OVER 39: ENG 253/3 (Morgan 43* Buttler 21*)

Another quick single for Morgan; Pakistan are really struggling to prevent the runs ticking over. Buttler tries to smash Imad through extra cover and his edge just narrowly evades the Sarfaraz as England run three. Morgan and Buttler then trade singles before a delicious, slightly-lofty bash through the covers gives Morgan four more runs. England are really accelerating and, whisper it, look quite comfortable.

2:12PM

OVER 38: ENG 241/3 (Morgan 35* Buttler 17*)

Buttler wafted at a few outside of off stump before relinquishing the strike with a single. Morgan then clunked Faheem for four over mid-wicket and nicks a single off the last ball of the over. Pakistan are desperate to break up this partnership.

2:10PM

Pakistan review

Buttler escapes a caught behind appeal. There was very little to go off and Jos Buttler did not look in the least bit concerned. On we go...

2:06PM

OVER 37: ENG 235/3 (Morgan 30* Buttler 16*)

Hi, I'm Charles, and I'll be talking you through the rest of England's innings, and it's looking like a solid one. Morgan dances around a couple of early Imad deliveries and steals a quick double on the leg side. He can't find the middle of the bat with the next delivery as he smashes Imad down the ground for 3. The singles keep flowing and Pakistan just can't stop it at the minute.

2:02PM

OVER 36: ENG 227/3(Morgan 25* Buttler 15*) 

Enter Buttler who smashes poor Yasir for six, four, four. Horrible long-hops all. One wicket for 16 off the over. 

1:58PM

Wicket!!

Root c Haris Sohail b Yasir Shah 40 Back comes the expensive Yasir and he buys a wicket first ball with a rank long hop that Root slaps to midwicket who takes a smart catch swooping low to his right, clinging on with both hands.  FOW 211/3

1:57PM

OVER 35: ENG 211/2 (Root 40* Morgan 24*) 

Imad, who bowled so well before the rain, is less assured against the left-handed Morgan. He concedes his first boundaries - Morgan cover driving and reverse sweeping for fours. He also takes a pair of twos with a chip over wide mid-on and a pitching wedge over the bowler's head. 

Morgan spanks a covered rive Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

 

1:54PM

OVER 34: ENG 197/2 (Root 39* Morgan 12*) 

Shaheen continues. Morgan drives him for a single through cover and Root, gorging on a yorker that wasn't, rinses an off-drive for four. Root, like Morgan, taps a single to cover and Morgan, back on strike, pummels an on drive for four. Ten off four balls. Shaheen fights back with his last two, bouncing Morgan and forcing him to duck, then cutting one back into him, leaving the England captain groping to chop down on it but missing. 

1:48PM

OVER 33: ENG 187/2 (Root 34* Morgan 7*)

Testing maiden from Hasan who is reversing the ball now. 

1:46PM

Not out

Umpire's call again.

Credit: Sky Sports

 

1:45PM

Pakistan review

Root lbw b Hasan  Heading down, surely? 

1:44PM

OVER 32: ENG 187/2 (Root 34* Morgan 7*)

The damp outfield costs Morgan a run when he off-drives Shaheen sweetly past mid-off and has to settle for three. Nasser Hussain and Ian Ward are analysing  Morgan's technique, noting that he doesn't squat as low in his stance as he once did. I think it was David Hopps who once wrote that during his Test career, Morgan was like a man hesitantly planting his backside on a cold lavatory seat. 

1:40PM

OVER 31: ENG 182/2 (Root 32* Morgan 4*)

The batsmen cross while the ball is arrowing down Imad's throat. Root swipes a single through midwicket and Morgan moves off the mark second ball with a drive slapped through the covers. Fakhar belts after it, dives headlong to stop but his left arm was touching the rope when he pushed it back and he signals four to the umpire even before he regains his feet. 

1:34PM

Wicket!!

Roy c Imad b Hasan 87 Cloths a pull, sending a steepling catch up to mid on who takes it comfortable, clutching it into his chest. Roy is livid, slamming his bat into the pitch in self-disgust. A century for the taking and one misjudgment after the break squanders the opportunity. FOW 177/2

1:33PM

OVER 30: ENG 175/1 (Roy 86* Root 30*)

Haris Sohail continues. One suspects he'll cover Yasir Shah's allocation after the leg-spinner went for 5-0-38-0 from his opening spell. Roy switch hits a single through point, a left-hander's weep, and Root on-drives for a single. All a bit flat in the field from Pakistan. No menace yet. The sun is out and Hasan Ali has the ball and its time for him to step up as he did two years ago. 

1:29PM

OVER 29: ENG 172/1 (Roy 84* Root 29*)

We're back. Hasan Ali completes the final two balls of his over. Root drives through the covers for a single and Roy uppercuts down to third man for another. No overs lost for the rain break.  

1:18PM

Play will restart at 1.30pm

The groundstaff are trying to dry the run-ups and, if successful, will resume in about 12 minutes. 

1:06PM

Rain stops play

It's absolutely pelting it down now. 

1:06PM

OVER 28: ENG 167/1 (Roy 82* Root 27*)

Jason Roy takes a step towards Haris to open his stance and blasts a lofted drive over extra for four. The ball before tied Root up as he tried to sweep off middle and leg and he top edged it just short of fine leg who is in the circle. They run a single. A few umbrellas are up in the crowd as a smirr hits. 

1:00PM

OVER 27: ENG 161/1 (Roy 77* Root 26*)

Hasan Ali is bowling too short to take wickets but it does keep things tight, conceding only three singles off the bat and a leg-bye. He finds Roy's edge but the ball squirts down to third man safely. 

12:57PM

OVER 26: ENG 157/1 (Roy 75* Root 25*)

Haris Sohail, slow left-arm orthodox, comes into the attack. Root cannot pierce the infield off his first three deliveries, then, eyes-popping when Sohail drags one down, he breaks the stranglehold by pulling the filthy pie for four. Root sweeps for three to pinch the strike, lapping it fine and sprinting through.  

 

12:53PM

OVER 25: ENG 150/1 (Roy 75* Root 18*) 

Five singles off Faheem's over. Sky shows that Joe Root averages 145 against leg-breaks in ODIs since 2017. Little wonder Sarfraz is going to take Yasir off now. Overdue.  

12:50PM

OVER 24: ENG 145/1 (Roy 73* Root 15*)  

Roy pastes an off-drive, dancing down to Yasir and planting a six into the triangular boundary cushion. How much Pakistan miss Shadab. If eh has got hepatitis, I can't see him being fit for the World Cup. 

12:45PM

OVER 23: ENG 136/1 (Roy 66* Root 13*)  

The right-arm quick Faheem replaces the leaky Faheen but fares little better. Root takes a couple of singles with a drive and a dab, Roy late cuts for one then shovels a four through midwicket with a stroke that had so little top hand it beggars belief. 

Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi, right, celebrates with Pakistan's Haris Sohail, left, after taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

 

12:42PM

OVER 22: ENG 129/1 (Roy 61* Root 11*) 

Root and Roy both take singles with check drives off Yasir through mid-on then Root shows how light he is on his feet, by comparison with the more static Roy, by shuffling on to his back foot to crash a cut with a bat halfway between horizontal and vertical past point for four. Sky shows that 84 per cent of Yasir's deliveries are his stock leg-break. Batsmen don't have to pick him much because he holds his googly back too often. 

12:38PM

OVER 21: ENG 122/1 (Roy 60* Root 5*) 

Root plays himself in. There is an argument that if the opening pair go beyond a hundred then Buttler or Morgan should come in at No3, but I suppose given there were more than 30 overs left when the stand was broken, it makes sense to send him in. He takes two with a leg glance off Shaheen and a single squarer through midiicket. 

12:31PM

OVER 20: ENG 119/1 (Roy 60* Root 2*)  

Four singles off Yasir's over, Root's pair driven through mid off, Roy's, too. 

 

12:28PM

OVER 19: ENG 115/1 (Roy 58* Root 0*)  

Imad has a breather after six decent overs. Shaheen Afridi returns with his left-arm swingers. He starts with a couple back of the length and crashes the second of them into Bairstow's box which makes him smile. Roy tucks a single off his hip, Bairstow a pair of twos into the legside. Pitch it up. Shaheen ignores common sense and bangs another of his 83mph deliveries in and Bairstow pulls him for four. Sixth time lucky, though!

12:26PM

Wicket!!

Bairstow c Fakhar b Shaheen 51 Smart, diving catch on the square leg boundary after Bairstow hammers a pull when the bowler came round the wicket to tuck him up at the end of a costly over. Fakhar hangs on at the second attempt and avoids standing on the rope. FOW 115/1

12:22PM

OVER 18: ENG 106/0 (Roy 57* Bairstow 43*)  

Roy chips a lofted drive and, to cries of 'Catch it!', long-on sprints to his left but cannot get there. Better from Yasir, though, who beats him twice with pace and fizz outside off-stump as Roy tries to launch a cut and a drive to the boundary. 

12:20PM

OVER 17: ENG 101/0 (Roy 52* Bairstow 43*)  

Imad, by contrast, is a superb one-day bowler. Miserly and canny. Three singles precede Bairstow's two, flicked off his pads. It brings up their sixth century partnership in their 29th stand (to go with eight half-century partnerships). 

Jason Roy makes room against Imad Wasim Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

 

12:14PM

OVER 16: ENG 96/0 (Roy 50* Bairstow 40*)  

Yasir Shah, the best Test leg-spinner in the world but only the fourth best in limited overs crickets after Rashid Kahn, Adil Rashid and Shadab Khan because he is accurate but lacks the variation to challenge with his googly and topper, comes on. And starts badly. They milk him for three singles and a two and inflict grave damage with Roy's torpedo reverse sweep for four and Bairstow's slog over midwicket for another. Fifty for Roy in only his fourth knock of the season, his 13th in ODIs. Thirteen off the over. Time for a drink. 

12:09PM

OVER 15: ENG 83/0 (Roy 44* Bairstow 33*)  

Reprieve for England when Imad Wasim has Bairstow stranded at the non-striker's end. Roy had given him the full 'yes, no, sorry!'. He turned in the middle of the pitch and scrambled back but was well short. Imad, unfortunately, while crouching over the stumps to gather the throw, dislodges the glow-bails with his elbow. A couple of balls later he almost makes up for it but Bairstow survives on umpire's call. 

Credit: Sky Sports

 

12:06PM

Not out

Close! Umpire's call gets Bairstow off the hook.

Credit: Sky Sports

 

12:05PM

Pakistan review

Bairstow lbw b ImadGiven not out. Was it going down? 

12:03PM

OVER 14: ENG 80/0 (Roy 42* Bairstow 33*)  

Better from Hasan Ali, who took three wickets in the Champions Trophy semi-final against England in 2017 and three more in the final. Three singles off the bat, a bye and a wide. 

12:00PM

OVER 13: ENG 75/0 (Roy 41* Bairstow 31*)  

Imad shuts the floodgates by tying up Roy with balls arrowing in straight on to off and middle from round the wicket. England nurdle a couple of singles. 

11:56AM

OVER 12: ENG 73/0 (Roy 40* Bairstow 30*)  

Another sumptuous on-drive from Bairstow only earns him three off Hasan Ali. The bowler tries  a different tack to Roy, dropping short and is collared through midwicket for four with a thumping pull. A Chinese cut, when Hasan got one to nibble in, is nicked off the inside edge and diverted past Sarfraz's left hand for four. They all count. 

11:52AM

OVER 11: ENG 61/0 (Roy 31* Bairstow 27*)  

Swansea-born Imad Wasim is nuggety and gives the batsmen no time to settle. Bairstow and Roy turn a single into a two with cartoon-cyclone legs after Bairstow chisels it off his pads into the onside. 

 

11:48AM

OVER 10: ENG 57/0 (Roy 30* Bairstow 24*) 

Hasan Ali, hero of the Champions Trophy, comes on as second change. Roy walks over to the offside to work a straight, full ball through midwicket for two then pulls a single. Bairstow punches a single straight and Roy plays tip and run when he digs out an attempted yorker. They are a pair of pronghorn antelopes these two. Replacing the more statelyHales with Bairstow last year has given Roy a fresh weapon. What a pair of dashers. 

11:44AM

OVER 9: ENG 52/0 (Roy 26* Bairstow 23*) 

Imad is one of those slow bowlers rather than spinners who flourish in Asian ODI sides. He rattles through his over, turning on his heel quickly, and sliding deliveries in to the right-handers' pads at 63mph. Roy brings up another fifty stand for the pair but dabbles with disaster in its pursuit, haring a very tight single to mid-on. A direct hit and he would have been turning his trousers a distinctive shade of brown. A couple of more singles complete the over.  Some more on Roy's remarkable stroke:

 

11:38AM

OVER 8: ENG 49/0 (Roy 24* Bairstow 22*) 

Extraordinary shot from Roy. Faheem bounces him outside off and he simply flat bats it, murdering it over deep extra cover for six. Masterly timing and sheer audacity. Here's his earlier six!

Roy returns and finds his range Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

 

11:35AM

OVER 7: ENG 39/0 (Roy 16* Bairstow 21*) 

Imad Wasim comes on. Early start for the left-arm spinner. Roy drives at the first ball and really shouldn't have as it turns away from him, nicking it through the slips for three. Sarfraz had not given his spinner a slip even though he is bowling with a hard ball during a Powerplay. Poor. A two, two single and a wide complete the over as Imad loses the flight and opts for darts. 

11:30AM

OVER 6: ENG 31/0 (Roy 12* Bairstow 18*) 

Faheem wnats to keep Roy in his crease after the charge on to the dancefloor in the last couple of overs so pitches it further up, tighter line. Roy takes a single with a clip off his pads, Bairstow drives hard and squeezes it down to third man by taking his bottom hand off the bat. Roy pushes a single to mid-on. 

11:25AM

OVER 5: ENG 28/0 (Roy 10* Bairstow 17*) 

Lovely shot from Bairstow, nose over the ball and punched through mid-on with a Ponting flourish. No finer stroke than an on-drive and Bairstow nailed it. Afridi tests him out with a bouncer that he pulls and gloves fine for four. It must have come back in to him as well. The left-armer tries it again and Bairstow middles this one, rolling his wrists and smacking it through square leg for four. Nineteen off the last three overs. 

 

11:20AM

OVER 4: ENG 16/0 (Roy 10* Bairstow 5*) 

Roy has been waiting and waiting and his patience pays off when Faheem bowls a length ball and Roy, who has charged a couple before, dances down the track and flays him over mid-on for six!

11:17AM

OVER 3: ENG 9/0 (Roy 4* Bairstow 4*) 

Roy, understandably rusty, is pushing in front of his pad a lot. Not groping so much as playing anxiously with hard hands. Tight opening spells so far from both bowlers. Roy gets away with a leading age, again reaching in front of his pad. It flies off the leading edge and past the bowler. They run two.

Here's a Southampton dispatch from Nick Hoult:

So much for my preview saying this would be England’s first choice XI for the opening World Cup match. No Jofra Archer today, rested for David Willey. Fair enough. England need to rotate the bowlers to give them a chance to press their claims for a World Cup place. Willey is fighting for a spot along with Liam Plunkett and Tom Curran. Big day for Willey, with only three games to go in this series, he will probably only be given one more match. The Ageas Bowl is a sell out and the temporary seating is up already for the World Cup matches to be played here. It is normally a terrific batting pitch here and yesterday Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes were working on their range hitting in the nets. Expect a big score. 

11:11AM

OVER 2: ENG 7/0 (Roy 2* Bairstow 4*) 

Faheem takes the other new ball, bustling in at a fair lick. He really pitches it up to Roy who is wary of the seam movement. Definitely some nibble there for him. Roy defends the first five then drops the last ball at his feet and hares a single to mid-on. 

11:07AM

OVER 1: ENG 6/0 (Roy 1* Bairstow 4*)

Shaheen takes the first new ball and the left-arm swing bowler starts with a back of a length delivery that Roy stands up and clumps square for a single. Bairstow defends a couple, watches a wide sail down the legside then drives the last ball for four between the bowler and mid-off. I didn't know he's switched to Gray Nicholls, the batmaker of choice for southern blue bloods. It is a testament to their art that he just leans into the drive and drills it down to the rope. 

10:59AM

Out come Roy and Bairstow to open for England

In 28 partnerships they have put on 1,488 at 53.14 with five centuries and eight half-century stands. 

10:48AM

The teams

England Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes,  David Willey, Liam Plunkett.

Pakistan Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain & wk), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Yasir Shah.

 

Pakistan make three changes, Yasir for Amir, England three - Roy, Moeen and Willey for Vince, Denly and Archer. 

10:45AM

Pakistan have won the toss

And put England in to bat. 

10:45AM

Nick Hoult's preview

England’s first choice XI for the opening World Cup match against South Africa will become clearer on Saturday with Jason Roy and Moeen Ali expected to return from injury for the second Royal London one-day international against Pakistan.

Roy had a lengthy net session at the Ageas Bowl on Friday and Moeen confirmed he has recovered from a rib injury he picked up in the IPL.

Roy has not played since suffering a back spasm while batting for Surrey two weeks ago, missing the trip to Ireland last week as well as the T20 against Pakistan and washed out ODI at the Oval on Wednesday. He will replace James Vince while Moeen could come in for Joe Denly.

Roy has been troubled by injury since February when he sustained what was initially thought to be a hamstring injury in the Caribbean. It is understood he was eventually diagnosed with a slipped disc which he aggravated in his third game back for Surrey when he had a back spasm while batting against Essex at the end of April.

The state of Roy’s back has taken on greater importance in the light of Alex Hales’s axing from the side. The top three was an area England had proper cover for in the event of injury but now Vince is first in line and has only played eight one-day internationals. 

Jason Roy batting in the nets on Friday Credit: Action Images

It is a shame for Vince that he is unlikely to play on a pitch he knows so well, particularly given the high scoring nature of matches at the Ageas Bowl. It was a golden chance in familiar surroundings to make his World Cup place certain.

Instead he will play for Hampshire there in the Royal London semi-final on Sunday. England have assured Vince he will be given a chance in the remaining three matches in this series as they look towards their final selection for the World Cup.

It was confirmed yesterday the World Cup 15-man squad will be announced by chief selector Ed Smith at Lord’s on 21 May.

Moeen linked up with the squad yesterday and returns to international cricket more confident than ever after a solid IPL season for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

His team struggled, finishing bottom of the league, but Moeen held his own in exalted company with two 50s, and generally bowled tidily.

He was picked for 11 games, becoming first choice under captain Virat Kohli, and believes the confidence gained sets him up well for the World Cup.

There are few more relaxed cricketers than Moeen; his faith giving him perspective on life. Cricket has its place which is why he thinks he was able to handle the expectation in the IPL and will cope with the World Cup-Ashes double. 

“There is no pressure. I mean it, there is no pressure. It really depends on how you see things,” he said at an event for sponsors NatWest on Thursday.

James Vince batting during the T20 international match with Pakistan Credit: Getty Images

“There is always that expectation on you to do well but that is different. Pressure for me is when people are struggling to live their lives, when people have serious things to cope with in their lives. This is a game of cricket, and those bigger issues are more important. Now is the time to have that perspective more than ever.

“I've worked hard over the last four or five years to get to this point and now it is about taking the confidence from those years of experience and letting myself go and enjoying my cricket.”

For Vince, he has derived confidence form a good Royal London tournament for Hampshire, scoring 190 on the day when Hales was dropped to confirm his role as first replacement.

“If he [Hales] was here I don’t think I’d be here now. I’m not going to say too much on his situation but it has given me an opportunity,” said Vince. “Now I think the plan for the rest of this series is to get a game or two and get some runs and push my claim ahead of the World Cup.”