Whatever plan Pakistan captain Babar Azam spoke of ahead of their tournament defining encounter against strugglers England went awry from the first moment itself as England won the toss and decided to bat first in their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday.
With England winning the toss and heading to bat first, Pakistan’s hopes were all but dashed even before the match began. However, they would still stand a chance if they were able to restrict the England batters for a small total.
Even that did not go according to the plans as England posted a big total. Jonny Bairstow (59), Joe Root (60) and Ben Stokes (84) propelled the Englishmen to 337 for the loss of nine wickets in their 50 overs. Haris Rauf took the most of three wickets while giving away 64 runs, while Shaheen Afridi gave away 72 runs taking two wickets. Mohammad Wasim Jr got another two and Iftikhar Ahmed picked a wicket.
Coming out to bat with the hopes of qualifying for semifinals already dashed, Pakistan could not even manage to win the match. Opener Abdullah Shafique went for a duck, while Fakhar Zaman, who has been exceptional in the last two matches, also flunked.
Salman Ali Agha scored the most of 51 runs, while a Haris Rauf flurry towards the end could do little to win the match. Pakistan were all out for 244 in 43.3 overs. England won the match by 93 runs.
For England, David Willey picked up three wickets, while Adil Rashid, Gus Atkinson and Moeen Ali picked two wickets apiece and Chris Woakes got one.
With this, the top four has been finalized with New Zealand’s position secured on the fourth spot on the points table. Also, the top eight teams have been almost finalized with England securing a spot for the upcoming Champions Trophy. The Netherlands do have a chance of finishing above Bangladesh, but that would be highly unlikely with their last match against table toppers India.