England v Pakistan 5th ODI – Sophia Gardens at 10:30 live on Sky Sports 2
England 4 Pakistan 0. The scoreline is impressive, the manner in which the lead has been gained, even more so. The hosts scored 444 in the 3rd ODI to break the world record for the highest score made in ODI history – in the process Alex Hales surpassed Robin Smith’s long standing highest ODI individual innings for England – smashing 171 off 122 ball on this home ground. Joe Root has since become the fastest England batsman to pass 3,000 ODI runs. Oh, and England felt they could afford to rest Jos Buttler in Thursday nights Headingley win post Trent Bridge in which he bludgeoned an unbeaten 90 off just 51 balls including seven maximums.
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These are halcyon days indeed for an England ODI side who have the chance to win a series 5-0 for the first time in their history. It was only February last year that Eoin Morgan led England in a Cricket World Cup match at Wellington in which New Zealand bowled a pathetic England out for 123 inside 34 overs – they knocked the runs off in 12 overs in little over an hour – Morgan’s team were knocked out a week later to Bangladesh before the quarter finals. What a turnaround it has been.
As for Pakistan. See England circa 1990 something through to February 2015 – pretty hopeless.
We are set for a (rare) dry day in the Welsh capital – luckily – Saturday would have been a total washout, but Sunday is set fair.
England have only ever lost one ODI on this ground. Sophia Gardens has held a number of ODI’s in recent years, mainly due to its inclusion a host venue for the 2013 Champions Trophy. Leaving out two rain affected matches in that event, here is a list of first innings scores made in Cardiff –
324, 304, 227, 181, 138, 331 – Average 250
First Innings Runs
Here is a list of the last ten scores England have registered when batting first in ODI’s –
444, 324, 309, 236, 262, 318, 399, 355, 283, 216 – Average 314
And here are Pakistan‘s last ten scores when batting first in ODI’s –
247, 251, 260, 337, 290, 208, 259, 316, 287, 296 – Average 275
Jason Roy and Alex Hales continue their opening partnership which has seen them amass over 1,000 runs batting together for England in 26 innings. Joe Root could be rested before the t20 – he is in the top three world cricketers to have played the most days of international cricket this year. Jonny Bairstow could then keep his place in the XI after a MOM performance on his home ground on Thursday night. Ben Stokes made a welcome return to form with the bat with his second highest ODI score of 69 at Headingley whilst Jos Buttler could return post Trent Bridge pyrotechnics. Skipper Eoin Morgan has a horror dismissal the other night but has had a fine series, averaging over 83 with a SR of 93. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali continue to look a great spin double act, with the leg spinner starring with eight series wickets at 27 apiece. Woakes (below) will likely return to lead the attack alongside two from Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and Chris Jordan.
Pakistan need more runs to be competitive and will be hoping openers Sharjeel Khan and Sami Aslam can contribute more than the combined 123 runs in seven innings they’ve scrambled together so far. Skipper Azhar Ali has found some form but seems to be batting within himself, no doubt due to his teams limitations. 175 runs is useful but a SR of 75 is a throwback to the days when England picked the likes of Cook, Bell and Trott. Wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed averages 52 in the series, courtesy of his Lords hundred. Experienced pair Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have struggled and have lost their places due to injury/lack of form. Hasan Ali tops the wicket taking charts but has struck just four times, whilst Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz have just one victim apiece in a combined 52 overs. Irfan (below) could get a second match whilst all-rounder Imad Wasim could be promoted having yet to be dismissed for 137 series runs and three wickets.
Ones to Watch
Chris Woakes should return to the XI after being rested at Headingley and will be keen to add to his fine series haul of eight wickets in three matches at 15 apiece. A career record that is ever improving, Woakes has had a terrific summer in both Tests and ODI’s are can be considered a must pick in any of England‘s best XI’s right now.
Mohammad Irfan got a call up to the Pakistan squad having been left out originally. Two wickets in his return at Headingley sounds great, but getting cramp and having to limp off after a spell of just five overs and one ball was pretty poor. Can the lanky quick stay fit? If so, expect him to cause problems and add to his career 83 ODI scalps.
If England bat first, I recommend taking any OVERS RUNS around the 305-310 mark.
If Pakistan bat first, I recommend taking any UNDER RUNS around the 270-275 mark.
Top Batsman Market
Tough to see anyone outside the top three top scoring for England. Let us take Jason Roy at the biggest price of he, Hales and Root at 4.50 @ Unibet
Babar Azam is having a quiet series to date but looks to have a sound enough technique to have a successful career at this level – he can be backed at 6.50 @ 888Sport to top score for Pakistan
Prices correct at time of writing.