England v Pakistan 1st ODI – 24.08.2016
Four engrossing Tests were not enough to separate England and Pakistan and it seems a shame we weren’t privy to a decider. Still, we move on to a five match ODI series between the sides, in what should be another fascinating match up.
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When the sides last met in November last year in the UAE, England won out 3-1 victors courtesy of some strong, powerful batting. Eoin Morgan’s England are a changed side in 50 over cricket and boast arguably the most exciting batting unit in world cricket. Pakistan are always mercurially dangerous, but you feel they come in as underdogs into the series.
Southampton is set fair for Wednesday with temperatures peaking around the 28c mark. There is a chance of some thunder showers late in the evening, but hopefully they will arrive post-match.
The Rose Bowl has quickly become a favourite ODI staging ground for the ECB, often hosting two 50-over matches a summer.
Here is a list of first innings scores made since 2010 at Hampshire’s HQ –
305, 302, 298, 359, 287, 288, 256, 267 – Average 295
First Innings Runs
Here is a list of the last ten scores England have registered when batting first in ODI’s –
324, 309, 236, 262, 318, 399, 355, 283, 216, 138 – Average 282
And here are Pakistan‘s last ten scores when batting first in ODI’s –
337, 290, 208, 259, 316, 287, 296, 375, 250, 239 – Average 285
Alex Hales and Jason Roy are quickly becoming one of the most exciting, destructive England ODI opening partnerships of all time. A ten-wicket win against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston courtesy of the pairs unbeaten 256 run partnership was one of the highlights of the summer – Hales and Roy both scored centuries in the UAE series win – and averaged over 40 in the process. Joe Root adds a touch of class to the top order and scored a best of 93 in the Sri Lanka series win. Captain Morgan hasn’t passed 50 for 12 knocks but loves the Rose Bowl, averaging 65 with 2 centuries here. Jonny Bairstow is likely to play as a specialist bat alongside Buttler (below) given James Vince has been jettisoned for now. Spin twinning all-rounders Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are also set to make the final XI whilst seamer David Willey misses out with a hand injury. Liam Plunkett took 10 wickets against Sri Lanka whilst Chris Woakes continues to grow as an international cricketer. Mark Wood returns from injury and looked terrific for Durham on T20 finals day and could get the nod over Chris Jordan who took just one wicket in 17 overs against Sri Lanka and has a high career economy of 5.9.
Azhar Ali skippers Pakistan in ODI cricket and will be keen to start registering some series wins after a lean spell post cricket world cup. The captain is likely to open up with Sharjeel (below) and could do with a score – he’s passed 50 just once in his last 15 ODI knocks. Mohammad Hafeez suffered brain freeze in the Test series and was dropped; the experienced right-hander did top score against England last time out with 184 runs in the ODI UAE series defeat. Shoaib Malik returns from T20 freelance duty in the West Indies whilst Babar Azam looked the part in New Zealand last time out with scores of 83 and 62. Wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed will float up-and-down the order match situation dependant whilst all-rounders Imad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz are likely to battle it out for the number 8 spot. The bowling looks strong with Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah carrying on from the Test series whilst there is likely to be a place for Umar Gul and his 176 career ODI wickets. Lanky seamer Mohammad Irfan who took 7 wickets against England in the UAE has been left out.
Ones to Watch
Jos Buttler, now considered an England white ball specialist, will be chomping at the bit to emulate Jonny Bairstow’s recent efforts with the bat. A career ODI average of 37.3 and a SR of 118 is exceptional plus he has great memories of playing Pakistan – last time out the in the UAE the Somerset wicket-keeper bat averaged 88.5 with a high score of 116* – oh, and those 177 runs were scored at a SR of 155.
During last weeks Dublin rout of Ireland, Pakistan opener Sharjeel Khan rubber stamped his place in his sides starting XI for the foreseeable, courtesy of a brutal 86-ball 152 in which the left hander clubbed a remarkable 9 sixes.
If England bat first, I recommend taking any OVERS RUNS around the 295-300 mark.
If Pakistan bat first, I recommend taking any OVER RUNS around the 270-275 mark.
Top Batsman Market
Sharjeel Khan appears in fantastic form and can be backed at 5.50 with Bet365 to outscore the likes of Azhar Ali, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez – all of whom have question marks over their form in this format.
Prices correct at time of writing.