Eoin Morgan and side take a 2-0 lead over Pakistan thanks to Joe Root's 89 at Lord's © Getty Images
Eoin Morgan and side take a 2-0 lead over Pakistan thanks to Joe Root’s 89 at Lord’s © Getty Images

England won the second One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan by 4 wickets at Lord’s cricket ground to take a 2-0 lead in the five-ODI series. England bowlers were on top of the match from the beginning as they applied the brakes on Pakistan’s top-order with their score at 2 for 3 at one stage. A timely  century from Sarfraz Ahmed and vital fifty by Imad Wasim helped their recovery as they reached 251 in their full quota of overs. England lost their in-form openers early but another top-notch performance by Joe Root, vital fifty by Eoin Morgan and other effective contributions by Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali ensured they sailed towards Pakistan’s total. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs England 2016, 2nd ODI at Lord’s

Pakistan’s top-scorer, Sarfraz looked in complete control at the crease since the beginning as he moved around the pitch to disturb the line and length of the bowlers and respected the good balls. His first hundred came in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, held in Australia and New Zealand, when he got a vital ton against Ireland in their last encounter from the group stages. Sarfraz has again stood tall for his side when the chips were down in a surface doing lots for the bowlers.

He missed out in the short series against Ireland, prior to the ongoing series whereas got a god fifty to his name in the series opener at The Rose Bowl, Southampton. He has made it count big time in the second match which is a crucial one for the visitors as they lost the first game to handover a lead to the hosts. Sarfraz’s ton has ensured Pakistan’s bowlers have something to bowl against the home team in the second innings.Wasim also scored his second fifty to guide his team after Safraz’s departure. ALSO READ: PAK vs ENG, 2nd ODI: Sarfraz reaches 2nd ODI hundred

Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik also contributed with vital scores and added important partnerships with Sarfraz in the first half of the innings as their top-order did nothing and struggled against the seam bowling of Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. The strike bowler for England was Woakes, taking 3 for 42 in his full quota of ten overs.

England lost their in-form openers to push them on the backfoot. Jason Roy, who has been in splendid form off late, departed early whereas Alex Hales continued to have a torrid time in this summer versus Pakistan with another no showing in second ODI at Lord’s. Both the openers were back in the hut with the score at 35 for 2. The onus shifted to Root and Morgan to start the repair work.

Skipper Morgan came to bat in a tricky situation with the pitch reverse swinging a bit and Pakistani bowlers balling at tight lines. Root and Morgan stood firm with stylish shots off the bad deliveries and rotated the strike swiftly. They never looked in any sort of problem as Morgan played his reverse sweeps whereas Root went with a calculative approach. Morgan scored a valiant 68 off 80 balls with nine boundaries and departed with England well on top of the game. The pair added 112 runs together for the third wicket.

Ben Stokes came in and went his usual way of attacking from one end whereas Root neared his hundred. Stokes and Root fell in quick succession as Root missed his hundred by 11 runs. He was eventually out for 89 but ensured his team another victory to consolidate their position in the series.

Stokes made a vital 42 but Root’s 89 ensured there were no hiccups for his side. Root missed a ton as he was out by Wahab Riaz but Moeen Ali ended the formalities with 15 balls to spare and four wickets still remaining for the team.

Pakistan have lots to ponder upon with their erratic batting display. Sarfraz Ahmed was top-notch with a fluent century but Joe Root’s 89 and Eoin Morgan’s 68 ensured there were no hiccups for their side. Pakistan needs to pull up their socks and bounce back to keep the series alive till the series finale. Root was awarded the Man of the Match award for another brilliant knock in dire situations.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 251 all-out (Sarfraz Ahmed 105, Imad Wasim 63; Chris Woakes 3 for 42) lost to England 255 for 6 (Joe Root 89, Eoin Morgan 68, Ben Stokes 42; Imad Wasim 2 for 38) by 4 wickets.

FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs England 2016, 2nd ODI at Lord’s