Imam’s injury, Junaid’s blinder, Roy’s masterclass and much more
England came out on top in a thrilling contest in the fourth one-day international (ODI) against Pakistan enroute to an unassailable three-nil lead in the five-match series.
Let’s dive into the key moments of the nail-biting encounter.
Pakistan’s centurion from the last match, opener Imamul Haq was troubled by the extra bounce produced by England pacer Jofra Archer. He copped a nasty bouncer on his elbow and had to leave retired-hurt.
He was immediately taken to a nearby medical facility to gauge the extent of the damage. Luckily the tests showed that there were no problems apart from a swelling.
He returned to bat at number eight for Pakistan and braved through till the end of the innings.
Top-order batsman Babar Azam has been one of the best batsmen for the Pakistan side. He proved this once again with an innings of grace and class. His 115 runs came off 112 balls and were crafted to perfection.
His cover drives and square cuts were a delight to watch as he helped Pakistan build a solid foundation.
Azam has been a revelation in the team and shows no signs of slowing down. His hunger for runs and ability to persevere through tough situations sets him apart from all other batsmen in the Pakistan line-up.
All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez had been dealing with an injury that made him unavailable for the series. He returned to the Pakistan line-up in grand fashion in the fourth ODI as he slammed a breezy 59 runs off 55 balls.
It was as if Hafeez had never been away. He still played the ball with elegance and seemed completely sure of his technique.
Hafeez wasn’t ready to settle for a half-century on his come-back. When Pakistan were in trouble and in need of wicket, the all-rounder showed off his athleticism as he completed a one-handed catch at short third-man to ignite hopes of a Pakistan victory. Joe Root was the victim of all-rounder’s outstanding take.
Pakistan batsman Asif Ali has been on a roll recently. He has finally found the perfect balance between attacking and defending, which has helped him score at will.
He had already scored two half-centuries in as many games. He stepped out to bat with a solid foundation and quickly got working towards a big total.
Mark Wood however had other ideas. When Asif slogged one to square leg, Wood covered a lot of ground and in the end managed a full length dive to his left to take one of the best catches of the series.
It got England the vital breakthrough of powerhouse Asif Ali who was threatening to take the game away from England.
Jason Roy hammered the Pakistan side, again to all parts of the Nottingham ground, enroute to another wonderful century.
His innings was full of confidence and gave the Pakistan bowlers no chance in getting the pressure back on England.
He was finally undone by pacer Mohammad Hasnain but not before providing a solid foundation for his team.
Opener Fakhar Zaman dropped a crucial catch which allowed Jason Roy to make century that put Pakistan on the backfoot.
But when Moeen Ali miscued a sweep off all-rounder Shoaib Malik, Zaman sprinted back to take a splendid catch.
Running full speed with the ball behind is never an easy take, but with redemption on his mind, there was no stopping Fakhar Zaman as he completed a sensational catch.
Pakistan needed wickets to bring the game back in their favour and pacer Juniad Khan did exactly that. Khan had been very expensive till then but he held on to Joe Denly’s miscued shot, in a remarkable fashion in his follow through. He stuck one hand out and completed a catch for the ages diving to his right.