In the highly anticipated Match 44 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, England faced Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Saturday, November 11. The crucial encounter began with England’s captain, Jos Buttler, winning the toss and opting to bat, dealing a blow to Pakistan’s aspirations for a spot in the semi-finals.
England’s opening pair, Dawid Malan (31 off 39) and Jonny Bairstow (59 off 61), set a promising tone, contributing 82 runs for the first wicket in 81 balls. However, Pakistan made a strong comeback by dismissing the openers, bringing Ben Stokes and Joe Root to the crease. Notably, a moment during England’s innings drew parallels with former Indian captain MS Dhoni, as Mohammad Rizwan failed to gather the ball between his legs, reminiscent of Dhoni’s skill in preventing such occurrences.
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Stokes and Root then showcased an impressive partnership, amassing 132 runs for the third wicket. Stokes, benefiting from a reprieve by Shaheen Afridi, went on to score a commanding 84 (76), featuring 11 fours and two sixes. Meanwhile, Root contributed a steady 60 (72) with four boundaries. In the latter part of England’s innings, Harry Brook (30 off 17) and Jos Buttler (27 off 18) played impactful cameos, propelling England to a total of 337/9 within their allocated 50 overs.
Haris Rauf emerged as the standout bowler for Pakistan, registering figures of 3/64 in ten overs. Additionally, Shaheen Afridi (2/72) and Mohammad Wasim Jr (2/74) claimed two wickets each, contributing to a competitive contest between the two cricketing powerhouses.
Pakistan while chasing has lost 4 wickets at a score of 160 runs, and currently trembling to chase the mammonth target of 336 runs by the England team, they have been put under pressure on the likes of David Willey, and Gus Atkinson.