Root the talisman as England take control of series

Pakistan's Imad Wasim hits a boundary during the Royal London One Day International Series match against England at Lord's Ground in London Saturday Aug. 27 2016. | AP

England hardly covered themselves in glory during their run chase at Lord's, nearly sleepwalking towards victory as they found themselves dragged down to Pakistan's level. That decision came into question nearly immediately as Mark Wood had Sami Aslam strangled down the leg-side and the Durham paceman uprooted Sharjeel Khan's off-stump in spectacular fashion. In limited-overs cricket, though, they are stuck in the past and need to find a way to get back to the future - and fast.

Pakistan one-day captain Azhar Ali, out for a duck on Saturday after deciding to bat first, said: "I think it's clear we are a little bit behind but we're working on it".

Pakistan travelled straight to Ireland for a One Day International (ODI) series and they showed the difference in the class of both the team in the first match itself.

That soon became two runs for three wickets as Woakes - his fantastic 11-102 in the Test match at the famous old ground still fresh in the memory - dismissed Azhar.

"He seems to be playing on a different wicket to everyone else at the moment".

"When Ben Stokes is fit to bowl, England are definitely even stronger".

One reason Stokes is so keen to return to bowling is the fact he has found it slow going in the field without the added responsibility of being part of England's attack.

Man-of-the-match Root's batting display came after he was involved in a nasty-looking collision with Yorkshire team-mate Adil Rashid while taking an outfield catch during Pakistan's innings.

Root departed with England needing only 12 for victory as he got a leading edge off Wahab Riaz.

Mohammad Hafeez, struggling with a knee injury, was replaced by left-handed opening batsman Sami Aslam, who impressed the selectors with well-fought half-centuries in the recently concluded Test series. He then successfully reviewed Plunkett's lbw appeal before slog-sweeping Moeen to Hales in the deep.

Babar Azam and Sarfraz steadied the innings with a fourth-wicket alliance of 64 before Azam was bowled by Liam Plunkett for 30.

But Sarfraz frustrated England with a mixture of orthodox and improvised shots.

Ahmed, whose lone previous ODI hundred was against Ireland at a year ago s World Cup, completed a 124-ball century when he leg-glanced Plunkett for his sixth four.

Nevertheless Imad says Azhar Ali's team have it in them to battle back in the third match at Trent Bridge on Tuesday.



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