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Sports

AFP
November 18, 2015
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Azhar Ali regrets middle-order slump in third ODI

Azhar Ali regrets middle-order slump in third ODI
SHARJAH: Pakistan captain Azhar Ali on Wednesday rued the middle-order slump, in which they fell from 132 for two to 161 for eight before Wahab Riaz (33 not out) helped them get past the 200-mark in the third day-nighter against England.

"Things were going pretty well. The start was good until we lost a few wickets, then the run-outs happened. I agree that the running between the wickets was not good," said Ali ahead of the final match in Dubai on Friday.

"As a team we are in the process of settling down," said Ali, appointed captain after the 2015 World Cup when Misbah-ul-Haq retired from one-day cricket.

"Definitely when a team loses it is not a good feeling. And when the doubts sink in then it is not a good feeling for the team and the country as well. I am part of the team selection," said Ali, who believed the best combination will play in the last game.

"The last match is a must-win game for us. We will select the team based on the best eleven who can help us win the match."

Pakistan have not played opener Ahmed Shehzad in any of the preceding three Test series -- which Pakistan won 2-0 -- and in the one-day series.

Meanwhile, England’s limited over captain Eoin Morgan said he believed victories in the ongoing one-day series against Pakistan augured well for his team, rebuilding after a disastrous World Cup earlier this year.

England were the only team amongst the top eight which failed to qualify for the quarter-final in the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand but have since beaten New Zealand 3-2, before losing to Australia by the same margin at home.

They are leading the four-match series against Pakistan 2-1 with a hard-fought six-wicket win in the third game in Sharjah on Tuesday, a victory described as "magnificent" by Morgan.

"It was a magnificent win, we look to the next game to go on and win the series, we´ve earned the right to do that so hopefully we can produce another performance like that," said Morgan.

Chris Woakes took 4-40 as Pakistan, sloppy with three run-outs, fell for 208 in 49.5 overs.

England wobbled at 93-4 but James Taylor (67 not out) and Jos Buttler (49 not out) anchored the chase during their unbroken 117-run partnership for the fourth wicket.

"The performance was hugely satisfying," said Morgan. "I think one of the most pivotal things in the performance was the chase, the pitch turned a lot more than we expected it to.

"I thought the partnership between Buttler and Taylor was outstanding It´s a huge step forward for us, particularly our middle order and our batting unit having absolute clarity in what we were doing and playing in the positive way in which we´re trying to improve the way we play all the time," said Morgan.
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