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Agencies
May 8, 2019

Pakistan face England in ODI series opener today

Sports

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Agencies
May 8, 2019

LONDON: Pakistan will look to avenge Sunday’s T20 International defeat when they lock horns with hosts England in the first One-day International of the five-match series at The Oval on Wednesday (today).

Pakistan suffered a 5-0 defeat against Australia, but their past success against England, including in the 2017 Champions Trophy, should put them in good stead to put that behind and tune up for the World Cup. The 5-0 rout they suffered at the hands of a rejuvenated Australian side will be heavily weighing on their minds as Pakistan look to handle early season conditions. Making that job harder is the fact that they are up against the No.1-ranked ODI team at their home.

However, Pakistan can take solace from the fact that two years ago, they had eased past England in similar circumstances in the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy. The series will also offer the last chance for left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir to sneak into the World Cup squad.

Amir has history of making good use of English conditions and should be fired up to prove his case after apparently falling behind 19-year-old quick Mohammad Hasnain and fellow left-armer Junaid Khan in the pecking order.

Meanwhile, England will be more confident after their victories over Ireland in a solitary ODI in Dublin, and then against Pakistan in the one-off T20I last week. Jofra Archer has played only two international games so far, but has already impressed with fantastic displays of bowling. He was particularly brilliant in the solitary T20I, throttling Pakistan by dismissing two set half-centurions in the 16th over. The series could very well be the stepping stone to Archer’s World Cup ambitions. There is a chance of rain in the morning, with thunderstorms forecast for the afternoon.

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