Pakistan Shock England at Cricket World Cup Despite Joe Root, Jos Buttler 100s

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

Pakistan's Mohammad Amir (C) celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Jos Buttler during the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on June 3, 2019. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan sprung a surprise at the Cricket World Cup on Monday, as they beat England by 14 runs in a thrilling game at Trent Bridge. 

England won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat, only for the away side to amass a significant total. Mohammad Hafeez (84) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (55) both shone, making the most of some sloppy fielding from their opponents to post 348 for eight from their 50 overs.

In response, England lost wickets cheaply and they found themselves 118 for four when Ben Stokes was dismissed. Jos Buttler (103) and Joe Root (107) then put together a brilliant partnership, as they each made fine centuries to haul their team back into the contest.

However, Pakistan held their nerve late on, with the wicket of Buttler swinging the clash back in their favour. England eventually limped to 324 for nine.

Having lost their last 11 games in a row in one-day international cricket—including their opener at the World Cup to the West Indies—it was imperative Pakistan delivered a performance in Nottingham.

From the off, there was intent with the bat, as they put on an opening partnership of 82. Partnerships of 88 and 80 then put them to within touching distance of the 300-mark, meaning England were always going to have a big chase on.

Hafeez was excellent in knitting the innings together. The CricViz Analyst praised the efforts of the veteran:

The CricViz Analyst @cricvizanalyst

That was a superb innings from Mohammad Hafeez - only once before has he scored more than 50 runs at a faster rate than his 8.12 runs per over today: against India in the CT17 Final when he scored 57* AT 9.24 RPO. #CWC19

Sarfaraz also added some crucial late runs, before some dynamic batting from Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan moved Pakistan to an impressive 348 for eight.

While England's bowlers battled back late on, in the field they were sloppy throughout. Jason Roy had a particularly tough day, as he put down a straightforward catch and made numerous other mistakes:

The CricViz Analyst @cricvizanalyst

Today has not been a good day for Jason Roy. In the field he cost England -18 runs and now with the bat, his 8 (7) is considered to have cost England -28 runs. Overall that produces a Match Impact of -46 runs. #CWC19

With a World-Cup-record chase needed to win the game, England would have hoped the opener would make amends with the bat. However, he was trapped LBW in just the third over by Shadab.

That was the catalyst for a poor start for the home side as the wickets tumbled. It was only when Buttler joined Root at the crease England were able to build some momentum, as the pair played exceptionally.

Root, who was dropped on nine, was assured at the crease and became the first man to make a century at this World Cup. No England player has made more in this competition:

bet365 @bet365

England players to score World Cup centuries: Dennis Amiss Keith Fletcher Allan Lamb David Gower Graham Gooch Graeme Hick Kevin Pietersen x 2 Andrew Strauss Moeen Ali Joe Root x 3 Jos Buttler #ENGvPAK #CWC19 https://t.co/QBBZRWtoV5

However, after adding just seven more to his total, Root was back in the dressing room, bringing an end to his brilliant partnership with Buttler: 

Sky Sports Cricket @SkyCricket

Huge blow for England as Joe Root falls to Shadab Khan and Pakistan are right back in this contest! Watch #CWC19 live now on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup or follow our live blog: https://t.co/McvcoZBs3r https://t.co/wwzw3JcHjR

After that wicket, it was Buttler who took up the initiative, rotating the strike with Moeen Ali and keeping England in touch with the rate needed to win the game. He too went to a century, the fastest ever by an Englishman at the World Cup, but there was still work for him to do.

Crucially for Pakistan, he was out the next ball, as Mohammad Amir deceived Buttler with a slower ball. With that wicket, the away side were now big favourites.

Despite their best efforts, England were unable to keep up with the required rate without their two star men available. Wahab Riaz bowled brilliantly for Pakistan late on, grabbing the wickets of Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes to end any chances of a late surge.