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What we learned from the second ODI between Pakistan and England

The second ODI of the five-match ODI series between Pakistan and England was a nail-biter. After England posted a mammoth total of 373 runs, courtesy of Jos Buttler’s 50-ball century, it looked like a one-sided affair. However, Pakistan showed a great character and took the game to the last over, losing it by just 12 runs.

Here is what we learned from the thrilling encounter.

Pakistan need Mohammad Amir

Pakistan’s pace attack looked clueless with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali going for 80 and 81 runs in their 10-over spells respectively. It seemed like there was no direction or  plan against the dangerous English batting line. Pakistan need an experienced campaigner to lead the talented pack of fast bowlers. Had Amir played the game, he might have been able to at least control the flow of runs from one end.

Yasir Shah not a white-ball material

Time and time again the successful leg-spinner in Test cricket, Yasir Shah has proved that he is not made for limited-over cricket. He was once again vulnerable against England, so much so that the part-timer Haris Sohail had to bowl to make up for Shah’s incomplete spell. Pakistan need Shadab Khan in the World Cup, even if he cannot make it for the mega event, Shah cannot be his replacement by any means. The selectors will have to evaluate either Mohammad Nawaz or maybe Karachi Kings’ Umer Khan for World Cup squad.

Fakhar Zaman is the impact player

The aggressive left-handed opening batsman, Fakhar Zaman regained his form just at the right time. He played a magnificent inning of 138 runs off 106 deliveries. He once again proved what a key player he is for Pakistan. If he fires at the top-order, Pakistan have a fair chance to chase down any total at the scoreboard.

Importance of Asif Ali

Pakistan lack power-hitters in their line-up and Asif Ali can fill that void. When the required run rate for Pakistan was over 8 in an over, Asif played a splendid inning of 51 off 36 balls. He dominated English bowling line and looked to take the game away from the hosts before he fell to David Willey. Pakistan may need Asif Ali’s ability of hitting sixes to do well in the World Cup.

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