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Cricket World Cup matchday 31: Pakistan’s win piles pressure on England

Pakistan scraped home with just two balls to spare in a thrilling clash at Headingley.

Pakistan’s Imad Wasim (left) and Wahab Riaz celebrate the win over Afghanistan (Nigel French/PA)
Pakistan’s Imad Wasim (left) and Wahab Riaz celebrate the win over Afghanistan (Nigel French/PA)

Pakistan’s nerve-jangling three-wicket win over Afghanistan heaped the pressure on Cricket World Cup hosts England, who desperately need a win over India on Sunday.

They scraped home with just two balls to spare in a thrilling clash at Headingley, while Australia thrashed New Zealand at Lord’s.

Mitchell Starc’s five-wicket haul eclipsed Trent Boult’s hat-trick as Australia extended their lead at the top of the tournament standings.

Tweet of the day

Snap shot

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Mitchell Starc celebrates Australia’s win (Mike Egerton/PA)

Tournament tracker

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(PA Graphic)

Stat attack

Mohammad Nabi has been instrumental for Afghanistan in this tournament and, inside a carnival atmosphere at Headingley and in steaming temperatures, he rose to the fore again. Not only did he remove Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam – arguably Pakistan’s two best batsmen – he was difficult to get away, leading to figures of two for 23, the most economical 10-over analysis in the tournament to date.

Crowd trouble

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A pitch invader is tackled by security at Headingley (Nigel French/PA)

The International Cricket Council said it will take action against anti-social behaviour after it received reports of scuffles between Pakistan and Afghanistan fans. Videos shared on social media show a fight between fans outside the Headingley ground in Leeds, with a metal barrier being brandished, kicks, punches and shouting. An ICC statement said: “We are aware of some scuffles among a minority of fans and are currently working with the venue security team and the local police force, West Yorkshire Police, to ensure there are no further incidents.”

Bowled over

Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi took the headlines in Afghanistan’s innings with four for 47 but it was the occasionally wayward Wahab Riaz who provided the eye-catching delivery. There are few greater exponents of the yorker than Wahab and the left-arm paceman’s 87mph ball to the bottom of off-stump may have cleaned up greater batsmen than Afghanistan tail-ender Hamid Hassan.

Catch of the day

Steve Smith looked on in disbelief as Martin Guptill rose from the turf with the ball firmly planted into his palm to send the former Australia skipper packing for just five runs at Lord’s. Guptill plucked a bullet shot from Smith out of the air at fine leg, with a stunning full-stretch dive.

Quote of the day

That’s a fairly broad question, we could be here a while! New Zealand captain Kane Williamson in response to being asked what went wrong in the Black Caps' 86-run loss to Australia at Lord's.

What’s next

England v India at Edgbaston, 10.30am

Table

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(PA Graphic)

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