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Joe Root and Eoin Morgan lift England to imposing total in Leeds

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat.

Joe Root and Eoin Morgan lifted England to 351 (Nigel French/PA)
Joe Root and Eoin Morgan lifted England to 351 (Nigel French/PA)

Half-centuries from Joe Root and Eoin Morgan helped England to a new ground record in the fifth one-day international at Headingley, posting 351 for nine against Pakistan.

Root’s 84 and a punishing 76 from Morgan ensured the previous best of 339 was eclipsed but England might have put the game beyond the tourists had one of them carried on to three figures.

As it was the last 20 overs contributed a modest 127 for six, Tom Curran adding late momentum with a lively 29 not out that kept hopes of a 4-0 series scoreline afloat.

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Morgan had opted to bat first, a decision he admitted went against his natural instincts as a planning exercise for the forthcoming World Cup.

It quickly looked like a sound one, though, with Pakistan’s bowlers turning in a torrid display in the powerplay.

England romped to 95 for one in a frantic 10 overs, James Vince setting the tone by planting Hasan Ali’s first two balls of the match for four and Jonny Bairstow enthusiastically following suit.

Vince, standing in for the rested Jason Roy, made a typically pleasing 33 but once again failed to hang around, top-edging Shaheen Afridi’s short ball.

The new stand at Headingley opened to spectators for the first time (Nigel French/PA)

Root began with a flurry of boundaries, six of them in his first 14 deliveries as the bowling erred wildly in line and length, and overtook Bairstow before the latter chipped softly to long-off for 32.

That brought Morgan to the middle and he upped the ante again, launching Fakhar Zaman for the first six of the innings in the 21st over.

He quickly got the taste for it, heaving another eight rows back, clearing the ropes on the leg side and adding two more maximums as the tempo grew.

He and Root put on 117 in 109 balls and when Morgan’s destructive stay finally ended – a top edge off another Afridi steepler – a daunting base of 222 for three had been laid.

Pakistan successfully dragged things back, a seemingly inevitable century escaping Root when he carelessly picked out fine-leg before Imad Wasim removed Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali within three balls.

Ben Stokes also struggled but Curran’s late show, two fours and two sixes in 15 balls, ended things on a high.



From Belfast Telegraph