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Stokes and Roy prove ice cool as England seal series victory

 

Class: Jason Roy’s century had the home side coasting
Class: Jason Roy’s century had the home side coasting

By Rory Dollard

Another brilliant chase ensured England will head to the World Cup on the back of a series win over Pakistan, with Jason Roy and Ben Stokes staring down a testing total at Trent Bridge.

Roy gave the hosts the perfect start to their pursuit of 341, cracking 114 in 89 balls before four wickets tumbled to put the result in the balance and left Stokes to shoulder the burden.

The all-rounder stood tall in a nervy finale, timing his run perfectly to finish with an unbeaten 71.

A three-wicket victory left England 3-0 up with one to play, still unbeaten this summer and with a high-pressure triumph under their belts.

Stokes flicked the winning run with three balls remaining but Pakistan will know they should have gone closer, overthrows, misfields and failure to appeal for a run out against Tom Curran undermining their efforts.

James Vince made a decent fist of his latest opportunity, making a pleasing 43 before bailing out of a big swing and playing on.

Roy, on the other hand, was destined for bigger things as soon as a mis-hit off Imad Wasim evaded the flapping Fakhar Zaman with his score on 25. The next ball disappeared for four and the pattern was set.

A top edge took him past 50 but there was no shortage of inspired hitting as Roy took just 32 balls to convert his century.

The Pakistan innings was built around successive century stands led by Babar, 107 with Fakhar and 104 alongside Mohammad Hafeez. That placed the tourists well at 220 for one and the loss of six batsmen punctured their momentum.

That aside, it was attritional stuff for the home attack, with just two breakthroughs in 39 overs. Curran claimed the first, Fakhar well held by the sprawling Wood at third man for 57, and the Durham man returning to hurry up Mohammad Hafeez after a frantic turn worth 59.

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