Pakistan bounce back to beat England in World Cup

NOTTINGHAM (AP): Trust Pakistan to upset the form book at the Cricket World Cup.

The world’s most unpredictable cricket team ended a run of 11 straight losses in one-day internationals by beating top-ranked England by 14 runs in a thriller at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Set 349 to win, England got centuries from Joe Root (107) and Jos Buttler (103) but couldn’t complete what would have been a record run chase at a World Cup and finished on 334-9.

After making its second-lowest World Cup total of 105 in a shambolic opening loss to West Indies, Pakistan made its second-highest score in tournament history of 348-8 against England, the host nation and favorite.

England also has one win and one defeat, having beaten South Africa on the first day of the World Cup.

England was always struggling to reel in Pakistan, especially after slipping to 118-4 in the 22nd over. A fifth-wicket stand of 130 between Root and Buttler — this World Cup’s first century-makers — brought the team back into the contest but both players fell soon after reaching triple figures.

Needing 29 off 14 balls, England lost Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes in successive balls off Wahab Riaz (3-82) and Pakistan ended up comfortably easing home.

Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez headlined a return to form for Pakistan’s batsmen by making 84 off 62 balls, while Babar Azam (63) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (55) also had half-centuries.

For a team that prides itself on its fielding, England was ragged throughout Pakistan’s innings — the tone set by a misfield from captain Eoin Morgan in the first over. Jason Roy dropped Hafeez on 14, which proved to be very expensive, and Root gave away a boundary in overthrows that took Sarfaraz to his half-century.

It helped Pakistan make a fast start, with Fakhar Zaman (36) and Imam-ul-Haq (44) sharing an opening stand of 82. The entire team only got 23 runs more than that against the Windies.