Five-wicket haul for Woakes helps England to 4-0 series win

Jos Buttler stumps Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed for 97. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty
Jos Buttler stumps Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed for 97. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty
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England’s smooth World Cup preparations continued as Chris Woakes’ five-wicket haul helped condemn Pakistan to a 54-run defeat at Headingley.

In their final one-day international before the tournament opener against South Africa on 30 May, Eoin Morgan’s side outclassed their opponents in all three disciplines to take the series 4-0.

There was a new ground record of 351 for nine, remarkable run-outs from Adil Rashid and Jos Buttler and a starring role for Woakes, whose five for 54 represented his best figures since 2014.

Joe Root (83) and Morgan (76) both topped up their accounts in timely fashion and, despite equally impressive knocks from Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed (97), the game was probably beyond Pakistan as soon as Woakes reduced them to six for three.

David Willey would have dearly loved to make a splash, handed one last chance to nudge in front of Joe Denly
when the 15-man squad is named tomorrow, but one for 55 may not be enough.

The reply ended on 297, England finishing things 19 balls ahead of time.

Morgan had opted to bat first, a decision he admitted went against his natural instincts and acted instead as a planning exercise for the tournament to come.

It quickly looked like a sound one, though, as England romped to 95 for one in a frantic powerplay, 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 made 33 but once again failed to hang around, top-edging Shaheen Afridi’s short ball.

Root began with a flurry of boundaries, six in his first 14 deliveries and overtook Bairstow before the latter chipped to long-off for 32.

That brought Morgan to the middle and he soon shunted Root into the junior role, launching Fakhar Zaman for the first six of the innings in the 21st over, heaving another eight rows back, clearing the ropes on the leg side and adding two more maximums.

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

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

Tom Curran lifted things at the close, making a rapid 29 not out including a brilliantly ramped six, and the pendulum swung even harder towards England when Woakes kicked off the second innings with three wickets before conceding his first run.

Fakhar was first down, fending to second slip before the next two batsmen were pinned lbw. Abid Ali failed with a DRS referral but Mohammed Hafeez accepted his fate although the ball turned out to be creeping over.

Babar and Sarfaraz were unwilling to buckle and put on 146 in just 23 overs but one which could not prevent the required rate spiking.

When England hit back it was inspired fielding which did the job, Rashid running out Babar from the bowler’s end after gathering Buttler’s errant throw and flicking down the stumps while looking the wrong way.

Shoaib Malik was the next victim of Rashid’s much-improved handiwork, the spinner hurling himself sideways to grab a one-handed caught-and-bowled.

If Pakistan felt it was not their day, Buttler confirmed it when he sent Sarfaraz back three short of his century.

The wicketkeeper flung his leg out to intercept a low edge, gathered the ricochet and caught the batsman a few centimetres short.

Woakes returned to bag two more and Willey picked up Asif Ali.