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Pakistan vs England Babar Azam stars with careerbest 158 as Pakistan post imposing 331

Pakistan vs England Babar Azam stars with careerbest 158 as Pakistan post imposing 331
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England vs Pakistan, third ODI: live score and latest updates from … Tue, 13 Jul 2021 13:00:00 +0100-Babar Azam stars with career-best 158 as Pakistan post imposing 331 · Innings Pakistan 331 for 9 (Azam 158, Rizwan 74, Imam-ul-Haq 56, Carse 5-61) vs …

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Recent Match Report – Pakistan vs England 3rd ODI 2021

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Brydon Carse comes away with a five-wicket haul in his third ODI

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Babar Azam celebrates his 14th ODI hundred  PA Images via Getty Images
Innings Pakistan 331 for 9 (Azam 158, Rizwan 74, Imam-ul-Haq 56, Carse 5-61) vs England
A pressure-releasing century from Babar Azam guided Pakistan into a commanding position in their third – and final – ODI against England at Edgbaston.
In a vastly improved batting performance, the visitors posted 331 for 9 on the back of Azam's ODI career-best 158. He shared a third-wicket partnership worth 179 with Mohammad Rizwan, whose 74 off 58 balls was pivotal in pushing Pakistan's total into territory, which had previously evaded them on this tour.
Imam-ul-Haq's 56 – he put on a second-wicket stand of 92 with Azam – was also of huge value as England's inexperienced line-up faced mounting a record successful run-chase at Edgbaston, albeit on a good batting pitch, in their bid to sweep the series 3-0.
Brydon Carse, playing his third ODI after being called into England's new-look side after a spate of positive Covid-19 tests in the original squad, claimed five wickets, including that of Azam late in the innings.
Pakistan made an understandably watchful start, given collapses to 4 for 26 to be 141 all out in Cardiff and 4 for 53 at Lord's where they were bowled out for 195.
They lost Fakhar Zaman for just 6 in the fifth over, his attempted punch through the off side off Saqib Mahmood stymied by the awkward bounce and finding Zak Crawley, who took an excellent catch at slip. The team fifty took 13.4 overs and after 17 they were 59 for 1.
Coming with scores of 0 and 19 from the first two matches, Azam took 15 balls to get off the mark amid consecutive maidens from Mahmood. He crept to 15 off 38 but his patience was rewarded and he started to find the boundary with more regularity.
Similarly, Imam entered the match in need of runs after a duck and just 1 from his first two outings in the series. After 11 overs, 24 of Imam's 26 runs had come courtesy of the boundary rope and he passed 2000 ODI runs during the course of his innings.
Azam unfurled an exquisite extra cover drive off Carse to bring up their fifty partnership, moving to 23 off 43 himself in the process. He brought up his 18th ODI fifty with a single off Matt Parkinson, steered in the direction of mid-on and helped himself to sixes, picking Lewis Gregory's offcutter early and punishing it over the fence at cow corner and smashing Parkinson over mid-off.
It was Parkinson who broke the union between Azam and Imam with a ripper of a delivery that turned sharply from well outside off and clattered into middle stump.
With Pakistan 113 for 2, Rizwan arrived in typically attacking mood and he reached his half-century in 42 balls with a four off Craig Overton.
Azam, meanwhile, reached his 14th ODI century with a crisp cut to the boundary off Mahmood. He was dropped on 126 when he struck a Parkinson full toss with gusto to midwicket, where Carse was unable to hold what would have been a wonderful catch. Azam went on to score 13 off the over, including a sweep beyond short fine leg and a thunderous six over long-on.
Overton conceded 12 off the next over as Azam survived a lofted shot over the bowler's head that landed safe between in-coming mid-off and mid-on fielder and Azam struck his fourth six of the innings, off Carse over long-on, in the next over.
Carse ended Rizwan's knock, edging an attempted pull to wicketkeeper John Simpson. Carse then removed Sohaib Maqsood and Hasnan Ali cheaply and Mahmood took two wickets in as many balls when he bowled Faheem Ashraf for 10 off four and had Shadab Khan caught behind.
When Azam finally fell top-edging Carse to Dawid Malan at cover with four balls left in the innings, he shook his head in disappointment but there was nothing disappointing in his performance. Carse had Shaheen Shah Afridi caught by James Vince two balls later to claim his fifth wicket.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Brydon Carse comes away with a five-wicket haul in his third ODI

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Babar Azam celebrates his 14th ODI hundred  PA Images via Getty Images
Innings Pakistan 331 for 9 (Azam 158, Rizwan 74, Imam-ul-Haq 56, Carse 5-61) vs England
A pressure-releasing century from Babar Azam guided Pakistan into a commanding position in their third – and final – ODI against England at Edgbaston.
In a vastly improved batting performance, the visitors posted 331 for 9 on the back of Azam's ODI career-best 158. He shared a third-wicket partnership worth 179 with Mohammad Rizwan, whose 74 off 58 balls was pivotal in pushing Pakistan's total into territory, which had previously evaded them on this tour.
Imam-ul-Haq's 56 – he put on a second-wicket stand of 92 with Azam – was also of huge value as England's inexperienced line-up faced mounting a record successful run-chase at Edgbaston, albeit on a good batting pitch, in their bid to sweep the series 3-0.
Brydon Carse, playing his third ODI after being called into England's new-look side after a spate of positive Covid-19 tests in the original squad, claimed five wickets, including that of Azam late in the innings.
Pakistan made an understandably watchful start, given collapses to 4 for 26 to be 141 all out in Cardiff and 4 for 53 at Lord's where they were bowled out for 195.
They lost Fakhar Zaman for just 6 in the fifth over, his attempted punch through the off side off Saqib Mahmood stymied by the awkward bounce and finding Zak Crawley, who took an excellent catch at slip. The team fifty took 13.4 overs and after 17 they were 59 for 1.
Coming with scores of 0 and 19 from the first two matches, Azam took 15 balls to get off the mark amid consecutive maidens from Mahmood. He crept to 15 off 38 but his patience was rewarded and he started to find the boundary with more regularity.
Similarly, Imam entered the match in need of runs after a duck and just 1 from his first two outings in the series. After 11 overs, 24 of Imam's 26 runs had come courtesy of the boundary rope and he passed 2000 ODI runs during the course of his innings.
Azam unfurled an exquisite extra cover drive off Carse to bring up their fifty partnership, moving to 23 off 43 himself in the process. He brought up his 18th ODI fifty with a single off Matt Parkinson, steered in the direction of mid-on and helped himself to sixes, picking Lewis Gregory's offcutter early and punishing it over the fence at cow corner and smashing Parkinson over mid-off.
It was Parkinson who broke the union between Azam and Imam with a ripper of a delivery that turned sharply from well outside off and clattered into middle stump.
With Pakistan 113 for 2, Rizwan arrived in typically attacking mood and he reached his half-century in 42 balls with a four off Craig Overton.
Azam, meanwhile, reached his 14th ODI century with a crisp cut to the boundary off Mahmood. He was dropped on 126 when he struck a Parkinson full toss with gusto to midwicket, where Carse was unable to hold what would have been a wonderful catch. Azam went on to score 13 off the over, including a sweep beyond short fine leg and a thunderous six over long-on.
Overton conceded 12 off the next over as Azam survived a lofted shot over the bowler's head that landed safe between in-coming mid-off and mid-on fielder and Azam struck his fourth six of the innings, off Carse over long-on, in the next over.
Carse ended Rizwan's knock, edging an attempted pull to wicketkeeper John Simpson. Carse then removed Sohaib Maqsood and Hasnan Ali cheaply and Mahmood took two wickets in as many balls when he bowled Faheem Ashraf for 10 off four and had Shadab Khan caught behind.
When Azam finally fell top-edging Carse to Dawid Malan at cover with four balls left in the innings, he shook his head in disappointment but there was nothing disappointing in his performance. Carse had Shaheen Shah Afridi caught by James Vince two balls later to claim his fifth wicket.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo


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Babar Azam stars with career-best 158 as Pakistan post imposing 331 Tue, 13 Jul 2021 13:00:00 +0100-Very good from Crawley, using the pace of the outfield and belter of a pitch, rocks forward in his stance and steers four square of third man.

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England vs Pakistan, third ODI: live score and latest updates from Edgbaston

July 13, 2021

6:06PM

Shaheen has changed ends to replace the stricken Hasan. Left-arm over the wicket to Vince, he begins with two dot balls, angled across the right-hander then pushes one further wide and Vince takes the bait, throwing his hands at a drive but missing it. He tucks a single off his hip. Shaheen is trying to restrict the batsmen from extending their arms until he tempts them into nicking off with a rare full one as he tried with Vince. But Crawley can cope with being cramped and pulls a ball off his waistband for a one-bounce four.  

6:01PM

Very good from Crawley, using the pace of the outfield and belter of a pitch, rocks forward in his stance and steers four square of third man. 

5:58PM

Vince punches two through cover with the helping hand of the fielder who should have stopped him running one but instead tips it round the post and away from a team-mate. Hasan bowls his fourth wide, shaping it down the legside and Vince again shows his prowess through cover with a sweet push for three. I wonder if him punching those drives more than he used to when he would give it a textbook followthrough, is the key to him reining in the extravagance that used to be his downfall.

Hasan has hurt his groin and is struggling, dropping short after spending a couple of moments stretching it, and Crawley butchers a pull fpr four. 

5:53PM

England have plenty of time now to regroup without Vince and Crawley needing to keep pace with Salt's fireworks. Haris Rauf gets his fingernails on a wonderful straight drive from Crawley bit cannot divert it on to the stumps nor take enough force off it to stop it going for four. Crawley times the underpants off the last ball, too, flicking it off middle and off through square leg for four more. 

5:46PM

Salt c Fakhar b Rauf 37  Bowling change and change in the field earns Rauf a wicket with his first ball. Rauf has the pace to make the short ball more effective than Shaheen could and Salt, committed to his approach, swipes a pull to midwicket.  FOW 53/2

5:46PM

Crawley, taking a leaf out of Joe Root's book, guides a single down to third man and Salt, who has rattled Pakistan, steals a single on a misfield at cover, threatening to come back for two before Crwaley wisely sends the adrenaline-addled Salt back. One of them would have been run out by 15 yards. 

More reliable fielding in the covers stops singles but the throw tests Rizwan who has to leap to save it going for more buzzers then does two press-ups just for fun and Misbah. Crawley wedges two over long-on and Hasan's third over escapes with only four runs added to the debits. 

5:40PM

Crawley, knowing his place, dabs a single down to third man and Shaheeen, who hasn't been able to swing the ball, alters his length to try to keep Salt quiet. Cover saves a single, then mid-on and Salt swings and misses at the bouncer. Shaheen has a pop at him and Salt returns it with a smile and has the final word when he shovels a pull off his hip for four then carts another short ball for two through midwicket. 

5:37PM

After five fours Salt earns another one with little input when Saud throws down the non-striker's stumps with Crawley home as they stop-started on a single. The ball ricochets down to long off for four. 

Salt adds another with a wild slash off Hasan that flies over slip and goes for a one-bounce four to third man. Salt is sewing panic with this life cycle of a mayfly approach to batting. 

5:32PM

Crawley, who has struggled against New Zealand's left-armers this summer already, drives two off Shaheen down to long off then goes for more drives, three of them cut off by the infield but the fourth laced back down the ground for four, the bat only just breaking the perpendicular in his followthrough.

Crawley ends the over hustling a second run to third man that should never have been on. 

5:28PM

Two legside wides are followed by Hasan overcorrecting and hooping one away from Malan for a a third before bagging the Yorkshire batsman as he fiddled after a jaffa. Blimey. The replay suggests that he didn't hit it but he walked anyway. Enter Zak Crawley and Hasan's wonky radar returns and allows the batsmen to trot a leg-bye. Salt climbs into a cut and carves it just out of point's reach for four as he leapt to try to catch it. 

5:23PM

Malan c Rizwan b Hasan 0 It took Hasan four deliveries to register his first legitimate ball after three wides on the trot to start with but then he gets the line right to exploit the swing, pitching on leg and middle and kissing the edge as it nibbled away.  FOW 19/1

5:22PM

Amazing start by Phil Salt against Shaheen who is pitching full and straining for swing. He mullers four fours, the first driven square, the second lamped over mid-on, the third thrashed through mid-on with exquisite timing and the fourth (and third in succession) flambéd through the covers. Little footwork but with his hands and eye he absolutely nailed each one. 

5:08PM

Let's not forget the main point of the day at RGD Willis's second home ground:

5:05PM

A full-strength England side would fancy this all day long. It is a good pitch and conditions are favourable for batting.

However, this is not England's best side. In fact, it is a long, long way from it. This will be a seriously impressive – and record-breaking at Edgbaston – chase if this young side can pull it off. From what we have seen so far this series, do not rule it out.

I now hand you over to Rob Bagchi who will take you through England's chase. 

4:45PM

That is a very good score for Pakistan. They started slowly but accelerated rapidly over the back half.

England will need to pull off a record ODI chase at Edgbaston to win today.

4:44PM

Carse beats Shakeel all ends up with a slower ball. One ball in the innings to go. Shakeel pulls it nicely, picking up two for his side.

4:43PM

That is five wickets for Carse! Shaheen spoons the ball in the air, simple catch. Carse has taken five wickets in his three death overs!

FOW: 329/9

4:40PM

Carse comes back with a slower ball. Babar does not pick it and spoons the ball to Malan. Edgbaston rises to applaud off Babar after a truly special knock from a world-class player.

FOW: 328/8

4:39PM

Carse will bowl the final ball of the over. Babar is on strike. He creams the first ball through the leg side for four. Supreme timing. 

4:38PM

Golden duck for Shadab! He tries to launch the ball over mid-off and edges it to Simpson behind the stumps. Mahmood finishes with 10 over, 3-60.

FOW: 324/7

4:37PM

Mahmood bowls a slower ball, Faheem does not pick it and is through the shot too early. Stumps everywhere.

FOW: 324/6

4:36PM

Mahmood begins his final over. Babar picks up one from the first ball. Faheem then launches his first ball for six! That was some shot from the left hander over mid-wicket. He tries it again, this time top edging it over Simpson for four.

Mahmood goes short again and Faheem fails to make contact. Valuable dot ball. Mahmood then bowls a very wide, wide.

4:32PM

The batsmen crossed, getting Babar on strike. He thumps two into the offside. Babar then picks out Malan at backward point. He takes on his arm and just gets home despite a direct hit. Good running – he keeps the strike.

4:31PM

And then Ali skies his second ball. It does not make it out the circle and Crawley claims the catch.

FOW: 309/5

4:30PM

Hasan Ali has been sent up the order! The bowler will go after every ball. Ali swings hard, as expected, and gets four with an edge.

4:28PM

Carse bangs it in and Maqsood takes it on. He does not get hold if it and picks out Vince who takes an easy catch.

FOW: 305/3

4:27PM

Babar cuts Carse away for one, bringing up his 150. Stunning knock. 

4:26PM

Mahmood is back at the other end. He will complete his allocation. Mahmood starts with a wide yorker. Well bowled, dot ball.

He then delivers a low full toss which Babar hits for two. Mahmood attempts another wide yorker, this one is too wide, however. Extra conceded. He then gets it right, Babar takes one. 300 up for Pakistan!

Mahmood finds a dot ball with a full toss before finding another with a bumper. Good bowling. He goes short again and Maqsood pulls it for four this time. Mixed over.

4:20PM

Maqsood is in, promoted up one place in the order due to his six-hitting ability. He hits his first ball for four, edging across his stumps and running it fine, beating third man.

4:18PM

A slower ball bouncer is edged through to Simpson following an attempted pull shot. England needed that!

Great knock from Rizwan, 74 at a very good strike rate.

FOW: 292/3

4:17PM

Carse is on to replace Parkinson. He has some job on his hands the way these two are going.

Rizwan hands his skipper the strike. Wise decision, Babar launches a six back over the bowler's head. That was in the slot! This a record ODI partnership for any Pakistan pair against England! 178 and counting.

A single follows. 

4:13PM

Overton will finish his 10 over allocation. Babar skies it and the ball lands in between Stokes and Parkinson. He thought he was out and did not even bother running… Babar takes one from the next ball.

Rizwan times a straight drive nicely, beating mid-off. Four more! He then runs it fine for two before a single.

The last over of Overton's spell is smeared for four from Babar. 10 overs, 0-64 for Overton.

4:09PM

Dropped catch! Babar hammers a full toss from Parkinson at short mid-wicket! Carse almost takes a stunner but just puts it down. Unlucky. Babar then takes one before Rizwan sweeps to the boundary. The runs keep coming.

Babar gets back on strike. He comes down the track and hits the ball over long-on's head for six! The spin experiment at the death is not working, Ben.

Babar keeps the strike. 13 off that over.

4:06PM

Overton's spell continues and he is pulled away for four for Babar – 250 up! He comes back well with a yorker which is squeezed for one. Rizwan hands him back the strike.

Overton attempts a slower ball but it slides down the leg side for a wide. Babar works the following ball away for one. Rizwan cuts the final ball of the over away for two. 

11 from the over.

4:01PM

All of England's bowling options have been expensive over the last 15 overs. Stokes is now giving Parkinson a chance. This could be interesting. It is bold – and I like it.

Rizwan sweeps the first ball of the over away for two. He then places the ball nicely for another couple before taking one.

Babar takes one, cutting the ball out to a boundary rider. Rizwan then sweeps for one. The last ball of the over i hammered for four by Babar through extra-cover. The gamble has not worked yet…

3:57PM

There are 10 overs to go. Eight runs an over would take them to 307. They will want more than that.

Overton is cut away fine by Babar who only gets one after Rizwan turns down a second. Rizwan hands him back the strike. 

Overton bangs it in, bowling to his field, and the ball is hit for one out to one of the three boundary rider.

Rizwan then scoops the ball over short fine leg for four. Top shot – and that is his fifty! A leg bye is followed by a two from Babar.

3:54PM

Mahmood continues, into his eighth over. Babar takes one before Rizwan pulls him in front of square for another boundary. He then clips a single away.

Mahmood is too short once again and Babar slogs it over the leg side for four. He picked a gap and put the ball there. Good batting.

A single ends an expensive over.

3:50PM

Overton returns to the attack as Stokes continues to shuffle the pack. Rizwan cuts him away for a well ran two. He had to dive and stays down. The physio is out but he looks fine to continue. 

Runs continue to flow in ones and twos. Pakistan will be looking at 300+ now.

3:43PM

Babar then runs a single down to third man before he is handed back the strike. Can Mahmood find a wicket? England really need one.

Babar clips a single down to fine leg. Rizwan will keep the strike once more.

Nine runs from that over as Pakistan's acceleration continues.

3:40PM

He cuts the first ball of Mahmood's over for four! That is his 14th ODI century. This was some knock, from 0 off 14 balls to 100 of 104 balls. He has accelerated magnificently.

3:38PM

Rizwan punishes a half-tracker from Carse. Four runs. He then cuts a single for one. England cannot bowl many dot ball at the moment, all singles, twos and boundaries currently.

Babar pulls away a secondary boundary in the over. He moves to 96 before taking a single. 200 up for Pakistan! They could get a serious score here. It is a good pitch and they have plenty of firepower left in the hutch.

3:35PM

Stokesy must be reading this somehow. On comes the impressive Mahmood. Rizwan takes one from the first ball of his spell. Babar then cuts him away for two before flicking him for another couple.

A short, wide ball goes unpunished – just one conceded. Rizwan pinches the strike.

3:30PM

Reckon England should get Mahmood back on – he has five overs left. Stokes opts to bring Carse back instead.

He is flicked for one by Babar from the first ball of his over. Rizwan hands him back the strike. 

Carse fires in a yorker which beats Babar and just misses the stumps! Well bowled. He drops and runs from the next delivery.

3:27PM

Parkinson continues. Three singles start the over. Babar then dance down the track and sticks Parkinson into the stands over mid-off, who is hovering half-way back to the boundary. Shot! He then takes one.

3:21PM

Pakistan have played really well over the last 10 overs or so. Game on!

3:20PM

Gregory bangs in a half-tracker and Babar nails it through the leg side for four. Not a great ball. He then takes one.

What a shot! Rizwan nails a drive through mid-in with perfect timing. Shot of the day. He then takes a single.

I reckon Gregory should have a breather…

3:17PM

Parkinson will continue, good show of faith from Stokes as Pakistan are going after him. His first ball is cut for a single by Babar. Two more singles follow.

Dropped catch! Parkinson slides one through bat and pad, taking the inside edge. Simpson puts it down. Parkinson does not look best impressed – Simpson dropped one off his bowling earlier in the series.

3:12PM

Gregory bangs the first ball of his over into the surface and Babar pulls for one. Rizwan hands him back the strike. The visitors are ticking along very nicely now.

Babar pulls it off the front foot for three after a good stop from Carse. 150 up! Two more singles finish the over.

Pakistan have really accelerated since Rizwan arrived at the crease.

3:09PM

Parkinson continues. Babar dances down the track and plonks the ball over mid-off's head for four. He then takes one.

Rizwan attempts a sweep but gets it horribly wrong and the ball does not leave the strip. He then takes a single through the offside. Babar does the same, keeping the strike.

3:05PM

Gregory is back into the attack. He starts with two dot balls before Babar cuts away a single. Rizwan gets off strike immediately, pushing the ball out the boundary rider on the offside.

The ball is banged in shot and Babar launches a six over midwicket. That came from nowhere. It was a slower ball that was definitely picked. He then runs the ball down to third man for one. Intelligent batting.

3:01PM

Rizwan sweeps and sweeps hard. Four runs. Parkinson then fires in a wide. Rizwan drops and runs and Simpson almost runs his partner out with a clever reverse hand throw.

Babar clips away one, bringing up his fifty! He has looked excellent today.

Rizwan executes a fine dab sweep, collecting two. He has started his innings with real intent.

2:57PM

Stokes continues. Babar hits a strong straight drive but some sharp fielding keeps it to one. Mahmood then misfields, allowing Rizwan off the mark. Babar takes one before Rizwan pulls away a convincing boundary. Good start from the keeper.

Stokes responds with a bouncer which is ruled a wide – he is not best pleased with that decision. Rizwan then cuts away a single.

Stokes has not got it right today – his four overs have gone for 31.

2:52PM

Rizwan has one ball to face from Parkinson. He respectfully blocks it. 

2:50PM

Oh my word. That is an unbelievable delivery. Imam is drawn forward and the ball turns about a foot from outside off stump, through the gate before hitting middle. Take a bow Matt Parkinson.

FOW: 113/2

2:49PM

Imam works a two from the second ball of Parkinson's over.

2:46PM

Imam cuts Stokes away for a single, bringing up his half-century! He has played nicely today. Babar hands him back the strike.

Imam edges the ball through the vacant first slip region. That would have been a regulation catch… but four runs it is. Stokes then follows it up with a sharp bouncer which Imam ducks.

Imam will keep the strike.

2:43PM

Parkinson floats it up and Babar hammers down the ground for four. It was not too far away from Stokes in the circle at mid-off.

Runs continue to flow from the over as the 100 comes up for Pakistan! They are in a good position here.

2:39PM

Imam hits Stokes for one before Babar cuts him away for a couple. The England captain has not found his range yet.

Babar works another two, this time through point. Five from the over.

2:34PM

Parkinson is into the attack, the first spin of the match. Imam uses his feet, pushing a single to long-on from the first ball of the over. 

Three dot balls to Babar follow before a single is pushed out to long-off. Imam will keep the strike. Decent start from Parkinson.

2:31PM

Ben Stokes is bringing himself on. He has only bowled one over in the series so far. His first delivery is clipped for one by Imam.

Babar clips him away for a leisurely two before nailing a pull shot in front of square to the boundary. Superb timing. A single is then driven into the offside.

Imam cuts Stokes away, just one after some sharp fielding from Parkinson. Expensive start from the skipper.

2:27PM

The crowd, 80 per cent full, is getting going as some fairly tuneful renditions of 'I love you baby' echo around Edgbaston.

Babar works a single from Overton. Imam then cuts fine for another one. Babar, who is now looking like his usual stuff, clips another single out to the boundary rider. And another single concludes the over.

2:23PM

Carse bangs it in and Babar pulls it away, picking up two. He then delivers a half-volley which is dispatched for four through extra-cover. Tremendous. He then takes one.

Carse ends the over with a yorker which is kept out by Imam.

2:19PM

Overton continues. Imam cuts him away for one before Babar hands him back the strike. Overton then draws an outside edge from Imam but it goes wide of slip – one run collected.

Babar flicks one, he wanted two but Imam was not interested one iota. The opener then flicks an easy two off his pads.

2:12PM

England are on top, but Pakistan are still in the game with just one wicket lost.

2:12PM

Carse is bowling well here, building pressure on Pakistan. Babar drops and runs, just getting home. If Carse had hit, he was a goner!

Imam pulls a single to end the over.

2:08PM

Overton deceives Babar with a slower ball, the Pakistan captain through the shot early. No harm done. He then beats Babar with a ball that seams away. That was a peach.

Babar responds well, walking across his stumps and flicking it away for two.

2:04PM

Carse's pace is starting to get up there now after a more gentle start. He is up to 87mph. 

Imam is hurried by a bouncer but he manages to hook it away for a single. Carse then fires a wide down the leg side before Babar collects a single.

2:00PM

Imam clips a two from Overton before working a single. Three from the over.

1:56PM

Carse is too straight and Imam works an easy single into the leg side. Babar hands him back the strike. Imam then drops and run, the batsmen both getting home comfortably. 

1:52PM

Overton nearly slips it between Babar's bat and pad but an inside edge saves the Pakistan captain. Overton the bangs one in and Babar pulls it to the boundary. He is slowly finding his feet. Babar then clips a two away to conclude the over.

1:48PM

Mahmood is out of the attack, replaced by Carse. He starts well, finding his range immediately. Imam is playing watchfully, leaving the ball alone outside off stump. Pakistan look intent on batting all 50 overs today…

Imam attempts a cut but it goes straight to backward point. No run.

Carse bowls a straight up half-tracker and Imam dispatches it to the boundary. Don't bowl there.

1:43PM

Change of bowling for England. Craig Overton replacing Gregory. Imam takes a single from first ball of his spell before Babar clips him off his hip for four. He is finally off the mark!

Overton responds well, forcing three front foot defensive shots in a row. Make it four.

A sedate powerplay is over.

1:39PM

Well, this a better start than Pakistan have made in the previous two matches. They really need a contribution from Babar, who is still at the crease albeit on zero.

Mahmood has clearly earned the respect of Babar who is playing defensively against him. Back to back maidens from Mahmood!

Babar, the No 1 ODI batsman in the world, is yet to get off the mark from 14 deliveries…

1:35PM

Imam plays out three dot balls at the start of Gregory's fourth over. Imam then slashes off the back foot, the ball just misses the slip cordon and he picks up four runs as Mahmood cannot cut it off.

1:31PM

Mahmood continues. He is full at Babar who has attempted a couple of drives but without any timing. Mahmood then spears in a yorker which is well dug out by the Pakistan captain.

Maiden.

1:27PM

Gregory is just a tad short and Imam cuts him away, just beating Salt at backward point. Boundary.

Gregory finds his line and length, Imam respectfully leaving successive deliveries. He then fires down a leg side wide.

Five from the over.

1:23PM

Out comes Pakistan captain Babar Azam. Mahmood has got him both matches this series. Stokes has three slips in place.

Mahmood is full and Babar drives the first ball back. No run. He blocks the second.

Another impressive over from the Lancashire quick.

1:22PM

Mahmood continues his devastating powerplay form. He slides one across the left hander, Fakhar tries to drive and edges it to Crawley who takes the catch above his head at second slip.

FOW: 21/1

1:20PM

There is almost a run out as the two batsmen fail to communicate clearly. Fakhar gets half way down the pitch before being sent back, fortunately for Pakistan no clean pick up comes.

Mahmood strays too far down the leg side, wide given. The crowd is in good voice already at Edgbaston.

Another leg side wide follows.

1:17PM

Gregory strays too straight and Imam gratefully clips the ball away to the boundary. The Somerset bowlers comes back well, adjusting his line to off stump. Imam and Faakhar exchange singles.

1:14PM

Mahmood draws a thick edge from Fakhar. It goes for four after Parkinson fails to stop it down at third man.

A good over from Mahmood as no runs come from the rest of it.

1:08PM

Lewis Gregory opens the bowling from the other end. Ball tracking shows that England should have reviewed that lbw shout last over, it would have been out.

Fakhar gets off the mark with a single following two dot balls. Imam plays out the remainder of the over.

1:04PM

The first ball of the innings is crisply clipped through square leg for four by Imam. Mahmood responds well, forcing the opener to play and miss from successive deliveries.

Mahmood's line strays again and Imam clips to the boundary once again, this time in front of square. All action start, this.

An lbw appeal ends the over but it is given not out. Stokes does not review – he thinks there is a bat involved. There was not. It would have been very close…

12:59PM

Saqib Mahmood will open the bowling for England.

12:37PM

In terms of team news, England are unchanged once again, Pakistan likewise.

England:

1 Phil Salt, 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 James Vince, 5 Ben Stokes (capt), 6 John Simpson (wk), 7 Lewis Gregory, 8 Craig Overton, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Saqib Mahmood, 11 Matt Parkinson

Pakistan:

1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Sohaib Maqsood, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf

12:34PM

By Tim Wigmore

Stand-in England skipper Ben Stokes has admitted that players accept that tighter biosecure rules might be needed to ensure that the five Test series against India next month can proceed with minimal disruption from Covid-19.

England needed to select an entirely new squad for the one-day international series against Pakistan, which they will hope to seal 3-0 at Edgbaston today, after an outbreak of Covid-19 among the players and management. Stokes accepts that measures to mitigate the risks of outbreaks are likely to be intensified, with rates of Covid-19 increasing and the series against India, which will begin on August 4, worth over £100 million to the game in England & Wales. 

“I have no doubt things have had to go back to the drawing board,” Stokes said. “I'm fortunate that's above my pay grade – I don’t have to worry about that stuff. But everything is to ensure the safety of players and backroom staff. Nothing is set in stone for the India series, but it will be done in the right way.

“All these things are in place to make sure we're as safe as possible,” Stokes said of life under biosecure conditions. “You have to make sacrifices. But at the same time you also need to consider welfare as well as getting people out on the park because living bubble life is very, very tough. Going from hotel to ground on a daily basis can get to you – so there is a lot to think about from keeping people as safe as possible but making sure we are being looked after from the mental side because being in bubbles is tough.” 

England managed to complete an entire home summer last year without any positive Covid-19 cases in international cricket. Mindful of the need to protect players’ mental health, biosecure conditions have been somewhat relaxed so far this summer, but measures have been intensified since the outbreak which saw three players and four members of the management test positive at the conclusion of the ODI series against Sri Lanka earlier this month. 

The schedule for the summer had been designed to ensure that leading England cricketers like Stokes can play several matches in the Hundred, which begins on July 21. But with fears that there could be an outbreak of Covid-19 in a Hundred squad, with players exposed to someone with a positive test then having to self-isolate, there are concerns that England players might be pulled out of the start of the competition to ensure that England can be at full-strength for the first Test. Stokes admitted that he is worried that he will not be able to play in the Hundred. 

“It would be very frustrating to not be able to participate in that, it’s a massive event for England and we want to be part of it. We know how big a role players play in making a franchise competition big. And if the Test players were unable to play in it because of Covid, that would be pretty devastating.” 

Stokes’s international return from a finger injury was rushed back by the outbreak of Covid-19, but he said that he is happy with his progress. “It was very short notice coming back into the team but needs must. We have a hell of a busy summer still – the T20s, the Hundred, the India series and then more trips abroad so there is a lot of cricket. Finger wise it is more annoying me now but I have had finger injuries before and they never just turn themselves around quick as frustrating as it is the medical staff are managing it.” 

12:19PM

Ben Stokes believes England's breakout bowling star Saqib Mahmood will force some more established stars to “look over their shoulder” after his stunning form against Pakistan.

When Eoin Morgan's first-choice ODI squad was sent into isolation ahead of the series, Mahmood was one of the more experienced options available to head coach Chris Silverwood and found himself leading a novice attack despite owning just four caps himself.

But he has since stood tall at Cardiff and Lord's, claiming four for 42 and two for 21 while dismissing the world's number one 50-over batsman Babar Azam on both occasions.

One more strong performance at Edgbaston today, when England will look to sweep the series 3-0, will only increase his rapidly rising stock and could see him rocket up the pecking order.

“With the squad getting wiped out, the one positive was that we could see guys come who have been on the fringe and, for Saqi, coming in and being the senior bowler has done him the world of good,” said Stokes.

“He hasn't been fazed by anything, he's been taking the new ball and I've asked him to come back on at crucial times in games where he's performed really well.

“So from an individual point of view it's done him the world of good and from an England point of view, it's another player that lads will have to look over their shoulder for.

“Saqi seems to always want the ball in his hands…he loves every minute of it. He loves to be in those situations where he's expected to be the man to change a game and he's done it every time he's bowled for me this series.

“Competition for places is always a great thing to have at any level so when you get a complete new squad and they have put in such performances, that really adds to the expectation that gets put on to the main guys' shoulders when they come back.”

PA

6:06PM

Shaheen has changed ends to replace the stricken Hasan. Left-arm over the wicket to Vince, he begins with two dot balls, angled across the right-hander then pushes one further wide and Vince takes the bait, throwing his hands at a drive but missing it. He tucks a single off his hip. Shaheen is trying to restrict the batsmen from extending their arms until he tempts them into nicking off with a rare full one as he tried with Vince. But Crawley can cope with being cramped and pulls a ball off his waistband for a one-bounce four.  

6:01PM

Very good from Crawley, using the pace of the outfield and belter of a pitch, rocks forward in his stance and steers four square of third man. 

5:58PM

Vince punches two through cover with the helping hand of the fielder who should have stopped him running one but instead tips it round the post and away from a team-mate. Hasan bowls his fourth wide, shaping it down the legside and Vince again shows his prowess through cover with a sweet push for three. I wonder if him punching those drives more than he used to when he would give it a textbook followthrough, is the key to him reining in the extravagance that used to be his downfall.

Hasan has hurt his groin and is struggling, dropping short after spending a couple of moments stretching it, and Crawley butchers a pull fpr four. 

5:53PM

England have plenty of time now to regroup without Vince and Crawley needing to keep pace with Salt's fireworks. Haris Rauf gets his fingernails on a wonderful straight drive from Crawley bit cannot divert it on to the stumps nor take enough force off it to stop it going for four. Crawley times the underpants off the last ball, too, flicking it off middle and off through square leg for four more. 

5:46PM

Salt c Fakhar b Rauf 37  Bowling change and change in the field earns Rauf a wicket with his first ball. Rauf has the pace to make the short ball more effective than Shaheen could and Salt, committed to his approach, swipes a pull to midwicket.  FOW 53/2

5:46PM

Crawley, taking a leaf out of Joe Root's book, guides a single down to third man and Salt, who has rattled Pakistan, steals a single on a misfield at cover, threatening to come back for two before Crwaley wisely sends the adrenaline-addled Salt back. One of them would have been run out by 15 yards. 

More reliable fielding in the covers stops singles but the throw tests Rizwan who has to leap to save it going for more buzzers then does two press-ups just for fun and Misbah. Crawley wedges two over long-on and Hasan's third over escapes with only four runs added to the debits. 

5:40PM

Crawley, knowing his place, dabs a single down to third man and Shaheeen, who hasn't been able to swing the ball, alters his length to try to keep Salt quiet. Cover saves a single, then mid-on and Salt swings and misses at the bouncer. Shaheen has a pop at him and Salt returns it with a smile and has the final word when he shovels a pull off his hip for four then carts another short ball for two through midwicket. 

5:37PM

After five fours Salt earns another one with little input when Saud throws down the non-striker's stumps with Crawley home as they stop-started on a single. The ball ricochets down to long off for four. 

Salt adds another with a wild slash off Hasan that flies over slip and goes for a one-bounce four to third man. Salt is sewing panic with this life cycle of a mayfly approach to batting. 

5:32PM

Crawley, who has struggled against New Zealand's left-armers this summer already, drives two off Shaheen down to long off then goes for more drives, three of them cut off by the infield but the fourth laced back down the ground for four, the bat only just breaking the perpendicular in his followthrough.

Crawley ends the over hustling a second run to third man that should never have been on. 

5:28PM

Two legside wides are followed by Hasan overcorrecting and hooping one away from Malan for a a third before bagging the Yorkshire batsman as he fiddled after a jaffa. Blimey. The replay suggests that he didn't hit it but he walked anyway. Enter Zak Crawley and Hasan's wonky radar returns and allows the batsmen to trot a leg-bye. Salt climbs into a cut and carves it just out of point's reach for four as he leapt to try to catch it. 

5:23PM

Malan c Rizwan b Hasan 0 It took Hasan four deliveries to register his first legitimate ball after three wides on the trot to start with but then he gets the line right to exploit the swing, pitching on leg and middle and kissing the edge as it nibbled away.  FOW 19/1

5:22PM

Amazing start by Phil Salt against Shaheen who is pitching full and straining for swing. He mullers four fours, the first driven square, the second lamped over mid-on, the third thrashed through mid-on with exquisite timing and the fourth (and third in succession) flambéd through the covers. Little footwork but with his hands and eye he absolutely nailed each one. 

5:08PM

Let's not forget the main point of the day at RGD Willis's second home ground:

5:05PM

A full-strength England side would fancy this all day long. It is a good pitch and conditions are favourable for batting.

However, this is not England's best side. In fact, it is a long, long way from it. This will be a seriously impressive – and record-breaking at Edgbaston – chase if this young side can pull it off. From what we have seen so far this series, do not rule it out.

I now hand you over to Rob Bagchi who will take you through England's chase. 

4:45PM

That is a very good score for Pakistan. They started slowly but accelerated rapidly over the back half.

England will need to pull off a record ODI chase at Edgbaston to win today.

4:44PM

Carse beats Shakeel all ends up with a slower ball. One ball in the innings to go. Shakeel pulls it nicely, picking up two for his side.

4:43PM

That is five wickets for Carse! Shaheen spoons the ball in the air, simple catch. Carse has taken five wickets in his three death overs!

FOW: 329/9

4:40PM

Carse comes back with a slower ball. Babar does not pick it and spoons the ball to Malan. Edgbaston rises to applaud off Babar after a truly special knock from a world-class player.

FOW: 328/8

4:39PM

Carse will bowl the final ball of the over. Babar is on strike. He creams the first ball through the leg side for four. Supreme timing. 

4:38PM

Golden duck for Shadab! He tries to launch the ball over mid-off and edges it to Simpson behind the stumps. Mahmood finishes with 10 over, 3-60.

FOW: 324/7

4:37PM

Mahmood bowls a slower ball, Faheem does not pick it and is through the shot too early. Stumps everywhere.

FOW: 324/6

4:36PM

Mahmood begins his final over. Babar picks up one from the first ball. Faheem then launches his first ball for six! That was some shot from the left hander over mid-wicket. He tries it again, this time top edging it over Simpson for four.

Mahmood goes short again and Faheem fails to make contact. Valuable dot ball. Mahmood then bowls a very wide, wide.

4:32PM

The batsmen crossed, getting Babar on strike. He thumps two into the offside. Babar then picks out Malan at backward point. He takes on his arm and just gets home despite a direct hit. Good running – he keeps the strike.

4:31PM

And then Ali skies his second ball. It does not make it out the circle and Crawley claims the catch.

FOW: 309/5

4:30PM

Hasan Ali has been sent up the order! The bowler will go after every ball. Ali swings hard, as expected, and gets four with an edge.

4:28PM

Carse bangs it in and Maqsood takes it on. He does not get hold if it and picks out Vince who takes an easy catch.

FOW: 305/3

4:27PM

Babar cuts Carse away for one, bringing up his 150. Stunning knock. 

4:26PM

Mahmood is back at the other end. He will complete his allocation. Mahmood starts with a wide yorker. Well bowled, dot ball.

He then delivers a low full toss which Babar hits for two. Mahmood attempts another wide yorker, this one is too wide, however. Extra conceded. He then gets it right, Babar takes one. 300 up for Pakistan!

Mahmood finds a dot ball with a full toss before finding another with a bumper. Good bowling. He goes short again and Maqsood pulls it for four this time. Mixed over.

4:20PM

Maqsood is in, promoted up one place in the order due to his six-hitting ability. He hits his first ball for four, edging across his stumps and running it fine, beating third man.

4:18PM

A slower ball bouncer is edged through to Simpson following an attempted pull shot. England needed that!

Great knock from Rizwan, 74 at a very good strike rate.

FOW: 292/3

4:17PM

Carse is on to replace Parkinson. He has some job on his hands the way these two are going.

Rizwan hands his skipper the strike. Wise decision, Babar launches a six back over the bowler's head. That was in the slot! This a record ODI partnership for any Pakistan pair against England! 178 and counting.

A single follows. 

4:13PM

Overton will finish his 10 over allocation. Babar skies it and the ball lands in between Stokes and Parkinson. He thought he was out and did not even bother running… Babar takes one from the next ball.

Rizwan times a straight drive nicely, beating mid-off. Four more! He then runs it fine for two before a single.

The last over of Overton's spell is smeared for four from Babar. 10 overs, 0-64 for Overton.

4:09PM

Dropped catch! Babar hammers a full toss from Parkinson at short mid-wicket! Carse almost takes a stunner but just puts it down. Unlucky. Babar then takes one before Rizwan sweeps to the boundary. The runs keep coming.

Babar gets back on strike. He comes down the track and hits the ball over long-on's head for six! The spin experiment at the death is not working, Ben.

Babar keeps the strike. 13 off that over.

4:06PM

Overton's spell continues and he is pulled away for four for Babar – 250 up! He comes back well with a yorker which is squeezed for one. Rizwan hands him back the strike.

Overton attempts a slower ball but it slides down the leg side for a wide. Babar works the following ball away for one. Rizwan cuts the final ball of the over away for two. 

11 from the over.

4:01PM

All of England's bowling options have been expensive over the last 15 overs. Stokes is now giving Parkinson a chance. This could be interesting. It is bold – and I like it.

Rizwan sweeps the first ball of the over away for two. He then places the ball nicely for another couple before taking one.

Babar takes one, cutting the ball out to a boundary rider. Rizwan then sweeps for one. The last ball of the over i hammered for four by Babar through extra-cover. The gamble has not worked yet…

3:57PM

There are 10 overs to go. Eight runs an over would take them to 307. They will want more than that.

Overton is cut away fine by Babar who only gets one after Rizwan turns down a second. Rizwan hands him back the strike. 

Overton bangs it in, bowling to his field, and the ball is hit for one out to one of the three boundary rider.

Rizwan then scoops the ball over short fine leg for four. Top shot – and that is his fifty! A leg bye is followed by a two from Babar.

3:54PM

Mahmood continues, into his eighth over. Babar takes one before Rizwan pulls him in front of square for another boundary. He then clips a single away.

Mahmood is too short once again and Babar slogs it over the leg side for four. He picked a gap and put the ball there. Good batting.

A single ends an expensive over.

3:50PM

Overton returns to the attack as Stokes continues to shuffle the pack. Rizwan cuts him away for a well ran two. He had to dive and stays down. The physio is out but he looks fine to continue. 

Runs continue to flow in ones and twos. Pakistan will be looking at 300+ now.

3:43PM

Babar then runs a single down to third man before he is handed back the strike. Can Mahmood find a wicket? England really need one.

Babar clips a single down to fine leg. Rizwan will keep the strike once more.

Nine runs from that over as Pakistan's acceleration continues.

3:40PM

He cuts the first ball of Mahmood's over for four! That is his 14th ODI century. This was some knock, from 0 off 14 balls to 100 of 104 balls. He has accelerated magnificently.

3:38PM

Rizwan punishes a half-tracker from Carse. Four runs. He then cuts a single for one. England cannot bowl many dot ball at the moment, all singles, twos and boundaries currently.

Babar pulls away a secondary boundary in the over. He moves to 96 before taking a single. 200 up for Pakistan! They could get a serious score here. It is a good pitch and they have plenty of firepower left in the hutch.

3:35PM

Stokesy must be reading this somehow. On comes the impressive Mahmood. Rizwan takes one from the first ball of his spell. Babar then cuts him away for two before flicking him for another couple.

A short, wide ball goes unpunished – just one conceded. Rizwan pinches the strike.

3:30PM

Reckon England should get Mahmood back on – he has five overs left. Stokes opts to bring Carse back instead.

He is flicked for one by Babar from the first ball of his over. Rizwan hands him back the strike. 

Carse fires in a yorker which beats Babar and just misses the stumps! Well bowled. He drops and runs from the next delivery.

3:27PM

Parkinson continues. Three singles start the over. Babar then dance down the track and sticks Parkinson into the stands over mid-off, who is hovering half-way back to the boundary. Shot! He then takes one.

3:21PM

Pakistan have played really well over the last 10 overs or so. Game on!

3:20PM

Gregory bangs in a half-tracker and Babar nails it through the leg side for four. Not a great ball. He then takes one.

What a shot! Rizwan nails a drive through mid-in with perfect timing. Shot of the day. He then takes a single.

I reckon Gregory should have a breather…

3:17PM

Parkinson will continue, good show of faith from Stokes as Pakistan are going after him. His first ball is cut for a single by Babar. Two more singles follow.

Dropped catch! Parkinson slides one through bat and pad, taking the inside edge. Simpson puts it down. Parkinson does not look best impressed – Simpson dropped one off his bowling earlier in the series.

3:12PM

Gregory bangs the first ball of his over into the surface and Babar pulls for one. Rizwan hands him back the strike. The visitors are ticking along very nicely now.

Babar pulls it off the front foot for three after a good stop from Carse. 150 up! Two more singles finish the over.

Pakistan have really accelerated since Rizwan arrived at the crease.

3:09PM

Parkinson continues. Babar dances down the track and plonks the ball over mid-off's head for four. He then takes one.

Rizwan attempts a sweep but gets it horribly wrong and the ball does not leave the strip. He then takes a single through the offside. Babar does the same, keeping the strike.

3:05PM

Gregory is back into the attack. He starts with two dot balls before Babar cuts away a single. Rizwan gets off strike immediately, pushing the ball out the boundary rider on the offside.

The ball is banged in shot and Babar launches a six over midwicket. That came from nowhere. It was a slower ball that was definitely picked. He then runs the ball down to third man for one. Intelligent batting.

3:01PM

Rizwan sweeps and sweeps hard. Four runs. Parkinson then fires in a wide. Rizwan drops and runs and Simpson almost runs his partner out with a clever reverse hand throw.

Babar clips away one, bringing up his fifty! He has looked excellent today.

Rizwan executes a fine dab sweep, collecting two. He has started his innings with real intent.

2:57PM

Stokes continues. Babar hits a strong straight drive but some sharp fielding keeps it to one. Mahmood then misfields, allowing Rizwan off the mark. Babar takes one before Rizwan pulls away a convincing boundary. Good start from the keeper.

Stokes responds with a bouncer which is ruled a wide – he is not best pleased with that decision. Rizwan then cuts away a single.

Stokes has not got it right today – his four overs have gone for 31.

2:52PM

Rizwan has one ball to face from Parkinson. He respectfully blocks it. 

2:50PM

Oh my word. That is an unbelievable delivery. Imam is drawn forward and the ball turns about a foot from outside off stump, through the gate before hitting middle. Take a bow Matt Parkinson.

FOW: 113/2

2:49PM

Imam works a two from the second ball of Parkinson's over.

2:46PM

Imam cuts Stokes away for a single, bringing up his half-century! He has played nicely today. Babar hands him back the strike.

Imam edges the ball through the vacant first slip region. That would have been a regulation catch… but four runs it is. Stokes then follows it up with a sharp bouncer which Imam ducks.

Imam will keep the strike.

2:43PM

Parkinson floats it up and Babar hammers down the ground for four. It was not too far away from Stokes in the circle at mid-off.

Runs continue to flow from the over as the 100 comes up for Pakistan! They are in a good position here.

2:39PM

Imam hits Stokes for one before Babar cuts him away for a couple. The England captain has not found his range yet.

Babar works another two, this time through point. Five from the over.

2:34PM

Parkinson is into the attack, the first spin of the match. Imam uses his feet, pushing a single to long-on from the first ball of the over. 

Three dot balls to Babar follow before a single is pushed out to long-off. Imam will keep the strike. Decent start from Parkinson.

2:31PM

Ben Stokes is bringing himself on. He has only bowled one over in the series so far. His first delivery is clipped for one by Imam.

Babar clips him away for a leisurely two before nailing a pull shot in front of square to the boundary. Superb timing. A single is then driven into the offside.

Imam cuts Stokes away, just one after some sharp fielding from Parkinson. Expensive start from the skipper.

2:27PM

The crowd, 80 per cent full, is getting going as some fairly tuneful renditions of 'I love you baby' echo around Edgbaston.

Babar works a single from Overton. Imam then cuts fine for another one. Babar, who is now looking like his usual stuff, clips another single out to the boundary rider. And another single concludes the over.

2:23PM

Carse bangs it in and Babar pulls it away, picking up two. He then delivers a half-volley which is dispatched for four through extra-cover. Tremendous. He then takes one.

Carse ends the over with a yorker which is kept out by Imam.

2:19PM

Overton continues. Imam cuts him away for one before Babar hands him back the strike. Overton then draws an outside edge from Imam but it goes wide of slip – one run collected.

Babar flicks one, he wanted two but Imam was not interested one iota. The opener then flicks an easy two off his pads.

2:12PM

England are on top, but Pakistan are still in the game with just one wicket lost.

2:12PM

Carse is bowling well here, building pressure on Pakistan. Babar drops and runs, just getting home. If Carse had hit, he was a goner!

Imam pulls a single to end the over.

2:08PM

Overton deceives Babar with a slower ball, the Pakistan captain through the shot early. No harm done. He then beats Babar with a ball that seams away. That was a peach.

Babar responds well, walking across his stumps and flicking it away for two.

2:04PM

Carse's pace is starting to get up there now after a more gentle start. He is up to 87mph. 

Imam is hurried by a bouncer but he manages to hook it away for a single. Carse then fires a wide down the leg side before Babar collects a single.

2:00PM

Imam clips a two from Overton before working a single. Three from the over.

1:56PM

Carse is too straight and Imam works an easy single into the leg side. Babar hands him back the strike. Imam then drops and run, the batsmen both getting home comfortably. 

1:52PM

Overton nearly slips it between Babar's bat and pad but an inside edge saves the Pakistan captain. Overton the bangs one in and Babar pulls it to the boundary. He is slowly finding his feet. Babar then clips a two away to conclude the over.

1:48PM

Mahmood is out of the attack, replaced by Carse. He starts well, finding his range immediately. Imam is playing watchfully, leaving the ball alone outside off stump. Pakistan look intent on batting all 50 overs today…

Imam attempts a cut but it goes straight to backward point. No run.

Carse bowls a straight up half-tracker and Imam dispatches it to the boundary. Don't bowl there.

1:43PM

Change of bowling for England. Craig Overton replacing Gregory. Imam takes a single from first ball of his spell before Babar clips him off his hip for four. He is finally off the mark!

Overton responds well, forcing three front foot defensive shots in a row. Make it four.

A sedate powerplay is over.

1:39PM

Well, this a better start than Pakistan have made in the previous two matches. They really need a contribution from Babar, who is still at the crease albeit on zero.

Mahmood has clearly earned the respect of Babar who is playing defensively against him. Back to back maidens from Mahmood!

Babar, the No 1 ODI batsman in the world, is yet to get off the mark from 14 deliveries…

1:35PM

Imam plays out three dot balls at the start of Gregory's fourth over. Imam then slashes off the back foot, the ball just misses the slip cordon and he picks up four runs as Mahmood cannot cut it off.

1:31PM

Mahmood continues. He is full at Babar who has attempted a couple of drives but without any timing. Mahmood then spears in a yorker which is well dug out by the Pakistan captain.

Maiden.

1:27PM

Gregory is just a tad short and Imam cuts him away, just beating Salt at backward point. Boundary.

Gregory finds his line and length, Imam respectfully leaving successive deliveries. He then fires down a leg side wide.

Five from the over.

1:23PM

Out comes Pakistan captain Babar Azam. Mahmood has got him both matches this series. Stokes has three slips in place.

Mahmood is full and Babar drives the first ball back. No run. He blocks the second.

Another impressive over from the Lancashire quick.

1:22PM

Mahmood continues his devastating powerplay form. He slides one across the left hander, Fakhar tries to drive and edges it to Crawley who takes the catch above his head at second slip.

FOW: 21/1

1:20PM

There is almost a run out as the two batsmen fail to communicate clearly. Fakhar gets half way down the pitch before being sent back, fortunately for Pakistan no clean pick up comes.

Mahmood strays too far down the leg side, wide given. The crowd is in good voice already at Edgbaston.

Another leg side wide follows.

1:17PM

Gregory strays too straight and Imam gratefully clips the ball away to the boundary. The Somerset bowlers comes back well, adjusting his line to off stump. Imam and Faakhar exchange singles.

1:14PM

Mahmood draws a thick edge from Fakhar. It goes for four after Parkinson fails to stop it down at third man.

A good over from Mahmood as no runs come from the rest of it.

1:08PM

Lewis Gregory opens the bowling from the other end. Ball tracking shows that England should have reviewed that lbw shout last over, it would have been out.

Fakhar gets off the mark with a single following two dot balls. Imam plays out the remainder of the over.

1:04PM

The first ball of the innings is crisply clipped through square leg for four by Imam. Mahmood responds well, forcing the opener to play and miss from successive deliveries.

Mahmood's line strays again and Imam clips to the boundary once again, this time in front of square. All action start, this.

An lbw appeal ends the over but it is given not out. Stokes does not review – he thinks there is a bat involved. There was not. It would have been very close…

12:59PM

Saqib Mahmood will open the bowling for England.

12:37PM

In terms of team news, England are unchanged once again, Pakistan likewise.

England:

1 Phil Salt, 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Zak Crawley, 4 James Vince, 5 Ben Stokes (capt), 6 John Simpson (wk), 7 Lewis Gregory, 8 Craig Overton, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Saqib Mahmood, 11 Matt Parkinson

Pakistan:

1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Sohaib Maqsood, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11 Haris Rauf

12:34PM

By Tim Wigmore

Stand-in England skipper Ben Stokes has admitted that players accept that tighter biosecure rules might be needed to ensure that the five Test series against India next month can proceed with minimal disruption from Covid-19.

England needed to select an entirely new squad for the one-day international series against Pakistan, which they will hope to seal 3-0 at Edgbaston today, after an outbreak of Covid-19 among the players and management. Stokes accepts that measures to mitigate the risks of outbreaks are likely to be intensified, with rates of Covid-19 increasing and the series against India, which will begin on August 4, worth over £100 million to the game in England & Wales. 

“I have no doubt things have had to go back to the drawing board,” Stokes said. “I'm fortunate that's above my pay grade – I don’t have to worry about that stuff. But everything is to ensure the safety of players and backroom staff. Nothing is set in stone for the India series, but it will be done in the right way.

“All these things are in place to make sure we're as safe as possible,” Stokes said of life under biosecure conditions. “You have to make sacrifices. But at the same time you also need to consider welfare as well as getting people out on the park because living bubble life is very, very tough. Going from hotel to ground on a daily basis can get to you – so there is a lot to think about from keeping people as safe as possible but making sure we are being looked after from the mental side because being in bubbles is tough.” 

England managed to complete an entire home summer last year without any positive Covid-19 cases in international cricket. Mindful of the need to protect players’ mental health, biosecure conditions have been somewhat relaxed so far this summer, but measures have been intensified since the outbreak which saw three players and four members of the management test positive at the conclusion of the ODI series against Sri Lanka earlier this month. 

The schedule for the summer had been designed to ensure that leading England cricketers like Stokes can play several matches in the Hundred, which begins on July 21. But with fears that there could be an outbreak of Covid-19 in a Hundred squad, with players exposed to someone with a positive test then having to self-isolate, there are concerns that England players might be pulled out of the start of the competition to ensure that England can be at full-strength for the first Test. Stokes admitted that he is worried that he will not be able to play in the Hundred. 

“It would be very frustrating to not be able to participate in that, it’s a massive event for England and we want to be part of it. We know how big a role players play in making a franchise competition big. And if the Test players were unable to play in it because of Covid, that would be pretty devastating.” 

Stokes’s international return from a finger injury was rushed back by the outbreak of Covid-19, but he said that he is happy with his progress. “It was very short notice coming back into the team but needs must. We have a hell of a busy summer still – the T20s, the Hundred, the India series and then more trips abroad so there is a lot of cricket. Finger wise it is more annoying me now but I have had finger injuries before and they never just turn themselves around quick as frustrating as it is the medical staff are managing it.” 

12:19PM

Ben Stokes believes England's breakout bowling star Saqib Mahmood will force some more established stars to “look over their shoulder” after his stunning form against Pakistan.

When Eoin Morgan's first-choice ODI squad was sent into isolation ahead of the series, Mahmood was one of the more experienced options available to head coach Chris Silverwood and found himself leading a novice attack despite owning just four caps himself.

But he has since stood tall at Cardiff and Lord's, claiming four for 42 and two for 21 while dismissing the world's number one 50-over batsman Babar Azam on both occasions.

One more strong performance at Edgbaston today, when England will look to sweep the series 3-0, will only increase his rapidly rising stock and could see him rocket up the pecking order.

“With the squad getting wiped out, the one positive was that we could see guys come who have been on the fringe and, for Saqi, coming in and being the senior bowler has done him the world of good,” said Stokes.

“He hasn't been fazed by anything, he's been taking the new ball and I've asked him to come back on at crucial times in games where he's performed really well.

“So from an individual point of view it's done him the world of good and from an England point of view, it's another player that lads will have to look over their shoulder for.

“Saqi seems to always want the ball in his hands…he loves every minute of it. He loves to be in those situations where he's expected to be the man to change a game and he's done it every time he's bowled for me this series.

“Competition for places is always a great thing to have at any level so when you get a complete new squad and they have put in such performances, that really adds to the expectation that gets put on to the main guys' shoulders when they come back.”

PA


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– July 13, 2021
Pakistan vs England Babar Azam stars with careerbest 158 as Pakistan post imposing 331
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