England clinched victory in their ODI #Series against Pakistan in the UAE, thanks in no small part to a breath-taking display of batting pyrotechnics from Jos Buttler and a maiden international one-day century from Jason Roy. Despite a spirited run chase by their hosts, Eoin Morgan’s side ultimately ran out winners on the day by a pleasing 84-run margin to defeat their opponents 3-1 overall.

Buttler expressed himself

The Lancashire wicket-keeper’s spellbinding 116 from just 52 balls ensured that Pakistan were always on the back foot when they replied. Promoted up the order ahead of Morgan, the captain’s decision seemed a stroke of genius as Buttler freed his shoulders and struck the ball around and almost out of the ground in Sharjah.

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Innovative stroke play

Pakistan were unable to find a solution as their six-pronged attack were taken apart by Buttler’s dizzy combination of brute force and innovative stroke-play. Eight sixes cleared the ropes as he put early disappointments on the tour behind him and began to justify the faith of the selectors. Power hitting, ramp shots and reverse sweeps were all employed as part of the 25-year-old’s batting arsenal.

Record breaker

He also re-wrote the record books in setting new figures for England’s fastest one-day international century en route during his unbeaten knock. The forty-six balls required to reach the three figure milestone succeeded the same player’s effort against Sri Lanka last year. That time he had been rather more sedate in taking 61 balls for his hundred.

Classy century from Roy

The foundations for England’s late run charge and mammoth total of 355-5 were set up by Roy’s earlier century.

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Although Buttler rightly gained the headlines and man of the match plaudits, without the Surrey opener’s well-paced 102 in partnership with the dependable Joe Root (71), we might not have been privileged to witness the magnificence later on.

Century partnership to set up total

As it was, Roy and Root added a vital 140 runs for the second wicket to set the tone. When they both fell in quick succession, England were looking towards a large score of perhaps 300 at 201-3. That was before Buttler took over though and essentially put the result beyond Pakistan.

Valiant effort from Pakistan

Not that the home side gave up meekly. Indeed they gamely chased an unlikely success from the off and were up with the requisite run-rate early on in a thrilling passage of play. Seven sixes showed that the pitch was also to their liking. Pakistan’s major problem though was a constant clatter of wickets during their innings, with valiant efforts from Babar Azam (51) and Shoaib Malik (52) being insufficient for their cause in the final analysis.

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They were eventually all out for 271 in the forty-first over.

Rashid and Moeen in the wickets

Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali took three wickets apiece, after David Willey had dismissed both openers in a productive early spell. Rashid was on the expensive side, going for over seven runs per over. But on a true pitch Morgan was seeking to maintain a degree of control through wicket-taking deliveries as much as tight overs, hence his perseverance with the spinner.

Morgan will have been delighted with the manner in which his unchanged side for the entire series responded and learned after their heavy defeat in the first ODI. At that point they had looked underprepared for the conditions but they bounced back admirably to claim the next three games in some style.

England next turn their attention to a short series of Twenty20 matches against the same opposition, beginning next Thursday. For now though Buttler and England can be proud of their ODI efforts and confident going forward in the limited overs format. #Cricket