Lewis Gregory digs deep with bat and ball as second-string England seal first-class series win


England overcome Hasan Ali five-for to win by 52 runs to take series with game to spare

England 247 (Salt 60, Vince 56, Hasan 5-51) vs Pakistan

England have wrapped up the Royal London ODI series against Pakistan with a game to spare following a 52-run victory over Pakistan at Lord’s.

Despite being without their first-choice squad, despite being put into bat in conditions which Ben Stokes described as “lovely to bowl in” and despite subsiding to 160 for 7 with 20 overs of their innings remaining, England won this game with something to spare. Having won the first match ODI in Cardiff by nine wickets, it means they go into the final game at Edgbaston on Tuesday with an unassailable 2-0 lead.

It bears repetition that this is a highly proficient Pakistan side. Going into this series they had lost just one of their most recent 12 completed ODIs and, had they won this game convincingly, they could have risen to second place in the World Cup Super League. To beat them at any time is an achievement; to beat them without the use of at least 20 of your best players is another demonstration of England’s current depth in limited-overs resources.

The defining passage of play probably came late in England’s innings. When Lewis Gregory and Brydon Carse came together, England had just lost three wickets for four runs and were precariously placed at 160 for 7. At that stage, a total of 200 looked unlikely.
But the pair added 69 in 77 balls – a record eighth-wicket partnership at Lord’s in ODI cricket – to drag England to what proved to be a competitive total on a Lord’s surface offering assistance to both seam and spin bowlers. While any highlights package might focus on Gregory’s boundaries – one of them, driven through the covers on the up off Hasan Ali would have pleased any batter – the pair also ran impressively, putting pressure on the Pakistan fielders.
While England were still bowled out with 10 deliveries unused – rain which delayed the start of the match by 90 minutes also reduced this to a 47-overs a side affair – their final total (247) was slightly better than that set in the first innings of the most recent ODI played on this ground: the 2019 World Cup final when New Zealand managed 241 for 8. And, as we know, that proved highly competitive.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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