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Other SportsCricket World Cup 2023: England v Pakistan - Preview, expected line-ups and...

Cricket World Cup 2023: England v Pakistan – Preview, expected line-ups and prediction

The State of Play

England belatedly showed some of the quality that has been sorely lacking at this tournament in beating the Netherlands last time out, albeit it wasn’t a flawless display. At 192 for six, it seemed their batting woes were set to continue but they were dug out of a hole by Ben Stokes’ brilliant 108. The win means England remain in a mini play-off for the seventh and eighth spots that would guarantee them a place at the 2025 Champions Trophy. Given England’s net run-rate, a win over Pakistan ought to be enough.

New Zealand’s win over Sri Lanka on Thursday effectively ended Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the last four. Their net run-rate is inferior to the Black Caps’ so, to advance, they need to beat England by an improbable 287 runs.

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Team News

England recalled Harry Brook for the Netherlands game and the Yorkshire batter seems likely to retain his place. Stokes will also play after resisting calls to return home early to undergo a knee operation.

Pakistan will be fresh following their rain-shortened victory over New Zealand on Saturday, a match in which opener Zaman starred with an unbeaten 126. They have also had a week off to allow any niggles to clear up.

Expected Line-ups

England: Bairstow, Malan, Root, Stokes, Brook, Buttler (wk, c), Ali, Woakes, Willey, Atkinson, Rashid

Pakistan: Shafique, Zaman, Azam (c), Rizwan (wk), Shakeel, Iftikhar, Salman, Ali, Afridi, Wasim, Rauf

Check out our Australia v Bangladesh preview HERE!

What They Said

England captain Jos Buttler on the fight for a top-eight finish
“I think everyone’s been frustrated, but the guys have stayed tight … the guys probably trained as hard as they trained all trip, which shows the level of commitment and desire to put things right.
“We’re not playing for what we wanted to be playing for, but a really vital match for us in the grand scheme of things.
“It’s great to be heading there with something on the line.”

Pakistan fielding coach Aftab Khan on the need for Pakistan to be proactive against England
“Historically we are not proactive, we are reactive.
“Other teams come and dominate from the start, we dominate only when there is pressure and fear of losing the tournament. We really need to change these things.”

Prediction

Pakistan will be hugely disappointed at having all-but lost the chance to make the last four. And with England finally showing some form – and having something to play for – expect Buttler’s men to make it two wins from two.

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Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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