Babar Azam returns to form with 14th ODI hundred for Pakistan but Brydon Carse takes maiden international five-wicket haul for England as Ben Stokes’ men are set 332 runs to win third and final 50-over contest of the series at Edgbaston
- Pakistan’s Babar Azam became the fastest man or woman to 14 ODI hundreds
- He was well supported by fifties from Imam ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan
- Brydon Carse struck in the final ten overs to pick up his first ODI five-wicket haul
Babar Azam scored a classy century as Pakistan set England a target of 332 to win the third and final ODI of the series.
The Pakistan captain is now the fastest player ever to 14th hundreds in ODI cricket and hit his first score of more than 150 in the format at Edgbaston, with half-centuries from Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan offering him support.
England however reined the visitors in at the death, with quick bowler Brydon Carse taking five wickets and Saqib Mahmood also striking twice within the last 10 overs of the innings.
Pakistan had failed to make more than 200 in their defeats at Lord’s and Cardiff and there were fears they were heading the same way when Fakhar Zaman was caught in the slips by Zak Crawley off Mahmood.
But opener ul-Haq – having recorded scores of zero and one in the first two ODIs – bided his time along with captain Azam before leading a counterattack to reach his half-century and lead the visitors past 100.
Lancashire legspinner Matt Parkinson however broke the partnership with a stunning delivery that turned and bounced through the gate of ul-Haq and crashed into the stumps.
But Azam continued to motor and after bringing up his half-century in 72 balls, he required just another 32 deliveries to become the fastest man or woman to reach 14 ODI centuries and celebrated with a huge roar.
Wicketkeeper Rizwan had also struggled for form with the bat but helped keep the momentum going with some clean hitting to bring up his fourth ODI fifty off 42 balls.
Mistakes also began to creep into England’s game, with wicketkeeper John Simpson failing to hold on to a tough chance off Rizwan from Parkinson’s googly, while Brydon Carse also shelled an opportunity to dismiss Azam from the spinner’s full toss.
The visiting duo made the most of the reprieves they had been granted, punishing some disappointing bowling in the last ten overs to bring up the highest partnership for any wicket against England by Pakistan in ODI history.
Rizwan however would not join his captain in reaching three figures, getting caught caught behind down the legside off Carse on 74.
Azam however brought up his first score of 150 or more in his 83rd ODI and soon after before Sohaib Maqsood was caught in the deep by James Vince off Carse for a quickfire eight.
Hasan Ali – like Maqsood – hit four off his first delivery before being caught by Crawley off his second. Faheem Ashraf smashed a six and a four of his first two balls before Mahmood took his off stump out of the ground with a slower delivery.
The Lancashire paceman then had Shadab Khan caught behind off the very next ball to end his day with the ball with figures of three for 60.
Azam looked to steer Pakistan closer to a score of 350 but fell himself on 158 in the final over to hand Carse his fourth wicket, before having Shaheen Afridi caught by Vince with two balls of the innings to go for his maiden international five-wicket haul.