Despite his team falling just short of what would have been a record run chase for Pakistan, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed is taking plenty of positives from his side’s 12-run loss to England in the second ODI.
Pakistan came close to pulling off the second highest run-chase in ODI history when they scored 361-7 in reply to England’s 373-3 at Southampton on Saturday.
It was the highest ODI score ever by Pakistan while batting second and it came courtesy of a superb attacking ton from opener Fakhar Zaman along with a quick-fire fifty from Asif Ali down the order.
Fakhar registered his fourth ODI ton in a 106-ball 138 while Asif registered his second fifty in the format with a 36-ball 51 in Pakistan’s chase.
Speaking after the narrow defeat, Sarfraz said, “I think it’s hard to take, we were very close.”
“I’m very proud of the team the way they batted, Fakhar Zaman, Babar (Azam), Asif Ali especially, will be good for the upcoming matches.
“Whatever the target is, we have to work hard. I have to give credit to my batsmen, I’m very proud.”
While the loss gave hosts England a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, the return to form for opener Fakhar Zaman has Sarfraz encouraged ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup.
“We will aim to get better. We can take positives, like Fakhar, before the World Cup definitely,” Sarfraz remarked.
Sarfraz’s England counterpart Eoin Morgan too praised Fakhar’s efforts and called on his team to improve.
“We still believed, 370 is a tough score to chase down,” the England skipper stated after the win.
“Fakhar surprised us with how well he played, he had a day out. We need to work on some of our skills. But to post that score and defend it, it very pleasing.”
Earlier, he first ODI between the two sides had been washed out due to rain. The two teams will now meet in the third ODI at Bristol on Tuesday.
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