Mohammad Hafeez sweeps during his innings of 84 for Pakistan against England on Monday. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

NOTTINGHAM – Mohammad Hafeez missed out on becoming the first century-maker of the World Cup, but a vastly improved batting display from Pakistan saw them make 348/8 against England at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Hafeez (84) made the most of a reprieve when Jason Roy floored a routine chance at mid-off, following a skied drive off Adil Rashid, with the batsman on 14.

With Babar Azam (63) and Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed (55) also making half-centuries, this was a major turnaround from a Pakistan side who collapsed to 105 all out in a seven-wicket defeat by the West Indies in their World Cup opener at the same ground on Friday.

Pakistan were undone by a barrage of bouncers against the West Indies, and England, unsurprisingly, deployed similar tactics after captain Eoin Morgan won the toss, with their attack featuring recalled fast bowler Mark Wood.

But Pakistan coped well on a ground where England had twice set a world record for the highest one-day international total – 444/3 against Pakistan in 2016, and last year’s 481/6 against Australia.

Yet, having failed to defend a score of 340 against England – the world’s top-ranked ODI side – at Trent Bridge last month, the worry for Pakistan was that they may not have put enough runs on the board.

For all the talk about England’s quicks, it was off-spinner Moeen Ali who took the first three wickets on Monday on his way to figures of 3/50.

By contrast, fast bowler Jofra Archer’s 10 wicketless overs cost 79 runs, while Woakes, who equalled the record of four catches by an outfielder in a World Cup innings, took an expensive 3/71 in eight overs.

Tournament favourites England were surprisingly sloppy with their ground fielding. 

Pakistan, who have lost their past 11 completed one-day internationals, including a 4-0 series defeat to England, went on the attack from the start, with Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq giving their side early momentum.

But a stand of 82 ended when Fakhar was stumped by Jos Buttler off Moeen for 36.

Imam holed out for 44 when he lofted Moeen only for Woakes, running round from long-off, to take an excellent diving catch.

The normally mild-mannered Woakes turned to the crowd and cupped his ears in what appeared to be a response to barracking from spectators.

Babar completed a run-a-ball 50 before he too fell to the Moeen-Woakes combination, while Hafeez, cashing in on his reprieve, hit a six and four off successive balls from leg-spinner Rashid on his way to a 39-ball 50.

Hafeez lofted a loose leg-side delivery from Wood for six to go into the 80s, only to fall when he drove a catch to Woakes at long-off.

But Sarfaraz maintained the momentum with a 40-ball half-century.

AFP