Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 July 2019

Sarfraz Ahmed confident Pakistan can strike back against England in third ODI

The tourists have an opportunity to draw level in Bristol on Tuesday and bounce back from an agonising loss in Game 2

Sarfraz Ahmed says Pakistan will wait to see what time of wicket Bristol has in store before deciding on team selection for the third ODI against England. Reuters
Sarfraz Ahmed says Pakistan will wait to see what time of wicket Bristol has in store before deciding on team selection for the third ODI against England. Reuters

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed believes that Pakistan's stirring run-chase against England in Southampton bodes well for his side's three remaining one-day internationals.

The tourists have an opportunity to draw level in Bristol on Tuesday and bounce back from an agonising loss in Game 2.

Despite being set a mammoth 374 for victory after Jos Buttler hit a 50-ball century for England, Pakistan fell only 12 runs short.

"We played really good cricket," Sarfraz told Sky Sports.

"Obviously, it was not an easy target to chase, but the way the team responded was a positive sign for us and the upcoming matches.

"Jos Buttler is a world-class finisher. The way he batted, he played really well and is one of the best finishers in the world right now.

"He is a world-class player, and is really important to the way England are playing. They are a top team."

Pakistan could be spared a quickfire reunion with Buttler in Bristol, though.

It is understood that he could be rested, with Kent's Joe Denly gaining a start, and one other change possibly seeing Tom Curran or Mark Wood take over from Adil Rashid.

"We will try our level best to come back into the series," Sarfraz added.

"We will look at the pitch and then decide what we want to do with the starting XI."

Jason Roy hailed England teammate Buttler as an "extreme talent" and said his brutal match-winning century in the second one-day international against Pakistan was no shock.

The England squad trained in Bristol on Monday ahead of the third ODI, with the dust only just setting on Buttler's spectacular 50-ball ton in Southampton days earlier.

It was the second-fastest hundred by an England batsmen in one-day internationals - Buttler also holds the record with a 46-ball ton - and Roy said on Sky Sports: "He is as good as it gets to be honest.

"It is not kind of a shock.

"It is getting a bit routine for him to go out and play those innings, demoralising those guys at the top of the order that are kind of going at a run a ball, and he comes in and just blitzes it.

"He is an extreme talent, works hard for it and deserves everything he gets."

Roy was also in the runs, hitting 87 on his return to action from a back spasm that followed on from hamstring trouble.

"I am 100 per cent fit," Roy said.

"I spent six or seven weeks with my hamstring injury and fixing that, and then the back was quite a big issue, but it was resolved by the great medical staff we have.

"I feel better than I felt before, which is a nice feeling."

Updated: May 13, 2019 08:41 PM

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