Joe Root became the first centurion of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as England stayed on course for a record-breaking chase against Pakistan in the clash in Trent Bridge. (Image credit: Twitter)
Joe Root became the first centurion in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 as he and Jos Buttler, who is also nearing a century put England in the driver's seat in the clash against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Monday. Root, the Test skipper, played brilliantly and notched up his 15th century and seventh at home and shared a partnership of 130 with Buttler to put England on course to achieve the highest successful chase in the history of the World Cups. Root came to bat when Jason Roy had been trapped LBW by Shadab Khan for 8 and he started off with a bang by cutting the legspinner for a boundary to the third man fence.
In the fifth over bowled by Mohammad Amir, Root edged a full ball and Babar Azam at slip put down a simple chance. At that time, Root was on 9 and he made Pakistan pay. Despite losing the aggressive Jonny Bairstow for 32, Root ensured he scored at a steady pace and his strike-rate was over 100 for most of the innings. The Yorkshire right-hander calmly notched up his fifty and despite losing Ben Stokes, Root found great company in Jos Buttler.
With Buttler finding the boundary on a regular basis, Root found confidence by blasting a six off Shoaib Malik and the partnership with Buttler went past 100. Root neared his century when he pulled Hasan Ali to the deep square leg fence for a boundary and he quickly made progress through the nineties. Root reached his century in calm fashion by chopping Wahab Riaz to the off side and getting a single for his seventh century at home.
The partnership with Buttler looked to take the game away from Pakistn but on 107, Root cut a quick and short delivery from Shadab Khan to be caught at backward point by Mohammad Hafeez. Earlier, Pakistan notched up 348/8, their second-highest score in World Cups thanks to a brilliant knock of 84 from Mohammad Hafeez and attacking fifties from Sarfaraz Ahmed and Babar Azam. England had won their earlier game against South Africa by 104 runs while Pakistan got their tournament off to a poor start by losing heavily to the West Indies.
A win for England will put them in a great position while a victory for Pakistan will revive their campaign after a very tough match against the West Indies.