Imam-ul-Haq hits sixth ODI century as Pakistan set England 359 to win
Last Updated: 14/05/19 9:11pm
Imam-ul-Haq's brilliant 151 helped Pakistan to a competitive 358-9 in the third one-day international at Bristol as England's bowlers endured a challenging afternoon.
England made the ideal start with the ball, Chris Woakes striking twice in the opening five overs as the all-rounder angled a ball across Fakhar Zaman (2) taking the edge of the openers' bat with Joe Root taking a one-handed catch at the second time of asking after a juggle.
Babar Azam (15) made a fast start to his innings, hitting Woakes for consecutive boundaries but the seamer had his revenge as a brilliant delivery castled the Pakistan batsman's off-stump to leave the visitors 27-2.
Despite losing his partners, opener Imam batted with exquisite poise and precision, putting on half-century stands with Haris Sohail (41) and Sarfaraz Ahmed (27), en route to an impressive 97-ball hundred.
It was Pakistan's fifth-wicket pair of Imam and Asif Ali that propelled them, with the duo sharing a 125-run partnership off just 90 balls before the latter was caught at mid-off to depart for a brisk 52 off 43 balls.
After surpassing his previous ODI high score of 128, Imam was eventually bowled by a yorker from Tom Curran for 151 before Woakes took a simple catch of his own bowling to finish with figures of 4-67.
An exceptional one-handed catch off his own bowling from David Willey in the final over the innings but two lusty blows from Hasan Ali (18no) left England needing to pull off their third-highest chase for victory.
Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid were rested for the game, the pair along with Jofra Archer given time off to spend with their family, allowing Joe Denly and Curran to push their cases to be included in the final World Cup squad.
Captain Eoin Morgan also confirmed a change to batting line-up with Ben Stokes promoted to No 4, Moeen Ali to No 5 with the skipper moving down to No 6.