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Pakistan have the skill to unsettle England, says Azhar Mahmood

By Opta
Azhar Mahmood: Pakistan can stop England

London, June 3: Azhar Mahmood insists Pakistan are completely capable of bowling the "10 good balls" needed to subdue big-hitting England at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Tournament favourites England commenced the Cricket World Cup with a 104-run thumping of South Africa and will hope to flex their muscles at the scene of last year's world record score of 481 against Australia.

Pakistan, in contrast, are reeling from an 11th straight ODI loss, posting a paltry 105 on the way to a seven-wicket defeat to West Indies.

The ICC Champions Trophy holders are expected to suffer more punishment in Nottingham, although bowling coach Azhar insists an attack that leaked runs at an alarming rate last time out has no cause for trepidation.

"We know England have ability, skill and they are the best batting lineup," Azhar said.

"The 480 pitch has been a world-record pitch, but they have to play 300 balls to get to that record.

"We have to bowl 10 good balls to get 10 wickets, so we have the ability and the skills to do that. Hopefully we can do it tomorrow."

There will be no hint of the unknown for either side after they met in a high-scoring five-match ODI series last month.

Only rain stood in the way of England and a whitewash triumph but Azhar, whose team conceded more than 340 on four occasions, believes victory is a very real possibility for Pakistan.

"No upset. We can beat them. It an upset," the former all-rounder said.

"We have the ability to beat them. If you see the one-day series, we were not that far from England.

"They scored 1430 odd runs, we scored 1370 runs, so we were 70 runs short.

"Unfortunately our fielding was not up to the mark and we gave them an extra bonus because we have an inexperienced bowling line-up, a young bowling line-up. They need to learn from their mistakes.

"So we know what England can do, and we know what we can do."

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Story first published: Monday, June 3, 2019, 1:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 3, 2019
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