Pakistan celebrate a wicket. © PCB

In the second ODI against Pakistan, England posted another mammoth total, while the hosts crumbled again. Chasing 328 was never a realistic prospect for Pakistan, and the fact that they lost wickets at regular intervals meant they ultimately folded for 200.

In contrast to the first ODI, Pakistan began game two on a positive note. They saw the back of the two big-hitting openers Danielle Wyatt (6) and Tammy Beaumont (21) early, but then lost their way in the middle. The trio of Heather Knight (88), Natalie Sciver (100) and Fran Wilson (85) took advantage of their drop in intensity and hammered Pakistan bowlers all over the park.

Once again, Pakistan struggled with the bat, regular wickets denting their chase at the very start. Skipper Bismah Maroof (64) fought a lone battle, trying to rally the middle-order, but to no avail. Going into the final ODI on Saturday (December 14), Pakistan have a lot of questions to answer, but most importantly need to work on their mental approach when the total is a challenging one.

On the other hand, while England registered their second win of the series, there are a few things they need to fix. For starters, there is the question of Wyatt at the top of the order. She made a grand start to the series with her maiden ODI century, but come game two, there was little to cheer. The second concern for the Knight-led side is the position of Amy Jones, who seems a tad out of place in her new role at number five. Having opened for most of her career, Jones has relished in her role at the top where she has played an aggressive brand of cricket. However, the shift lower down seems like an awkward fit – something the management will have to figure out quickly.

With the series in the bag England might want to give Mady Villiers an opportunity going into the final ODI. The off-spinner impressed on her T20I debut during the Ashes where she played a pivotal role in handing England their first win of the multi-format series. She carried that rhythm through the Women’s Cricket Super League for Surrey Stars as well.

There is no doubt England go into the final game of the series as hot favourites, while Pakistan will more or less be praying for a miracle to save them from another heavy defeat.

Squads:

Pakistan: Bismah Maroof (c), Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Aroob Shah, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Javeria Khan, Kaynat Hafeez, Nahida Khan, Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Rameen Shamim, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk).

England: Heather Knight (c), Amy Jones (wk), Anya Shrubsole, Danielle Wyatt, Fran Wilson, Freya Davies, Kate Cross, Katherine Brunt, Kirstie Gordon, Lauren Winfield, Mady Villiers, Nat Sciver, Sarah Glenn, Sophie Ecclestone, Tammy Beaumont.

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