Jonny Bairstow’s commanding hundred was the centerpiece of World Cup hosts England’s six-wicket win over Pakistan in the third one-day international at Bristol on Tuesday. England generally prefer batting first but captain Eoin Morgan decided to give them experience of chasing just weeks away from the World Cup by opting to field first after winning the toss.
Bairstow’s 128 in a score of 359 for four – England’s second highest winning total batting second in an ODI – helped put the home side 2-0 up with two to play in a five-match series.
Test captain Joe Root made 43 as Pakistan became increasingly ragged in the field, England winning with 31 balls – or more than five overs – to spare. Moeen Ali was 46 not out, with Morgan unbeaten on 17.
The only downside for Morgan on Tuesday was that he risked being suspended for a slow over-rate — England took four hours to bowl 50 overs.
Earlier, Imam-ul-Haq’s excellent career-best 151 saw Pakistan to 358 for nine.
That left England with a seemingly challenging target, particularly as they had rested Jos Buttler following his match-winning 110 not out in the second ODI at Southampton on Saturday.
Imam surpassed his previous ODI best of 128 against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo last year before he was bowled, giving himself room, by Curran.