Joe Root steered England to a 2-0 lead in the five-match one-day international series against Pakistan at Lord's. The hosts dominated the game from the outset and despite an impressive century from Sarfraz Ahmed, England always appeared certain to win the contest.
Root, 25, was the dominate figure in their run chase, scoring 89 en route to England's four-wicket win. The Yokrshire batsman struck five boundary fours in what became a thoroughly one-sided contest in London, despite the deceptively tight victory margin of victory.
Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and decided to bat, despite there being a distinctive green tinge to the wicket and grey clouds overhead. That decision came into question almost immediately as Mark Wood had Sami Aslam strangled down the leg-side and the Durham paceman uprooted Sharjeel Khan's off-stump in spectacular fashion.
Pakistan then fell even further into the mire when Chris Woakes removed the captain for a third-ball duck. At that point, the tourists could easily have caved in under pressure from England's rampant pace bowlers, but the pugnacious Ahmed launched an impressive counterattack, pouncing on anything short and wide to drag his team back into the contest.
The keeper-batsman, who received good support from the likes of Babar Azam (30) and Imad Wasim (63 not out), scored 105 as Pakistan edged their way towards a respectable total of 251 on what appeared to be an increasingly docile-looking wicket at Lord's.
In response, England lost the in-form Jason Roy without a run on the board and Alex Hales fell for 14 after an ugly swipe across the line against the spin of Wasim. But Root and captain Eoin Morgan combined to steer the hosts to safety, scoring a century stand and putting them within sight of victory.
Morgan fell trying to cut a ball that was too close to his stumps, but his innings of 68 off 80 balls will be a welcome boost for the England camp. Root, meanwhile, continued his good form of late as he showed typically impressive calmness to steer England towards their victory target. Pakistan grabbed some cheap late wickets, but never really threatened to win the game.