Bairstow stars in England's dominant win over Pakistan

SOUTHAMPTON Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan throws the ball as team-mates Abid Ali, Mohammad Hafeez and Yasir Shah look on during a practice session at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.—AP

England will open their home World Cup against South Africa at The Oval on May 30, with talisman batsman Buttler hitting top form on Saturday with a blistering century in the 12-run One-Day International win over Pakistan.

Courtesy a brilliant century by Jos Buttler, England scored a mammoth 373 in their allotted 50 overs.

The Yorkshireman's 128 from 93 balls steered England towards the fifth highest successful run chase in ODI history, and their second after the 364 scored to beat the West Indies in Barbados in February. Nasser Hussain feels Jos Buttler is one of the greatest white ball players of all time.

England generally prefer batting first but captain Eoin Morgan chose to give them experience of chasing just weeks away from the World Cup by opting to field first after winning the toss.

"He's as good as it gets to be honest", Roy told Sky Sports.

Bairstow, on four, gloved a pull off Junaid Khan and Shaheen Afridi failed to react quickly enough at short backward square.

J Roy was suffering from back spasms, but seems to have recovered.

Jason Roy (87) and Jonny Bairstow (51) provided England with a great platform to work with, though their 115-run opening stand would have been curtailed had Bairstow not survived an lbw review.

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Their fourth 150 partnership was also the fastest one of such a nature, coming from 105 balls and eclipsing the 2008 record of New Zealand pair Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder.

TV umpire: Paul Reiffel (AUS) Match referee: Richie Richardson (WIS).

Pakistan's defeat showed how once impregnable ODI totals can now be overhauled in modern limited-overs cricket.

Obviously, a degree of pre-determination comes into some of the shots he plays but what is truly remarkable is his ability to improvise at the last split second, if the ball is not where he expects it, and to still produce a boundary option.

He had missed the second ODI against England in Southampton owing to what was termed by the team officials as viral infection and now, he is most likely to miss the third encounter as well in the five-match series.

Fakhar Zaman blasted 138 in 106 balls for the visitors, who finished on 361 for seven after a courageous chase.

Sarfaraz Ahmed chipped in with 27 and Imam and Asif Ali, who made an ODI best of 52, put on 125 for the fifth wicket.

Pakistan's innings never hit the same heights but 92 runs were on the board by the time Imam-ul-Haq (35) was caught and bowled by Moeen Ali.

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