Bairstow supreme as England canter to 359 to beat Pakistan in ODI

Impeccable service- England's Jos Buttler hits a boundary during his century in the 2nd ODI against Pakistan  AFP

Impeccable service- England's Jos Buttler hits a boundary during his century in the 2nd ODI against Pakistan AFP

For many observers that means Vivian Richards remains the most destructive one-day batsmen they've seen.

But hopes are high that 2019 may finally be their year, with key batsman Buttler coming into form ahead of England's tournament opener against South Africa at The Oval on May 30 courtesy of a stunning century in a 12-run win over Pakistan in the second one-day worldwide at Southampton on Saturday. "I actually feel better than I did before".

And now the Taunton-born run machine, who has scored five of England's 10 quickest ODI centuries, believes he can smash three figures even faster.

Jonny Bairstow's commanding hundred was the centrepiece of England's dominant six-wicket win over Pakistan in the third one-day global at Bristol yesterday as the World Cup hosts showed they could chase, as well as set, a target.

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"They are my favourites and are quite unbelievable bats really". I'm just hoping I can get some binding around them and keep them together. "I've learned a lot about myself and what works for me".

Pakistan's 358-8 on a flat pitch under blue skies looked to have given the tourists a fair chance of victory but it proved woefully inadequate as Bairstow led the England charge.

Roy made 76 and there were also worthy contributions from Moeen Ali (46 not out), Joe Root (43) and Ben Stokes (37).

Earlier, Jason Roy (87) and Jonny Bairstow (51) laid a platform for the innings with an opening stand of 115 after Morgan won the toss. "I don't think we're going to stop him, we've got to find a way to get him out".

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Fittingly, skipper Eoin Morgan, who was making a record 198th ODI appearance for England, struck the winning run with 31 balls to spare. "But the more responsibility we've given them, they've reacted really well", he added. With the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 pretty much at the doorstep, Pakistan have plenty of reason for concern.

Imam felt Pakistan had a total they could defend although their cause was not helped by some naive bowling from an inexperienced attack and slipshod fielding.

Morgan was fined 20 per cent of his match fee from that Bridgetown contest, his players received 10 per cent fines.

The hosts will be captained by Eoin Morgan, who could bat 4 or 5. Although this is an official game, we expect teams to treat this as practice for World Cup.

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Amir's World Cup selection was thrown into uncertainty after he was national selectors left him out from Pakistan's 15-member World Cup squad.

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