Buttler, Roy slam centuries as Pakistan suffer 84-run loss in Dubai

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England team celebrates the victory against Pakistan in 4th ODI at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
England team celebrates the victory against Pakistan in 4th ODI at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Dubai - It was the joint-seventh fastest century in ODIs and no Englishman has ever scored a faster hundred in this form of the game.

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Fri 20 Nov 2015, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 21 Nov 2015, 11:19 AM

He speaks with an unhurried grace. But give him a bat and he would set the stage on fire like a rockstar, bringing the crowd to its feet and the opposition to its knees.
Such was the beauty of Jos Buttler's destruction of Pakistan bowlers that even the Pakistani supporters gave him a standing ovation when he leapt into the air with both arms raised after brutally hitting the helpless Anwar Ali over the mid wicket boundary to bring up a sensational 46-ball century.
It was the joint-seventh fastest century in ODIs and no Englishman has ever scored a faster hundred in this form of the game.
Promoted to number four in the batting order, Buttler blazed away like a Ferrari after a fine century by opening batsman Jason Roy had set the platform.
It was because of their supreme batting efforts that England, after electing to bat, were able to post a daunting total of 355 for five in the fourth and final one-dayer at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.
When Pakistan came out to bat, it seemed their aim was to stay relevant in front of their fans. They were eventually all out for 271 in 40.4 overs, handing England a massive 84-run win.
The win on Friday gave England a 3-1 series victory - their second successive ODI series win over Pakistan in the UAE.
Remarkably, Pakistan have won only two ODI series in the UAE since 2009 and lost nine.
And the man responsible for their ninth defeat here since 2009 was obviously Buttler (116, 52 balls, 10 fours and eight sixes) whose two previous ODI tons blurred into the sheer magnificence of this one on Friday.
But despite his exhibition of audacious shot-making, the English fans in the stands will never forget the contributions from Roy (102, 117 balls, eight fours and one six).
The right-handed opening batsman's maiden hundred wasn't spectacular, but he gauged the conditions and the opposition and paced his innings with such ease that setting Pakistan a tough target became so much easier for the explosive Buttler. Of course, Roy had the classy Joe Root for company after losing his opening partner Alex Hales (22) in the 11th over. Root (71, 71 balls, three fours, two sixes) brought all his qualities to the crease during that 140- run partnership for the second wicket with Roy as Pakistan looked bereft of ideas in the middle.
The two batsmen never looked in hurry as they took the singles and when the loose balls came they got the treatment they deserved. But every time they used their feet against the spinners, the ball safely landed in the stands.
Pakistan had desperately brought back Yasir Shah (10-1-57-1) into the do-or-die battle, but the talented leg-spinner cut a frustrating figure and his dismissal of Roy was nothing but a mere consolation.
Roy's fall only brought more misery to Pakistan even tough captain Azhar Ali surprised everyone by bringing himself on and dismissing his counterpart Eoin Morgan (14) and Root with his part-time leg-breaks.
Buttler came in at the team score of 194 in the 36th over and it seemed England would be happy with a final score of anything above 290. But the wicketkeeper-batsman whose two previous ODI hundreds came off 61 balls and 66 balls against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, had loftier ambitions in Dubai.
The Taunton-born player put the Pakistani pacers - Anwar, Mohammad Irfan and Wahab Riaz - to the sword with stupendous drives, emphatic pulls and a gasp-inducing reverse sweep off Anwar.
It was because of his stunning assault on the Pakistani bowlers that England scored 129 runs in the final 10 overs, leaving Azhar's men with a task they have never done in the past (Pakistan have never chased down anything above 330 in one-dayers).
England bowlers and their outstanding fielders then left Pakistan in complete disarray - even though cameos from Shoaib Malik (52, 34 balls, three fours, two sixes), Babar Azam (51, 51 balls, five fours and one six) and skipper Azhar Ali (44, 32 balls, six fours and two sixes) gave Pakistani fans a glimmer of hope at one stage when they needed 145 off 120 balls with five wickets in hand.
But that turned out to be a false dawn as Malik's departure allowed England to gain complete control of the match.

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