England took almost four hours to bowl their 50 overs, less than three months after they were fined for maintaining a slow over-rate against the West Indies in Barbados.
Asif's 36-ball 51, including four sixes, was his highest score in nine ODI innings and pivotal in pushing Pakistan so close following the dismissal of Fakhar. Buttler's success is also a matter of attitude as well as talent - as evidence by the words "fuck it" he has written on the top of his bat handle to remind him of his best approach to batting. English openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow had the 115-run partnership in that game.
England generally prefer batting first but captain Eoin Morgan made a decision to give them experience of chasing just weeks away from the World Cup by opting to field first after winning the toss.
A good grounding in other sports while he was at school such as hockey, tennis and squash - something which also benefitted De Villiers - has enabled Buttler to wield a cricket bat with precision and power.
"It's not a shock, in fact it's getting a bit kind of routine for him to come out and play those sort of innings". "He always seem to time his run really well, regardless of what time he comes in, he always seems to have enough balls to go on and bang a 50-ball hundred".
Actually, his batting is a combination of Dhoni and De Villiers - the inventiveness, improvisation and hand-eye co-ordination of the latter melded to the cool, nerveless presence of the former, especially when prosecuting run-chases. "I have to put Buttler in that category".
After recovering from a back spasm while batting for Surrey in the Royal London One-Day Cup last month, Roy believes his injuries woes are now behind him. However, he has recently claimed that he is 100% fit for the upcoming challenges.
Amir, who was not named in Pakistan 15-man World Cup squad, was included in the side to face England in the ODI series which was a gateway to make a case for himself for World Cup selection. I spent six or seven weeks with my hamstring injury, fixing my torn hamstring. That gives a number of fringe players - namely James Vince, Joe Denly, and any number of England's fast bowlers another chance to really shout: "Pick me, pick me!"
Pakistan are now involved in the five-match ODI series against England and the selectors had named the 17-man squad for this contest.
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.
NOTHING so far this summer has disabused me of the notion that England are favourites to win the 2019 World Cup.