Pakistan duo Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez have lost their central contracts for the 2019-20 international campaign.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday announced the list of centrally contracted players has been reduced from 33 to 19.

Batsman Babar Azam, captain Sarfraz Ahmed and spinner Yasir Shah are the only three to be given a top-level Category A deal.

Shoaib and Hafeez were overlooked a day after it was announced head coach Mickey Arthur would depart his role along with bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden.

Experienced all-rounders Shoaib and Hafeez will still be available for selection in a new era for Pakistan.

PCB managing director Wasim Khan said: "I want to congratulate all those who have been offered central contracts for the next season.

"We have significantly increased the financial value of the 2019-20 retainers across each category. This is over and above what had been agreed in the current agreement, which is due to run until 2021.

"The PCB have set high standards and targets in its strategic plan for the upcoming season. We want to attach a high value to receiving a central contract. We have complete faith and confidence that these players will set up and produce on-field performances that will help us collectively achieve our objectives and targets."

The contracts run from August 1 2019 to June 30 2020, the PCB said, with Pakistan playing Tests and limited-overs matches against Sri Lanka, Australia and Bangladesh in that period.

 

Pakistan's centrally contracted players for 2019-20:

Category A – Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah

Category B – Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Abbas, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz

Category C – Abid Ali, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Usman Shinwari

Sarfraz Ahmed paid tribute to Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi after he posted his country's best Cricket World Cup figures in Friday's win over Bangladesh.

Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup as their 94-run win was not a large enough victory to overhaul New Zealand but much of the focus was on teenager Shaheen, who took 6-35 runs to decimate the Bangladesh batting order.

Captain Sarfraz considered the display "one of the best" he had seen but suggested 19-year-old Shaheen has consistently been performing at a similarly lofty level in the past couple of weeks.

"The way Shaheen is bowling in the last four matches is very good," he said in the post-match presentation. "The consistency is amazing, with the line and length.

"Today he's taken six wickets and it was one of the best bowling performances I've ever seen."

Pakistan crashed out despite winning four consecutive matches to finish the group stage, at least giving Sarfraz cause for encouragement.

"It's very unfortunate that we've played really good cricket in the last four matches but we could not qualify," he said. "There was only the one match that cost us [in terms of run rate].

"Throughout the tournament, we've played very good cricket and the boys responded very well after the India match."

Bangladesh also bowed out despite Shakib Al Hasan's 606 runs moving him clear as the tournament's top scorer, prompting captain Mashrafe Mortaza to offer an apology to his star man.

"The whole team feel very sorry for him because we couldn't support him throughout the tournament, otherwise the team would have been in a different zone," he said.

"He batted exceptionally in almost every match, bowling very well, fielding well. I think he's been fantastic."

Mortaza later indicated he will take time to decide whether to continue his international career.

"My future plan is, obviously, going home from here, and I will have a think," he added.

Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed hailed centurion Babar Azam and Haris Sohail for producing "some of the finest batting I've ever seen" as they kept Pakistan's Cricket World Cup hopes alive by securing a six-wicket win over New Zealand.

Needing victory on Wednesday to maintain any realistic hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals, Sarfraz's side delivered the goods to spark scenes of jubilation within an Edgbaston crowd made up almost entirely of Pakistan supporters.

After Shaheen Afridi (3-28) had played a key role in limiting the Black Caps to 237-6 on a tricky surface, the 1992 world champions were wobbling on 110-3 but eventually won comfortably thanks to Babar's sublime 101 not out and 68 from Sohail.

"Whenever a Pakistan team plays the way we do today it is down to a great team effort," said Sarfraz in the post-match presentation. "All the bowlers bowled really well and Babar and Haris was some of the finest batting I've ever seen.

"Two-forty is not an easy target. Credit goes to Babar, the way he batted today, for me I think he played one of the best innings I've ever seen. Credit goes to Haris too for the way he handled the pressure. It is not easy. He played really well."

Remarkably, Pakistan have now enjoyed precisely the same sequence of results they registered at the World Cup 27 years ago, when they recovered from a dismal start to claim a memorable triumph under inspirational skipper Imran Khan.

They now sit just one point behind fourth-placed England, with games against winless Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who sit fifth, to come.

"We're not thinking about the '92 World Cup," said Sarfraz. "We're going match by match. As a team we are very confident."

All-rounders Jimmy Neesham (97 not out) and Colin de Grandhomme (64) kept New Zealand in the game after they had slumped to 46-4 and 83-5, but skipper Kane Williamson acknowledged his side deserved their first loss of the tournament.

"On a tough surface we were outplayed by a very strong Pakistan side," he said.

The Black Caps' decision to leave out Ish Sodhi, their second frontline spinner, looked to be a serious misjudgement given the turn on offer at Edgbaston.

Williamson's own part-time off-spin was utilised for eight overs, the captain having not bowled in New Zealand's previous 12 ODIs, while Mitchell Santner posed plenty of problems despite finishing without a wicket.

"Especially when the wicket became a lot slower, it was still turning square," Williamson added. "We were trying to get anyone in there that would turn the ball."

Pakistan must inflict New Zealand's first defeat at this year's Cricket World Cup on Wednesday if they are to keep their slim hopes of progression alive.

Sunday's victory over South Africa kept Pakistan in with a chance of making the semi-finals of the tournament, though they will realistically have to win their final three matches to do so.

In-form New Zealand are first up at Edgbaston before they take on Afghanistan in Leeds on Saturday and then Bangladesh at Lord's on July 5.

While Pakistan's hopes are hanging by a thread, the Black Caps have been in fine form and are on the brink of securing a top-four finish.

They have posted five victories so far, while they also picked up a point when their much-anticipated contest with India was washed out at Trent Bridge.

Captain Kane Williamson has been sensational with the bat, having followed up his 106 not out against South Africa with a sublime 148 - his highest ODI score to date - in a thrilling five-run victory over West Indies last time out.

If Pakistan are to better New Zealand, they will have to improve in the field. Both captain Sarfraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur criticised the side's efforts against South Africa, despite the final result.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

New Zealand were run close by West Indies on Saturday, with Carlos Brathwaite's last-over dismissal clinching victory.

They were also involved in tense finishes against Bangladesh and South Africa at The Oval and Edgbaston respectively, though had few problems dealing with Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Pakistan, meanwhile, are mounting a recovery mission following their difficult start to the tournament.

Sarfraz's side followed up their opening defeat to West Indies by upsetting hosts England, but successive defeats to Australia and India left them needing two points against South Africa to keep themselves in with chance.

WHAT THEY SAID

Mitchell Santner on Kane Williamson's performances: "He's coming off two centuries, and the one against South Africa was pretty special. It didn't look as fluid, his innings, but that's what made it so good. He was there at the end when we needed him. Obviously it was his highest score in ODI cricket."

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood on facing New Zealand: They're definitely a very strong side. They won all of their games, so we know they're a strong side. If we can get our disciplines right, like we did last game - batting, bowling, and fielding - our ground fielding was really good, but unfortunately we dropped a lot of catches - we can beat any side."

OPTA FACTS

- Pakistan picked up a six-wicket win in their last ODI clash with New Zealand in November, ending a 12-game losing streak against the Black Caps.

- This will be the ninth World Cup meeting between New Zealand and Pakistan, who won six in a row between 1983 and 1999.

- New Zealand have won four of their seven completed ODI fixtures at Edgbaston, including a four-wicket victory over South Africa in this tournament.

- Ross Taylor is set to eclipse Nathan Astle (223) as the fifth-most capped player for New Zealand in ODI history.

Faf du Plessis believes South Africa have failed to do themselves justice at the Cricket World Cup, after a 49-run defeat to Pakistan extinguished their semi-final hopes.

Defeats to England, Bangladesh, India and New Zealand had left South Africa needing a victory at Lord's on Sunday to stand any chance of securing progression to the last four.

But they never looked likely to threaten Pakistan's haul of 308-7, and the Proteas ultimately finished on 259-9.

Without the injured Dale Steyn, South Africa have failed to impress, and captain Du Plessis suggested a crisis in confidence is the reason for their meek displays.

"We're not playing well, not playing good cricket," Du Plessis, who scored 63, said at the post-match presentation.

"We're not doing ourselves justice as a team, with the skill that's in that dressing room.

"We started poorly with the ball and gave them a good start. And once again we made the same mistakes with the bat, guys getting in and then getting out.

"We need to have a good start but we haven't had that. We're losing a wicket early almost all of the time. That's been the nature through the tournament, the timing of the wickets.

"We're struggling with confidence, especially in our batting line-up. Confidence in sport is an amazing thing.

"When you're playing well, the ball just falls more for you. Our confidence is low after a few games and everything becomes a little bit more challenging, especially playing against a quality team like Pakistan."

One player who has impressed for South Africa is Imran Tahir, who became the Proteas' leading wicket-taker in World Cup history when he sent Iman-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman back to the pavilion.

"He has been amazing," Du Plessis said of Tahir. "He has been exceptional throughout this tournament, he's played with a lot of heart and he's led our bowling attack.

"He has been consistent in every game. But there hasn't been enough guys standing up like him and that's why we find ourselves in this position."

While South Africa will be heading home once the group stage is complete, Pakistan – who have games against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to come – have a glimmer of hope of making the semi-finals, though captain Sarfraz Ahmed concedes his side, who dropped several catches during the Proteas' innings, must improve in the field.

"We have to work hard on our fielding," Sarfraz said. "Again we dropped so many catches today, so we have to sort these things out to win against top teams."

Sarfraz Ahmed has pleaded with fans to stop abusing players as Pakistan continue to struggle at the Cricket World Cup.

Pakistan have won just one game at the tournament and sit second last in the standings, with Sunday's 89-run defeat to rivals India particularly painful for supporters.

Despite being with his child, Sarfaraz was abused in public in the aftermath of the India loss, an incident filmed and distributed on social media.

Other players have reportedly been abused, too, both in person and online.

Speaking ahead of Pakistan's clash against South Africa at Lord's on Sunday, Sarfraz said players were "affected psychologically" by such incidents.

"Social media and media are not in our control," he said.

"They are so big that you cannot stop them. Teams have lost before but now on social media it is unstoppable. Whoever thinks [anything, they just] write it on social media. That hurts, too much. Players are affected psychologically.

"Criticise us on our game, that's not an issue, but don't abuse us. Their families get affected. 

"Our fans are emotional and these same people lift us when we win. But if they feel sad on a defeat we also feel the same way.

"We feel it much more because we are playing for Pakistan."

A Pakistan Cricket Board spokesman added that players had been to told to "be cautious" given the past week.

"We have advised players to be aware of the situation and be cautious. It is not correct that we have barred them from going out as is projected in some parts of the media," a spokesman said.

Pakistan's next opponents have also won only one game at the World Cup, with South Africa also having struggled for form so far.

Ultimately, the most eagerly awaited fixture at the 2019 Cricket World Cup ended in a comfortable win for favourites India against their fiercest foes Pakistan.

This – at a raucous, rowdy and sometimes rainy Old Trafford – was a triumph for cold, calm efficiency over a more impassioned, excitable approach.

Ahead of Sunday's momentous meeting in Manchester, India captain Virat Kohli faced the media and repeatedly played down the size of the occasion, insisting he and his squad would treat it no differently to any other ODI.

"In our minds, nothing changes according to the opposition," he said on Saturday. "We're only focused on playing the type of cricket we're known for, not singling out any player from the opposition or focusing more on one particular player than the other."

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur, meanwhile, took an altogether different tack.

"It doesn't get bigger," he told his news conference. "It doesn't get more exciting. I'm telling our players in the dressing room, you could be a hero.

"Your careers are going to be defined by a moment in the game. You do something incredible, you'll be remembered forever."

One can understand Arthur's attempts to fire up his erratic side; India-Pakistan games come around all too infrequently, but Kohli sensed no such need to issue a similar rallying cry.

And those opposing attitudes were borne out when the action got under way as India set about ruthlessly compiling a total of 336-5 that Pakistan never looked likely to reach, even when Bhuvneshwar Kumar exited with a hamstring injury after he had sent down just 2.4 overs.

Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam briefly threatened to heed Arthur's words and attain hero status, but when Kuldeep Yadav accounted for both and Hardik Pandya ousted Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik from successive balls, Pakistan had lost four for 12 and eventually toiled to 212-6 following a rain break, leaving them well short of their DLS target.

Under overcast skies, Sarfraz Ahmed had opted to put Kohli's side in to bat and one could sense Pakistan's desperation to make best use of seemingly favourable conditions – such anxiety perhaps the result of having lost all six previous World Cup meetings with their neighbours.

But while Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul set about their task with quiet confidence, Pakistan grew increasingly ragged.

Rohit ought to have been run out twice in successive overs while he was still in the 30s – misses that proved decidedly costly as the opener cruised to an almost effortless century off 85 balls before perishing for 140.

Pakistan, by contrast, were looking ever more agitated. Wahab Riaz and Sarfraz were unhappy to see the left-armer warned for running on the pitch, while a number of fumbles in the outfield prompted double-teapots aplenty among the men in green as the relentless Rohit accumulated his runs.

Rohit's knock was a clinic in punishing poor bowling, and even his departure only cleared the stage for Kohli to claim a slice of history.

His fluent 77 saw him pass 11,000 ODI runs in his 222nd innings, usurping Sachin Tendulkar as the fastest man to that milestone. The Little Master needed 276.

Kohli's achievement was met with an almighty roar from the hordes of India supporters, who outnumbered their counterparts by perhaps four to one and were encouraged by their captain to become fully swept up in the occasion, in contrast to the message sent to his players.

"Look, I can't tell the fans to think of the game in a particular manner," Kohli had said. "For us, it's a professional approach to the game, which is most important.

"They [fans] should enjoy the atmosphere. They should enjoy the occasion the way they want to and the way it's been enjoyed for years, but the players obviously have to maintain the mindset we have for years approaching any kind of game."

Kohli certainly saw both of those wishes granted. The Bharat Army revelled in a resounding win over their great rivals in the stands, while on the field India's cold, calculated charge towards the World Cup semi-finals continued unchecked.

Vijay Shankar was the man to replace the injured Shikhar Dhawan for India, who were put in to bat by Pakistan for their crunch Cricket World Cup encounter at Old Trafford.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed called correctly on an overcast morning in Manchester, where Shankar represented India's sole change from the victory over Australia a week ago, with Thursday's encounter against New Zealand washed out.

Dhawan injured his hand in the win over defending champions Australia and is set to miss a couple of weeks so KL Rahul was moved up to open, while Shankar was down to come in at number four.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have made two changes from their last outing – also a loss to Australia – with spin duo Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim returning at the expense of Asif Ali and Shaheen Afridi.

Previous World Cup meetings between these two great rivals have been one-sided, with India winning all six such encounters at the tournament.

At the 1992 Cricket World Cup, Pakistan produced an impressive and unlikely turnaround in their fortune to secure glory.

Imran Khan's cornered tigers played more like kittens when bowled out by England for 74 in Adelaide, only to be saved by rain. Defeats to India and South Africa followed, leaving a team minus key bowler Waqar Younis through injury and led by a patched-up captain on life support.

However, the resuscitation began with a 48-run triumph over Australia at the WACA, signalling the start of a five-match winning streak that climaxed with the final in Melbourne. From seemingly certain to miss out on the knockout stages, they rallied to be crowned champions.

This year's edition of the tournament has reverted to a similar structure to the one used 27 years ago - and, once again, Pakistan find themselves in a precarious situation.

Wednesday's 41-run defeat to Australia leaves Sarfraz Ahmed's struggling side sitting on three points after four games. Their top-four hopes are not yet over, but Pakistan missed a glorious opportunity at Taunton, particularly after their last match - against Sri Lanka - was washed out.

Make that several opportunities actually, as catches went down in the field and promising partnerships in their run chase were curtailed by poor shot selection. This was a game where Pakistan once again showed their Jekyll-and-Hyde nature when the situation called for consistency and control.

They won the toss and bowled first in seam-friendly conditions yet had to wait until the start of the 23rd over to get a breakthrough. The recalled Shaheen Afridi was too often off target and while both Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz had their moments, Australia's openers managed to put on a partnership worth 146.

Amir eventually made the breakthrough, picking up the first of his five wickets as Pakistan improved considerably in the second half of the innings, bowling their opponents out for 307 with an over to spare.

After Fakhar Zaman fell early in the reply, the rest of the top five all made starts only to perish in frustrating fashion. Babar Azam (30) looked in glorious touch before falling into Kane Richardson's short-ball trap, Mohammad Hafeez (46) only found a fielder with a full toss from Aaron Finch and Imam-ul-Haq (53) gloved what would have been a wide through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

Sarfraz revived a flagging chase with the aid of some lusty blows from the lower order – Hasan Ali made 32 from just 15 deliveries, while Wahab once again relished a battle against Australia, making 45 – but the innings was summed up by the final wicket, the skipper run out by Glenn Maxwell's direct hit at the non-striker's end following confusion over a single.

"We conceded too many runs first 20 overs, except for Amir the other bowlers did not bowl well, 270-80 was par," Sarfraz said at the presentation ceremony, before going on to confirm they were not much better with the bat.

"If we want to win, the fop four have to make runs. Imam made fifty, Babar made 30, but the top four must score runs."

The talismanic Imran found a way to bring his troops together in '92 and Sarfraz must oversee a similar recovery, starting with Sunday's huge clash against India at Old Trafford.

Their rivals will relish the opportunity to push Pakistan closer to the exit door in a campaign that, bar a stunning and unexpected win over hosts England, has yet to suggest they have what it takes to be crowned champions again.

Australia captain Aaron Finch was relieved his side survived a Pakistan revival at Taunton.

A gripping match saw Australia put 307 on the board before bowling Pakistan out for 266, but until the late stages the contest was firmly in the balance.

And that was reflected in Finch's verdict as he acknowledged some big hitting down the order from Pakistan had given his bowlers a headache.

Pakistan looked to be sinking at 160-6 but it was a different story at 264-7 after Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz and captain Sarfraz Ahmed led a big-hitting rearguard action.

Mitchell Starc made a key double breakthrough at that stage though, firstly when Australia used a DRS review to show Riaz nicked a delivery through to Alex Carey, and then when bowling Mohammad Amir for a duck.

Glenn Maxwell threw down the stumps to run out Sarfraz and win the match, with Australia thankful they avoided another defeat after losing to India last time out.

Finch agreed Pakistan had put his players under pressure, saying: "They certainly did. It's always tough when you've got guys like Hasan and Wahab coming out and swinging.

"When they start to get on a roll it can be tough to stop. We just had to bowl our best ball, whether that was a length ball or whether it was a yorker. You had to commit to that ball 100 per cent. We saw that if your execution is slightly off on a small ground like this you go for six.

"We didn't bat out 50 overs, which was really disappointing. When you go in with the extra batter you stack the batters to do that job.

"We probably tried to go a little bit too hard too early and ended up probably 20-30 runs short."

Sarfraz said his bowlers came back well after disappointing opening spells allowed Australia to start well, with David Warner going on to make 107 and Finch 82.

"We conceded too many runs in the first 20 overs. Except for Amir the other bowlers did not bowl really well," Sarfraz said at the post-match presentation.

Amir took 5-30 but had little support, while Pakistan were left to lament a number of batsmen failing to convert reasonable starts into big innings.

"If we want to win, the top four have to make runs," Sarfraz said.

Pakistan face India next, and already face a battle to stay in semi-final contention.

A win over India would lift spirits and Sarfraz said: "We will try our level best."

Man of the match Warner admitted Australia should have gone on to reach 340 or 350 after their strong start.

"Credit to the way Pakistan bowled," Warner said. "Their second spells were fantastic. They hit their lines and lengths and made it hard for us. They bowled very straight lines to me and gave me no width."

Assessing the tense finish, he added: "It was probably a lot closer than we expected but I thought it was a great game."

England duo Jason Roy and Jofra Archer have been sanctioned along with Sarfraz Ahmed for offences committed in Pakistan's 14-run Cricket World Cup win at Trent Bridge on Monday.

Roy was fined 15 per cent of his match fee for using 'audible obscenities' following one of several England misfields.

The England opener, who dropped Mohammad Hafeez on 14 before the all-rounder went on to make 84, has also been given one demerit point by the governing body.

Seamer Archer was given the same punishment for his reaction to a wide being signalled as Pakistan piled on the runs in Nottingham.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz was docked 20 per cent of his match fee and his team-mates lost 10 per cent of their fees for a minor over-rate breach.

The ICC Champions Trophy holders were just one over short of bowling all 50 in the allotted time.

All three players admitted the offences and accepted the charges.

Jason Holder was delighted to see West Indies deliver an opening performance against Pakistan that will increase talk of a Cricket World Cup title challenge.

The Windies dished out a seven-wicket thrashing after Pakistan bowled out for a measly 105 at Trent Bridge

Man-of-the-match Oshane Thomas took 4-27 before Chris Gayle made 50 as West Indies reached their target inside 14 overs.

Windies captain Holder says his side fancy their chances of going all the way and lifting the trophy.

"We wanted to start with a win, so I'm very happy that we started the tournament with a win," Holder said in the post-match presentation.

"It's been a long build-up. We've been anxiously waiting for this first game. It's good to get it out of the way and to be on the better side today.

"As long as we stay fit, we've definitely come here to win this World Cup. But we've got to play the cricket to say that. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

"As I've said, I have no expectations whatsoever - it's just for us to come out and enjoy our cricket and make the people back home proud."

Andre Russell took 2-4 in a brilliant three-over spell and Holder was impressed with how relentless his side as Pakistan were bounced out.

"[Russell] is an impact player. You all can see what he can do with the ball and, as well, with the bat," he said. "It's really good to see him coming and making that impact he did today.

"He was well followed up by Oshane, Sheldon started really well for us, and we were always in the game.

"In the past, we've probably let ourselves down in terms of letting teams get back into the encounter. But credit to the boys with the way we stuck to the task and finished it off."

Praise was also reserved for paceman Thomas, with Holder adding: "It's good to have a young quick in Oshane.

"We know he can be a bit expensive at times, but he's a genuine wicket-taker - and that's a gamble we're willing to take now in the modern-day format.

"With such high totals in cricket, you need to get wickets. That's one area that we wanted to highlight and pinpoint. We see him as an impact player and he came in today and did an outstanding job for us."

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed merely wrote off the defeat as a "bad day" for his batsmen.

"I think today is a bad day for us," he said. "But I'm very confident my team will bounce back."

West Indies captain Jason Holder has backed opener Shai Hope to shine at the Cricket World Cup.

The Windies have looked sharp with the bat in their World Cup warm-up matches and start their campaign against Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Friday.

Hope's form has been hugely impressive, with the 25-year-old having clocked up three centuries in warm-up matches for the tournament, including a haul of 170 against Ireland on May 5.

And, after Hope's 101 helped West Indies to a 91-run victory over New Zealand in their final tune up on Tuesday, Holder believes the batsman is well placed to star at the World Cup.

"Shai has been carrying some form for a long time in the limited overs format and he's really confident," Holder told a news conference.

"I think he's worked out pretty much his method of scoring. It's been very, very consistent, which as a group we've probably lacked in the recent past.

"It's really good to see a young batter stepping up and being as consistent as he has been and leading the charge for us, and we've got power around him.

"I think we've got a really good mix in terms of our batter line-up, but obviously Shai has stood out in the recent past with his success."

Given the Windies' form with the bat, Trent Bridge – with its short boundary – could present an ideal venue to kick-start their campaign, but Holder insisted that his side have no preconceptions ahead of their opening fixture.

"I don't want to sit here and try to predetermine what's going to happen," Holder added. "We assess the conditions and we play to suit. It doesn't matter where we're playing.

"That's the way cricket is played, and that's the nature of the game. I don't want to sit before a game and say we're looking to score 500 or 600.

"We are all excited to play in England. The magnitude of this tournament speaks for itself. There's no need to sit here and harp on about it, we just want to take it game by game."

Pakistan offered little resistance to England in a 4-0 series loss earlier in May, before losing to Afghanistan in their final preparation match.

"We are not thinking about the previous results," Captain Sarfraz Ahmed told a news conference. 

"We didn't play well as a team, but our batters are performing well, so we don't think about it. We are very focused and we are very hopeful as a team that we will do well."

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed delivered mixed news on the injury front and acknowledged his side need to improve their fielding after they were beaten by three wickets at Trent Bridge to lose their ODI series against England.

Having lost with respective totals of 361 and 358 at Southampton and Bristol respectively, Pakistan failed to defend a score of 340-7 on Friday, despite a significant wobble from their hosts in reply.

Ben Stokes' unbeaten 71 proved crucial for England after Jason Roy, who was dropped twice, scored 114 amid some lacklustre work in the field.

In the post-match presentation, Sarfraz lamented Pakistan's mistakes and provided updates on the fitness of Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Amir.

"If we were fielding well and took catches, we had enough runs on the board," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"We've been working very hard for the last one and a half years and it was very improved, but the way we've fielded here in three matches is not up to the mark. We have to improve."

Imam was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the elbow by a delivery from Mark Wood, but the opener was cleared of a fracture following X-rays and returned late in Pakistan's innings.

Paceman Amir, meanwhile, has yet to feature in the series due to illness and it is unclear when he will be able to return, with Pakistan's Cricket World Cup opener just a fortnight away.

"Imam hopefully will be ok," said Sarfraz. "He's got a bruise on his elbow so hopefully he will come back, but I'm not sure about Amir."

Roy revealed his impressive innings had come as something of a surprise after he spent the night in hospital with his daughter.

He told the BBC's Test Match Special: "I'm not in the form of my life. It was not my most fluent of innings but it was an extremely special feeling to get over three figures. I didn't see it coming.

"I had a bit of a rough morning so this one is a special one for me and my family.

"It was my little one. We had to take her to hospital at 1:30 in the morning. I stayed there until 8:30 and came back for a couple of hours sleep and got to the ground just before the warm-up and cracked on. It was a very emotional hundred."

Eoin Morgan said wins like England's over Pakistan on Tuesday will boost his side's confidence ahead of the Cricket World Cup.

England completed their second highest successful one-day international run chase in a six-wicket victory in Bristol.

Set 359 for victory, Jonny Bairstow (128 off 93) and Jason Roy (76 off 55) guided England to their target with an incredible 31 balls to spare.

With the Cricket World Cup starting later this month, captain Morgan said such performances would only give England more belief.

"When guys perform like this it builds confidence within the changing room," he said.

"With regards to looking ahead, that is a really positive thing for our group."

Imam-ul-Haq's 151 had set Pakistan up in the third ODI, but Roy and Bairstow quickly took the game away from the tourists.

Bairstow, who hit 15 fours and five sixes, was happy with his innings, although he wanted more.

"I was really pleased with that hundred. Coming back into English conditions after playing in the IPL [Indian Premier League] was a big change and it's nice to hit the ground running," he said.

"It was frustrating to drag one on – I wanted to get a 170, 180, win the game and walk off that way."

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed lamented his side's bowling performance as they conceded eight runs per over to fall 2-0 behind in the five-match series.

"At halfway we spoke and were very confident, but our bowling was not up to the mark. I think they played better than us and that is why they won," he said.

"We have to improve our bowling in the next matches. Both openers have played well and again Asif Ali played really well for us. That is a good sign."

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