Pakistan hobbled further by Hafeez injury


Pakistan's hopes of clawing their way back into the ODI series against England were struck a blow when opener Mohammad Hafeez was ruled out of the series with a calf injury.

Pakistan lost the second ODI by four wickets to go two nil down in the five-match series, so adding injury to insult was the news afterwards that Hafeez had strained a calf muscle during the game.

He will be replaced in the squad by fast bowler Mohammad Irfan, which does not help the visitors' batting woes at all.

Hafeez's loss will be a blow as Pakisan's batting was poor at Lord's, and at one point they were three down for just two runs on the board. Only Sarfraz Ahmed's century ensured a respectable score.

Skipper Azhar Ali, who also failed with the bat, said afterwards: "The start wasn't good at all. 

"It was really difficult to come back from losing three early wickets. To some extent we made a recovery, but it was not enough. The early loss of wickets cost us the game.

"But the first half of the game saw the ball come on the bat much better than the second half. If you start at 10.30, the openers have to take responsibility for getting you through the first 10 overs. 

"But unfortunately the top order didn't really do anything. They were out to good deliveries, but as professional players you should be able to cope with that and find a way.

"But after five or six overs, there were some good shots players. The ball was coming on very well. In the second half of the game, it really wasn't coming on well and reverse swing was effective."

The third ODI will be played at Trent Bridge on 30 August.