Pakistan cricket fans
Pakistan cricket fans react during the World Cup group stage match against England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on June 3, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Southampton: While Pakistan beat England through their cricketing skills, their fans outscored the hosts’ supporters through their vociferous songs, chats and cheers at Trent Bridge on Monday. There was fierce competition on the field as England came up 14 runs short as they attempted to chase down Pakistan’s mammoth 348-8. There was also a competition in the stands to determine who shouts the loudest for their team. So noisy were the Pakistan fans that England skipper Eoin Morgan was asked after the match whether England got unnerved by the Pakistan support.

“We were prepared for all this sort of stuff. When we play against Asian teams, it’s always a home game for those guys. They tend to be louder than our support,” he said.

England fans have consoled themselves saying that it was a good time to have a bad day for their team as this defeat will help them rectify the chinks and work harder in the coming crucial matches.

Pakistan stressed that it was their self-belief that helped them come up with a stunning win over the favourites. Mohammad Hafeez, the hero of their team’s win, said: “I can only describe it as total self-belief. Everyone was really looking forward to doing something in this game. Yes, we had a bad first game against West Indies, but we knew as a team that we are capable of winning matches for Pakistan. We had a good meeting the day before where we spoke of the good things in each of the players. We inspired confidence in each of them and that really worked today. We could see that everyone really expressed themselves, and that really worked for Pakistan.”

Nicknamed the ‘Professor’, Hafeez got this sobriquet because he talks a lot and also thinks differently. He is known as a player with the most analytical mind in the team. “We knew if we managed to score 340-plus on this track, it would be a very difficult score to chase because the ball and the pitch were supporting the seamers, and the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat,” he said.

Morgan was unable to hide his disappointment although he tried to put on a confident face. When asked why England failed to win despite two centuries from batsmen Joe Root and Jos Buttler, his curt response was: “I’m never a big believer that hundreds win you games, particularly in this day and age.”

So was it a bad day for England then? “I don’t think it was a bad day but I think fielding wise, it was,” added Morgan. “We’ve gone from probably one of our best performances on the field at The Oval to not an extremely bad one, and that probably cost us 15 or 20 runs, which is a lot in a one-day game.”

Was he was surprised by the intensity of the Pakistan team, he said: “Not really, There’s not much that surprises me playing Pakistan. You sort of expect everything.”

Players fined

Jason Roy and Jofra Archer have each been fined 15 per cent of their match fees for incidents during England’s World Cup defeat by Pakistan at Trent Bridge.

The International Cricket Council found opener Roy had breached level one of its code of conduct, using an audible obscenity after a misfield during Pakistan’s innings.

Fast bowler Archer was found guilty of dissent towards an umpire’s decision following a wide delivery.

Both players have also had one demerit point added to their records.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was fined 20 per cent of his fee, and his teammates 10 per cent, for a minor overrate offence.