In their previous match, Pakistan were bundled out for their second-lowest total in a World Cup game. On Monday, 3 June, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, they posted their second-highest World Cup total of 348/8, validating every truism about them being an unpredictable side. Joe Root and Jos Buttler made brisk hundreds in the chase, but the hosts fell short.
Put in, an aggressive Pakistan turned up. Cheered on by the crowd, they reached 69 in the first 10 overs. Fakhar Zaman was as streaky as he was entertaining, while the England new-ball attack of Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer found the edges even as the shots raced away to the boundary on a quick outfield.
Moeen Ali got the breakthrough in the 16th over, with Buttler completing a sharp stumping of Fakhar. Hafeez, dropped at long-off by Jason Roy on 14, went on to top score for his side, adding 88 with Babar Azam and 80 with captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
The last 10 overs brought 96 runs as Sarfaraz led a lower-order hit-out and England were left needing to pull off the highest World Cup chase and ruing the runs they left on the field.
At 86/3 and then 118/4, England were in danger. Root and Buttler, however, pierced the field for 130 runs off 105 balls. Root brought up his 15th ODI century, a typically elegant one off 97 balls, with a single in front of point, while Buttler scythed through covers to reach the milestone in 75 balls.
But with both set batsmen out and 61 still needed in a little over five overs when Buttler was caught at short third-man, there was a bit left to do, and despite their depth, England couldn't quite manage it.