Thursday, 29 June, 2017

Pakistan stun mighty England to reach Champions Trophy final

Pakistan cricket Pakistan bowling attack is capable of testing the English batsmen in Cardiff Reuters
Damon Campbell | 16 June, 2017, 06:24

This is the second time ever the venue will be hosting the final of the tournament, as they last hosted the final back in 2004, which was played between hosts England and the West Indies, as West Indies went on to win their maiden title by winning the tie by 2 wickets.

Pakistan needed just 37.1 of their 50 overs to chase down the score.

The improvement in Pakistan's fielding standards was underlined when Fakhar Zaman sprinted around at deep square leg to a take a brilliant catch at full stretch to remove Moeen Ali and expose England's tail with more than 10 overs to go.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has revealed man-of-the-match Hasan Ali played through the discomfort of a shin injury to inspire his side to victory over England in Cardiff.

Hasan Ali once again produced a clinical bowling performance in the tournament and finished his quota of 10 overs at an economy of 3.5 runs per over. Pakistan's openers then compounded England's misery to the delight of their supporters at a sun-drenched Cardiff.

Liam Plunkett made nine and England's misery was completed when Sarfraz ran out Mark Wood for three with one ball of the innings remaining. Azhar, who pulled all-rounder Ben Stokes for six, followed him to the landmark in 68 balls.

First Meet in Champion Trophy - 0 No. of times Pak and Eng played each other in Champions Trophy, before today.

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But with the number of topsy-turvy results over the last two weeks, including Pakistan's stunner on Wednesday, don't rule out Bangladesh.

England struggled on a slow pitch against a disciplined Pakistan attack to limp to a paltry total of 211 all out in the first Champions Trophy semifinal on Wednesday.

It was an outcome which confounded nearly all predictions after England had breezed through the group stages - while Pakistan began their campaign with a landslide defeat against India and sneaked into the last four only when they beat Sri Lanka by three wickets at this same venue two days ago. If that wasn't enough, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in their third league match to advance into semis. England didn't manage a single individual fifty in their innings.

The introduction of Junaid Khan helped Mohammad Amir put more pressure on opposition while Hasan Ali was always there to provide breakthroughs to his captain. England lost their last eight wickets for just 83 runs.

Joe Root, who had maintained a tight vigil for the most part of his innings tried to cut a shortish delivery from Shadab Khan but it bounced a bit more to take a faint edge on the way to Sarfraz Ahmed's gloves.

"One thing we didn't do today was adapt to conditions", Morgan told Sky Sports 2.

However, when it comes to predicting Pakistan's performance against any team, at any point, in any tournament, you just can't rely on numbers or logic because when its Pakistan's day, they don't care who they are facing, and if it is their day, they'll make you look like a bug-ready-to-be-squashed in their path to glory.

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