Sport

Pakistan stun mighty England to reach Champions Trophy final

Pakistan stun mighty England to reach Champions Trophy final”

Sarfraz and his men are aiming to outplay England to qualify for the final, rewrite history books and silence their detractors.

England might have been surprised when Sarfraz won the toss and chose to bowl first on a used pitch on an extremely sunny day.

Rather it was a moment which demanded subtlety and adaptation - for head to be engaged rather than the heart something Pakistan, perhaps surprisingly given their volatile nature, managed here far better than their opponents. The weather, so woeful for the first week of this competition, looks finally to have turned the corner.

India might have gone through to the final in the last edition of the Champions Trophy and they have a really good record in these tournaments against Bangladesh, but those semifinal defeats will be on the back of their minds. They beat South Africa in their second match by 19 runs via D-L-S method and then followed it up with a three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka to qualify as the second team from Group B. Pakistan, chasing a seemingly modest 237 for victory, were on the brink of defeat at 137 for six.

Responding to a question, he said, "The left-arm pacer Muhammad Amir should be part of the team in the final if he gets fully fit, whereas besides him there should be three more pacers in the team".

Pakistan have been trying to catch up with the rest of the world and in the process perhaps lost their identity. Afterwards they (Pakistan team) executed their plans very well.

"Every partnership we had started behind the rate, which put us under the pump a little bit and none of our batsmen seemed to get away".

Of those that did for the Cardiff semi-final, 30 per cent said they were India fans. "It is emotionally tough at times".

"We don't hit the keeper with our throws and we don't understand when to bowl our variations".

"Hello friends. Today, I am going to talk about someone very special, who is very close to my heart - my friend, my brother - Yuvraj Singh", he said.

Though England played three of its Group A matches on new pitches, the pitches allocated to Sophia Gardens had all been used once each during the group stage meaning their semi-final had to be played on a used surface. Pakistan has the bowlers that can swing the ball and cause problems to England's top order.

"After two years of playing aggressive, fearless one-day cricket and entering the semi-finals as the only team with a 100 per cent record, England's meek and mild performance was nearly inexplicable".

With the solitary exception of the hapless Jason Roy, England's cricketers are in a formidable vein of collective form. Legspinner Shabab Khan might come into the side at the expense of Fahim Ashraf to counter England's, Adil Rashid.

If that is the case, that match could well be the second- most watched sporting fixture ever, after the 2014 World Cup football final.

In Eoin Morgan's well-balanced unit, the world sees a chance for England to realise their dream.

Having arrived in England as the eighth-ranked nation in the world, Pakistan was officially the worst side participating in the eight-team tournament. Everything we did play was quite calculated. "We've got a long way to go until we reach the level we want to get to and a level I believe we're good enough to get to".



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