Pakistan 215/2 in 37.1 Overs (Azhar Ali 76, Fakhar Zaman 57, Babar Azam 38*, Mohammad Hafis 31*) beat England 211 All Out in 49.5 Overs (JE Root 46, JM Bairstow 43, BA Stokes 34, EGJ Morgan 33, Hasan Ali 3/35, Junaid Khan 2/43, Rumman Rois 2/44) by 8 Wickets. Player of The Match: Hasan Ali (Pakistan).
A comprehensive all round Pakistan turned the table on tournament favorite England crushing them out in the semifinal Champions Trophy 2017 by 8 wickets at Sofia Garden Cardiff. The bottom-ranked Pakistan virtually written off by all after their crushing defeat against the arch rival in the first of group match produced a blockbuster performance with bowling, batting, and fielding in one of the major upset in the tournament’s history. Three Pakistani Pacers and three spinners bowling exceeding well on the surface which gripped a bit made the formidable English batting struggle all the way as they could struggle to reach 211 all out. On the same wicket, Pakistani batsmen blasted the English attack in overhauling the target in only 37.1 overs losing only 2 wickets. What observers and critics thought of a cake walk for England turned out to be a comprehensive win for Pakistan. The winner Pakistan will now feature in their first ever appearance of Champions Trophy final against the winner of other semifinal today between India and Bangladesh.
England has never won a global tournament whether in ODI or T20. Many thought this time host England playing wonderfully well since 2015 ICC World Cup was going to be champions. The thoughts got stronger after their very strong performance in the group stage against Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Australia. On the other hand, Pakistan somehow managed to qualify for the tournament as the bottom ranked team at the expense of West Indies. It crushed to a huge defeat in their first group match against arch-rivals India. Strong bowling earned them a win in the rain-affected match against South Africa through Duckworth & Lewis method. Terribly poor Sri Lankan fielding scrapped them through to the semifinal. Most observers and analysts were thinking of a cake walk for England. Even Pakistani Chacha possibly could not even imagine the manner in which like CORNERED TIGERS PAKISTAN Would turn around. Moreover, in the match Pakistan had to appear without their main weapon Mohammad Amir declared unfit. Rookie pacer Rumman Rois replaced him. Three Pacers Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, and Rumman Rois bowled fast and always at the right channel consistently teasing and tormenting English batsmen. Even three spinners Imad Wasim, Shadab and Hafiz bowled tight accurate spells. Commendable skills and quality of Pakistan bowling on a reused surface where Pakistan got the better of Sri Lanka in their last match appeared as a minefield for the home team. Four of the five top order batsmen Bairstow, Root, Morgan, and Stokes got the start but none of them looked at all comfortable. None could post even a half-century 5 batsmen could not reach double figures. Pakistani attack was so dominating that free striking Ben Stokes (34 in 64 deliveries) and Eoin Morgan (33 in 53 balls) could not take any liberty. Hasan, Junaid, and Rois brought the memory of Imran, Wasim, and Waqar back in Cardiff. Captain Sarfraz marshaled his resources admirably. Some of the catches were exceptional. New look Pakistan was far more energetic and enterprising on the field. The bowling was so disciplined that only 6 extras were conceded. England huffed and puffed in reaching 211.
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) ১৪ জুন, ২০১৭
Still few thought given the fragile nature of Pakistan batting and experienced English bowling attack they will make Pakistan fight. But a very spirited Pakistani opening partnership of Dasher Fakhar Zaman and accomplished Azhar Ali scoring 118 in 21.1 overs laid the foundation for a huge Pakistan win. Azhar started cautiously but on the other hand, T20 specialist Zaman was awesome right from the start. His 57 in 58 balls set the tone of innings where he punished mercilessly anything short. Azhar was relatively calm in his innings of 76 in 100 deliveries. English bowling hardly made any impression. Perhaps Morgan delayed a little bit in commissioning his trump card, Adil Rashid. Young Babar Azam (38*) and veteran Hafiz (31*) saw Pakistan through. A rank outsider Pakistan knocked out tournaments hot favorite England from the tournament.
Fifty for Azhar Ali!
Pakistan 115/0 from 20.1
— ICC (@ICC) ১৪ জুন, ২০১৭
It is really commendable that Inzamamul Huq inspired Pakistan team could blood some talented newcomers who have changed the outfit of Pakistan team completely. For the day the team had the horses for the courses. Hasan Ali and Junaid consistently bowled at the right channel and exploited the appreciable horizontal movement. Even debutant Rumman Rois did not disappoint. In the middle overs Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafiz, and Shadab Khan also put strangled English batsmen with tight accurate spin bowling. This Pakistan team is looking good. If Mohammad Amir joins the attack the four prong pace attack in the final will definitely cause a headache for Bangladesh or India whoever wins today.
This tournament has already seen the exit of three pre-tournament favorites England Australia and South Africa. Who knows whether the remaining favorite reigning champions India would allow following suit or not today
A Pakistan –India blockbuster would be exceptional. But Bangladesh –Pakistan Derby would not be less enjoyable. Let the sunshine on the better team today and on Sunday.
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