February 26, 2018

Pakistan thrash England to reach CT final for 1st time

20 June 2017, 01:42 | Marlene Fleming

Eoin Morgan bemoans lack of 'home advantage' as England crash out of Champions Trophy to Pakistan

Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez plays a shot during the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal cricket match between England and Pakistan at The Cardiff Stadium in Cardiff Wales Wednesday

England skipper Eoin Morgan said that his team didn't adapt to conditions, coming from Edgbaston to a used wicket. "I think we were in a good position when me and Morgs [Eoin Morgan] started going", said Root of England's position of 128-2 with more than 20 overs remaining. "We did prepare like we were going to play on a used wicket", said the former Ireland batsman.

"It's a big challenge jumping from venue to venue but we're going to have to do that with the World Cup so it's important for us to go through games like today for our experience".

Pakistan made a decision to back their bowlers, there was no attempt to contain the opposition, the idea was to get wickets at regular intervals, use reverse swing (kryptonite for batsmen) and not burden the batsmen with too much responsibility. "They adjusted to conditions extremely well".

Morgan, however, did give credit to Pakistan for their victory by saying: "I thought they bowled really well". England's ploy to bring back Bairstow in place of Jason Roy clicked but some poor middle-order batting saw Pakistani players dominating the hosts.

Morgan insisted they can still take positives from the tournament with the World Cup here in 2019 and with England yet to win a global 50-over tournament. "After the first loss, we are very down, but credit goes to the team management", said Sarfraz.

"I think he (Amir) has a little bit of back spasm". It was good for both teams.

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Root and Bairstow looked relatively comfortable in adding 46 for the second wicket before Bairstow, who had got bogged down, top edged a delivery from Hassan and was caught at deep square leg. They outplayed us today on this wicket.

England ground to a near standstill as their last eight wickets fell for 83, and Ben Stokes found himself batting entirely out of character without hitting a single boundary from his 64 balls.

"We just motivated the guys - "don't worry about the India match, it's gone. if we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament". Four members of Pakistan's XI on Wednesday - Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and Rumman Raees - have never played an worldwide match in their own country, and a one-off limited overs series against Zimbabwe in 2015 has been the only taste of home internationals for Azhar, Babar Azam, Imad Wasim and Junaid Khan.

Pakistan will face either India or Bangladesh in the final on Sunday at the Oval.

One performance does not, of course, make England a bad side and their progress over the past two years in limited overs cricket remains a worthy achievement considering where they started.

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