Sarfraz-XI make history, lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy final for first time

Sarfraz-XI make history, lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy final for first time

CARDIFF: Pakistan made history on Wednesday after they qualified for the final of the Champions Trophy for the first time in history, beating hosts England in the semifinal at Cardiff.

Set just 212 for victory, Pakistan finished on 215 for two, with Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) sharing an opening partnership of 118.

Fakhar provided a great platform to Pakistan, scoring 57 off 58 balls with seven 4’s and one six.

Azhar Ali scored 76 off 100 balls before being dismissed by Jake Ball.

It was a mere formality when Mohammad Hafeez walked in to bat, hitting the winning shot to take Pakistan to the final of Champions Trophy for the first time.

Babar Azam scored 38 while Mohammad Hafeez made 31 off just 21 balls

Pacer Hasan Ali, the star of the day, was named the Man of the Match for picking up three crucial England wickets for 35 runs.

“We focused on our bowling. My coach Azhar Mahmmod helped me a lot, he gave me the plan and I implemented it,” said Hasan Ali as he received the award.

“Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday and I dedicate this to him.”

England were bowled out in the last over of the innings after Pakistani seamers ripped through the strong middle order.

Sent in on a used pitch after Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss, England found runs hard to come by, with no batsman managing to score a fifty.

Joe Root top-scored with 46 and Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dropped opener Jason Roy, 43.

Hasan Ali continued his great form in the tournament, picking up three wickets while Rumman Raees and Junaid Khan picked up two each.

The fast bowlers were greatly supported by the spinners as Shadab Khan got one wicket while Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim bowled miserly.

Hasan Ali picked up the big wicket of Ben Stokes of a slow ball. A few overs earlier, Adil Rashid was run out by substitute fielder Ahmed Shahzad.

Such was Pakistan’s control that usually big-hitting England all-rounder Ben Stokes’s 34 took 64 balls and did not include a single boundary.

Junaid Khan struck again to dismiss Moeen Ali off a brilliant catch by Fakhar Zama. England were eight down for 201 in the 48th over.

For the second time in three days in Cardiff, Sarfraz won the toss and elected to field on what was now a used pitch.

“We would have batted first anyway,” said England captain Eoin Morgan at the toss. “Throughout the competition, this pitch has shown to be better to set a target than chase one.

“Pakistan can beat any team in the competition on their day so we’re preparing for their best,” the top-order batsman added.

Meanwhile, Sarfraz said: “England are a good team so we have to play positive cricket against them.”

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RSS Central Legal Translation

  • Pakistan’s terrific chase ends 40 short December 19, 2016
    BRISBANE: Pakistan fell short of 39 runs despite incredible batting by Asad Shafiq who fell to Starc after scoring 137 in the day/night Test at the Gabba. A precise throw by Smith ran out Yasir Shah, putting an end to what would have been a record chase. Shafiq scored a thrilling century as Pakistan put […]
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