Pakistan end England's dominance, becomes first team to reach final of CT2017
Pakistan 215-2 (Azhar 76) beat
England 211 (Hasan 3-35) by eight wickets
First semi-final, ICC Champions Trophy, Cardiff
After a spirited bowling performance led by Hasan Ali's three-wicket haul restricted England to 211, fifties from Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman set the chase for Pakistan which they completed in the 38th over with eight wickets in hand in Cardiff to reach the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.For all the latest cricket betting odds for who is going to win the ICC Champions Trophy Final visit our cricket betting section.
Pakistan pull back things after early blitz from England
Pakistan won the toss and decided to field first with Rumman Raees making his debut in the place of injured Mohammad Amir. In the second ball of the innings, Jonny Bairstow (43) survived a review for LBW with the impact being umpire's call. However, he responded back to back boundaries in the third over . In the fourth over from Raees (2-44), Alex Hales (13) was trapped LBW but he used a review to overturn the original decision with the ball pitching outside leg. However, the debutant got his first breakthrough when Hales chipped one to the covers. At the end of the first powerplay, England were positioned 52 for one.
Bairstow, who enjoyed a couple of drop catches, finally perished in the first over from Hasan (3-35). Joe Root (46) and Eoin Morgan (33) consolidated the innings as England reached 118 for two at halfway mark.
England slide further in their struggle
After Morgan survived a caught appeal in the slips using a review, Shadab Khan (1-40) had Joe Root (46) stumped, two overs later. From there on, England hardly survived with only Ben Stokes (34) managing some resilience. Hasan was all over the England batsmen while Junaid and Raees also picked two wickets apiece with Jos Buttler (4), Moeen Ali (11), Adil Rashid (7), Liam Plunkett (9) hardly got going and the home team were bowled out for 211 runs from 49.5 overs.
Openers set the tone for Pakistan chase
Azhar Ali (76) had a cautious start to his innings while Fakhar Zaman (57) looked at his aggressive best as Pakistan reached 49 for naught at the end of the first powerplay. The 50-run stand between the duo came off 62 deliveries. Azhar's first sign of aggression came in the 13th over when he struck a six and a four and soon caught up with Zaman, who completed a 49 ball 50. The 100-run stand between the duo came in the 18th over and England bowlers looked flat in conditions that suited the sub-continent team more than them.
Clinical Pakistan complete chase in style
Rashid (1-54) provided the first breakthrough for England when he had Zaman stumped but Azhar, who notched a 68 ball half century added another 55 runs with Babar Azam (38 not out) to put them in course of a victory. Even though, Azhar fell in the 33rd over from Jake Ball (1-37), Azam and Mohammad Hafeez (31 not out) ensured they crossed the line with their unbeaten 42 run stand. Hasan was awarded the man of the match for his three wicket haul that set the game for Pakistan.
Pakistan will now play the winner of Bangladesh and India second semi-final game in the final on Sunday.
© Cricket World 2017