March 18 2018

Amir's temperament helped team win against Sri Lanka: Sarfraz

March 18 2018, 05:22 | Sammy Rose

And Pakistan's gamble on youth and inexperience during this tournament was again vindicated by both Shadab (1-40) and dashing opener Fakhar Zaman, who clobbered a run-a-ball half-century less than a week after making his ODI debut.

Hosts and favourites England were always fancied to reach the ICC Champions Trophy semis but Pakistan's presence is something of a surprise.

Pakistan replied with a controlled response, skipping past their target after just 37.1 overs on the board.

Azhar Ali starred as he smashed six boundaries, scoring 76 from 100 balls.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has revealed man-of-the-match Hasan Ali played through the discomfort of a shin injury to inspire his side to victory over England in Cardiff.

Paceman Hasan Ali led a disciplined attack with a superb return of three for 35 from his maximum 10 overs.

With three points, Bangladesh will be playing their first ever semi-final in an ICC Champions Trophy.

England hit 15 boundaries today, the least in a completed innings since the WC 2015. If that wasn't enough, Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka in their third league match to advance into semis. Their highest scorer (captain Sarfraz Ahmed) in the tournament does not figure in the top 20 run-getters, and just two players figure in the top 30.

The 25-year-old Rumman, originally summoned as an injury replacement for Wahab Riaz after the fast bowler suffered a tournament-ending ankle injury against India, has represented Pakistan in two Twenty20 Internationals to date.

As wickets fell, England naturally saw the scoreboard stutter, with Morgan's side slipping from 128-2 to 181-7 in an 16-over spell - a struggle that ultimately cost them.

But Pakistan had the game all but won at 173 for two. As England, who were by far the dominant force winning all their Group engagements at home, were nudged out by a resurgent Pakistan on Wednesday, the tournament's fate was sealed.

Pakistan were the last team to qualify to the knockouts, beating Sri Lanka in a smashing contest on Monday. Not a single six was hit in their innings.

Joe Root has been super consistent for them while the likes of Eoin Morgan, Alex Hales and Ben Stokes were also among the runs.

Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Junaid and Raees snapped up two wickets apiece. Against South Africa not only did he defend seven runs against the duo of Chris Morris and David Miller, but against Australia, he picked up the big wickets of Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell. Yet Bairstow, opening for the first time in ODI cricket, had a narrow lbw escape second ball and was dropped on 27 and 42.

Unable to find the breakthrough, English skipper Eoin Morgan got Adil Rashid back into action, and the leg-spinner delivered on the very first delivery of his fourth over with the wicket of the unsafe Zaman, stumped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

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