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Champions Trophy Semi-final: Clinical Pakistan oust England to reach final!

Sarfraz Ahmed celebrates hitting the winning runs

Surprising everybody with their performance, Pakistan have reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. They dominated England with their all-round performance at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff in the first semi-final to win the match by a huge margin of 8 wickets and almost 13 overs to spare.

Also Read : ICC Champions Trophy 2nd Semifinal: India vs Bangladesh – Key Players

Here is a look at the talking points from the game.

Making use of the powerful bowling lineup

Pakistan is known to produce gems when it comes to the bowling department. Even in this tournament, their bowling was considered to be their strength. Though Mohammed Amir had to be rested for the game at the last minute due to fitness issues, Junaid Khan, Rumman Raees and Hassan Ali rose to the occasion to keep the hosts’ score under check. They struck regularly and did not let any batsman settle down. They handed England their first defeat of the tournament, knocking them out!

Hassan Ali produces a match-winning spell

Hassan Ali has been Pakistan’s best pacer so far. The youngster had picked wickets in all the games and today was no different as he sent back as many as three English batsmen that included the likes of Skipper Eoin Morgan, in form all-rounder Ben Stokes, and Johnny Bairstow. He gave away just 35 runs in his 10 overs and was deservingly awarded the Player of the Match award.

Pakistan’s improved fielding

On a positive note for Pakistan, they were a completely different fielding outfit today. They did not let the ball sneak through to the boundary, the field was well placed by the skipper and catches were caught with the right technique. This will have a great impact on the confidence of the team, especially in the final.

English batsmen fail to score big

It was the first time in the tournament so far that no English batsman managed to score a half century in the innings. All the top order batsmen got starts but failed to capitalize on them and fell prey to the trickeries of the Pak bowlers. Joe Root was the top scorer with 46. The failure of the batsmen got England to just 211 on the board and the bowlers had barely anything to defend.

Openers hit form at the right time for Pak

Pakistan’s opening pair finally hit form as the duo of experienced Azhar Ali (76 off 100 balls) and young Fakhar Zaman (57 off 58 balls) added 118 for the opening wicket. This proved to be an excellent foundation for the batsmen to follow as Babar Azam and Mohammed Hafeez finished things off for the Men in Green and booked themselves a spot in the final!

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