Pakistan crush England to storm into Champions Trophy final

Pakistan produced an inspired bowling performance to dismiss hosts England for a modest 211 in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy here today.

Although we have seen the Super Over coming into play quite a few times in the Indian Premier League and other T20 internationals, no ODI has ever gone into the Super Overs as of yet. "We were probably soft at times yesterday (against Sri Lanka)", he said.

Eoin Morgan's England failed to adapt to the demands of a used Cardiff pitch as they crashed out of the Champions Trophy against Pakistan.

But with title-holders India playing Bangladesh in Thursday's second semi-final at Edgbaston, there are concerns that Wednesday's match at the 14,100 capacity Cardiff ground could be blighted by mass no shows. Pakistan's bowling is clearly their strength and it has played an important role in both of their victories in the tournament so far. Fakhar Zaman could be the only bright spark for Pakistan at the top of the order while skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has the ability to thrive under pressure situations. "Thanks to Amir, he played really well".

Jason Roy's lack of form at the top of the innings is a worry for England and if it replaces him with Jonny Bairstow tomorrow it can provide Pakistan an opportunity of targeting a new player who hasn't featured in the tournament yet.

Liam Plukett and Mark Wood followed to wrap up an abject innings, England losing their final seven wickets for 83 runs. Well there are reasons for calling Pakistan as unpredictable as on days they are too hot and on other days they are too cold.

Mohammad Hafeez (31 not out) hit Stokes for a boundary to seal the win, sharing a 42-run partnership for the third wicket with Babar Azam (38 not out).

"I think we've started brilliantly", said Morgan.

Pakistan beat England by four wickets in the only completed ODI to have taken place between these nations in Cardiff (September 2016). "If he scored 20 runs, which he did, we would win", said Ahmed.

Now as part of first Semi Final, Pakistan will face England which has remained unbeaten in the tournament - won 3 out of 3 in the group stage - and apparent favorites against green shirts.

It was Sarfraz's second impressive innings at Cardiff after the wicket-keeper's 90 on the same ground past year saw Pakistan chase down a target of 303 against England in a four-wicket win that prevented an ODI series whitewash.

That gave the team who came into the tournament ranked eighth the chance to reach the semi-finals by beating Sri Lanka, a feat they duly achieved by three wickets on Monday.

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