CT2017, 1st Semi-Final (Preview) - England vs Pakistan

Their partenership was one of the best in the tournament and came against an incredible bowling side. Meanwhile, Pakistan lacks that matchwinning ability which they had in plenty at one point in time.

A senior government officer had organized a feast over the win of Pakistan, media reports said, adding that many government employees participated in the function. While they have been spirited performances by their young opener Fakhar Zaman and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed in the group games, they have failed to collectively to deliver the good as a batting unit. Speaking about the team's chances in the semi-finals against England on Wednesday, Sarfraz said, "We played the last ODI here".

Meanwhile England dropped struggling opener Jason Roy, whose four in the 40-run group win over Australia meant he´d averaged just 6.37 from eight one-day worldwide innings this season, with a mere two double-figure scores.

England vs Pakistan - the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal battle between a team with a sparkling new identity and one that continues to struggle to shed its old one. England on the other hand have won three out of three in their group, topping it eventually.

To begin with, there was hardly anyone apart from Pakistani fans that believed they would reach the semis given their squad and how they began the tournament.

Pakistan have lost all their semifinal appearances in this tournament - in 2000, 2004 and 2009. It is a contest where the team to beat England take on an unpredictable Pakistan. Indeed Pakistan in tournaments have always been about the bowling - from Wasim in '92 to Shoaib Akhtar in '99 to even just brief cameos such as Wahab Riaz's inspired spell in a losing cause against Australia in that World Cup quarter-final two years ago. England is a top team.

To cap things off, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudulah Riyad's magnificent hundreds in a 224-run fifth-wicket stand that won they the game against more fancied New Zealand after being 33/4 chasing 266 to win showed their mettle.

  • Julie Sanders