Sarfraz steers team to semis

But with the game getting the same wicket as the Pakistan versus Sri Lanka match, it could be slightly on the slower side.

The host cruised through Group A with a ideal record following wins over Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia to lend further weight to widespread pre-tournament predictions that Eoin Morgan's men are the team to beat.

Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed hopes to lead his country to its first 50-overs cricket tournament final since 1999.

Jonny Bairstow came in for England in place of out-of-form Jason Roy.

Pakistan beat West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka, with their only loss against India in their opening Champions Trophy match.

Pakistan suffered a blow as Mohammad Amir was ruled out of their Champions Trophy semi-final against England at Cardiff on Wednesday.

"We certainly didn't want to be just making up the numbers in this competition, and we've shown that we weren't", said the South African, who took charge of Pakistan just prior to their tour of England past year.

Chasing a target of 237 runs to win in the virtual quarterfinal clash, Pakistan held their nerve to come out victorious in this knockout encounter.

Chetan believes a shortened game will be the only chance for Pakistan against an in-form England side, who bat very deep and playing in their own backyard.

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.

Amir has been replaced by Rumman Raees.

"I'd have no worries if Jonny has to open the batting", he said.

Morgan will be wary of a side who clearly relish conditions in Cardiff where previous year they chased down a target of 303 to beat England, with Sarfraz Ahmed, their hero against Sri Lanka, hitting 90.

England take on Pakistan at the Cardiff Wales Stadium.

But Root, on 46, nicked leg-spinner Shadab Khan to wicketkeeper Sarfraz and Morgan (33) aimed an expansive drive at the lively Hasan and gave Sarfraz another catch to leave England in trouble at 141 for four. "The whole nation will be with us as they were in our desperate times and good times", Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said after the victory over New Zealand.

When spectators bought tickets for the one-day tournament, they were asked to specify a team preference by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

  • Julie Sanders