Champions Trophy semi-final: Pakistan opt to bowl against England

Pakistan, which can be shaky when batting second, has successfully chased down in three successive matches that included Ahmed's gritty half century against Sri Lanka after Pakistan had collapsed to 162-7 while chasing 237-run target. Pakistan finished at 215 for the loss of two scalps.

With Pakistan having made it to the final, they will play the victor of the second semi-final, which will be between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday. Left-hander Fakhar hit a six - something England didn't manage in their entire innings - when a top-edge off fast bowler Mark Wood flew safe.

Later Azhar Ali also completed his fifty, 11th in his 49th ODI. He scored 76 before Jake Ball got the better of him with a slower bouncer.

"One thing we didn't do today was adapt to conditions", Morgan told Sky Sports 2. Pakistan are a very unpredictable tournament and they have surprised one and all with their brilliant gameplay after their demoralising defeat in the first match of the tournament. And Shadab's ability to control big hitters in the middle overs has helped Pakistan restrict the scoring of opponents. And having watched Pakistan's game against Sri Lanka, we actually didn't think it was that bad.

The pace of the wicket proved England's undoing as the previously used track was superbly exploited by seamers Junaid Khan and Rumman, while Hasan Ali was able to extract enough movement to remove all three of the hosts' dangermen. They collapsed, however, on a sluggish pitch from 128 for two in sunny conditions which normally favour batsmen and the bowlers failed to fix the damage. "I felt like we were trying to take a positive option against them, but the conditions didn't allow us to do that". 211 wasn't a good score.

Despite Rumman's impressive debut, star quick Amir would be expected to return for the final if he regains full fitness. England lost their last eight wickets for just 83 runs. However, the final venue of the tournament is yet to be decided, with Ahmadabad or Eden Gardens in Kolkata being the front runners to host the final.

Morgan added: "We have to evolve with the game over the next two years in the lead-up to the World Cup, but I certainly think we are moving in the right direction".

One 'reserve' day has been kept by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the final match of the tournament, but there will be none for the semi-finals. The 48-run stand for the third wicket was broken by 18-year-old spinner, Shadab Khan, in the 28th over.

Morgan suggested on Tuesday that Jonny Bairstow would be chosen in Roy's place at the top of the order in Cardiff, with England seeking to reach a second successive Champions Trophy final and a potential repeat of the 2013 showpiece against India, who face Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday.

  • Julie Sanders