Morgan admits England couldn't adjust to the pitch

Pakistan advanced to the International Cricket Council Champions Trophy final on the back of a superb bowling performance and a century opening stand, as they crushed England by eight wickets in their semi-final clash in Cardiff yesterday.

Pakistan thrashed England by eight wickets with 12.5 overs to spare at Sophia Gardens on Wednesday to reach the final of the Champions Trophy for the first time.

On a Cardiff ground where Pakistan chased more than 300 to beat England in an one-day global a year ago, Pakistan completed Wednesday's pursuit with a mammoth 77 balls to spare when Mohammad Hafeez pulled Stokes for four. I don t think we were simply used to it.

Ben Stokes, usually one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket, needed 64 balls to scrape together 34 runs and he failed to muster a single boundary on a pitch Morgan described as hard to bat on.

The Green Shirts tremendous win ensures a final berth in the mega event where they await the victor of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday (tomorrow).

"Every partnership we had started behind the rate, which put us under the pump a little bit, and none of our batsmen seemed to get away", England captain Eoin Morgan said.

India play Bangladesh on Thursday at Edgbaston in the other semifinal match with India the clear favorites - but so were England.

Medium-fast Rumman Raees took 2-44 off nine overs on an impressive ODI debut, being called up late to replace Mohammad Amir.

"I don't think there was any home advantage".

It was Sarfraz's second impressive innings at Cardiff after the wicket-keeper's 90 on the same ground previous year saw Pakistan chase down a target of 303 against England in a four-wicket win that prevented a 5-0 ODI series whitewash.

"What will frustrate England the most is that on the big stage, in the big game, we've not really seen then give a true account of themselves", Atherton told Sky Sports.

Top on that list has to be the catch of Fakhar Zaman, who sprinted from deep mid-wicket to his left and fully stretched himself to snaffle a Moeen Ali pull off Junaid Khan.

The former stylish batsman said the extra ordinary performance of Pak team to breeze into the final of the Champions trophy has showed that Pakistan is rich in cricket talent and new players have the potential to fill the void. Chasing a modest target of 212, unpredictable Pakistan's batting clicked when their openers laid the foundation for victory.

'Both teams have a lot of expectations. Hassan's three victims saw him move to the top of the tournament's wicket-taking list with 10. From 33/4 we could win against the Kiwis. But at the end of the day, it's a game of cricket, so whoever plays well, they will win.

  • Leroy Wright