1st Semi-Final: Brilliant Pakistan restrict England to 211
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 8:52
Pakistan will face either India or Bangladesh in the final on Sunday at the Oval.
Earlier, Pakistan bowled and fielded tightly to restrict the hosts to a paltry total of 211 all out and the lowest-ranked team in the tournament knocked off the runs in style with a massive 12.5 overs to spare.
Hasan Ali once again produced a clinical bowling performance in the tournament and finished his quota of 10 overs at an economy of 3.5 runs per over.
England are the favourites and Pakistan are the unpredictable darkhorse going into this game. Mark Wood (0-37) started the bowling for England with a wide and was then hit for six in the same over by Fakhar Zaman. I just told him to play ball by ball. "We knew that we were going to play on a used wicket at some stage in this tournament, and we found out the other day that today was going to be on a used wicket".
Fakhar reached his 50 off 49 balls before being stumped by Buttler off Rashid for 57 but Azhar and Babar Azam calmly continued to milk runs all around the ground as England's bowlers ran out of ideas. The 2002 edition final was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where rain interruption on two separate days led to the title being shared between Sri Lanka and India. England didn't manage a single individual fifty in their innings. Skipper Eoin Morgan along with Joe Root, Ben Stokes and other are in good touch.
Pakistan, chasing a seemingly modest 237 to win, collapsed to 162 for seven.
Jason Roy has managed 51 runs in eight outings since the tour of India, meaning he will retain his spot over Sam Billings or Johny Bairstow, who scored career-best 174* from 113 balls in the County Championship. Yet Bairstow, opening for the first time in ODI cricket, had a narrow lbw escape second ball and was dropped on 27 and 42. "Whenever he comes on he's getting wickets".
Unable to find the breakthrough, English skipper Eoin Morgan got Adil Rashid back into action, and the leg-spinner delivered on the very first delivery of his fourth over with the wicket of the risky Zaman, stumped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first on a slow and abrasive pitch which saw the England batsman battle to find any fluidity.