Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed proud of young guns' show vs England
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 16, 2017,
Jun 16, 2017, 22:31
Sarfraz Ahmed's Pakistan team had the lowest ranking entering the Champions Trophy, and was pilloried after a disappointing opening loss that had critics suggesting it couldn't advance beyond the group stage.
"(The pitch) looked a little two-paced and the ball was not coming on to the bat fluently therefore Pakistan need to work out on their strategy according to the pitch conditions.
"There were not much expectations from this team so reaching the semi-final is obviously a big achievement", the two-time Pakistan coach told cricket.com.au.
Pakistan, as they had when defeating England in an ODI at Cardiff previous year, received plenty of crowd support. Ali followed ten-overs later for a classy 76.
But in Cardiff, facing their first knockout game since the start of the Trevor Bayliss revolution, when it really mattered they found their powder damp, spluttering to a modest total of 211 with only the odd grumble about used wickets and the enthusiastic cheers of Pakistan's supporters for company. In last 14 bilateral meetings in the 50-over game, Pakistan suffered defeats in 12 ODIs against England.
"I think, going into today's game knowing that we were going to play on a used wicket potentially brought Pakistan's game closer to their home (conditions)", he said.
Of the eight teams in the tournament, Pakistan's ICC ranking is the lowest and were nearly universally written off after their 124-run defeat to India in Birmingham.
India and Pakistan had earlier fought in the final of the World T20 in South Africa in 2007. England didn't manage a single individual fifty in their innings.
Joe Root top-scored with 46 and Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dropped opener Jason Roy, managed 43.
Medium-fast Rumman Raees took 2-44 off nine overs on an impressive ODI debut, being called up late to replace Mohammad Amir.
Jos Buttler (4), Moeen Ali (11) and Adil Rashid (7) fell quickly and Stokes, one of the most destructive batsmen in the world, failed to hit a boundary in a scratchy 34 as the Pakistan bowlers dominated.
But Morgan promised lessons would be learnt for two years' time. Amir was sidelined with a back spasm, having been a key figure in Pakistan's win against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday.
Morgan's men reached 128 for two but faltered alarmingly to be bowled out for 211 as Hasan Ali (three for 35) exemplified an outstanding performance from the visitors' attack on a dry surface which suited them ideally.
"I don't think there was any home advantage", Morgan said.
The 23-year-old is also the third leading wicket-taker in the tournament with seven scalps, behind only Liam Plunkett (eight) and Josh Hazlewood (nine). 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.