Pakistan stun mighty England to reach Champions Trophy final

England laboured to 211 all out in the face of another probing display from the Pakistan attack - this time missing the injured Mohammad Amir - before the target was knocked off with almost 13 overs to spare.

England had played a group match on the ground against New Zealand.

It seemed the Pakistan batsmen were in a hurry to get to the total as the duo helped the team touch the three-figure mark in the next seven overs before Ali too got to his half century off 68 deliveries.

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

"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", added Morgan.

"So it was a big challenge and one that was too far for us".

"I was not expecting us to bowl them out for 210, but we thought if we won the toss, elected to bowl first, [we could] restrict them to 260, 270".

"We just motivated the guys - "don't worry about the India match, it's gone. if we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament".

The Prime Minister extended his best wishes to the team for Champions Trophy's final and expressed hope that the team would display the same team spirit and magnificent performance to prove that it was the best cricket team. "I'm very happy about how my youngsters are performing".

"[India rematch in the final?] Both teams are playing well, so we will play whoever gets through".

"But obviously, given the conditions, it didn't allow us to do that.it was quite tough".

And they did so in style, despite being without injured left-arm quick Mohammad Amir because of a back spasm.

England rode on useful contributions from top-order batsmen - Joe Root (46), Jonny Bairstow (43) and captain Eoin Morgan (33) - but they kept losing wicket at regular intervals due to sustained pressure created by Pakistan bowlers.

"Credit goes to the bowlers", Sarfraz said.

While nobody expected them to show teeth in the tournament, Pakistan have forced the critics to take their words back with a stunning show in their last three games.

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 unsafe Zaman, stumped by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

Meanwhile, spinners, with their one-off wickets also helped the team when they were called on.

If, two years ago, in the aftermath of the woeful World Cup, a semi-final place in this tournament had been offered, it may have been accepted as a decent stepping stone in the rebuilding process.

They have always been an unpredictable side but England, the only undefeated in the league stage, were expected to get past the sub-continent squad with little difficulty. An unfancied Pakistan side thrashed England by 8 wickets in the first semi-final at Sophia Gardens on Wednesday to make it to the final which will be played at The Oval on Sunday.

  • Julie Sanders