Cardiff pitch gave 'home advantage' to Pakistan: Eoin Morgan

Former captain Aamer Sohail has vaguely accused the team of making it to the final of the ICC Champions Trophy on the basis of "external forces".

"One thing we didn't do was adapt to conditions; coming from Edgbaston to a used wicket, Pakistan did that well and played better", Morgan said during the post-match presentations.

Pakistan then beat South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stage and then defeated England in the semi-final to reach the final.

Earlier, Sohail had said, "I just want to tell Sarfraz, you have done nothing special".

"If you ask me who has helped win these matches for Sarfraz I will only say God and prayers of people but I will not reveal the names of those helping Sarfraz because of whom matches have been won", he went on. "England have a strong bowling attack, so we were thinking we will not give them any chance to fight back".

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said before the semifinal that if his side played its "best game" it could "put pressure" on England.

It wasn't a faultless performance in the field with a couple of catches going down in the first half of England's innings, although they were long forgotten by the end as Fakhar pulled off a stunning catch at deep square to remove Moeen Ali and substitute Ahmed Shehzad ran out Adil Rashid with a direct hit. "The boys now need to be level-headed and focus on playing good cricket", Sohail added.

"No one thought we'd reach the final".

"We've played some really good cricket throughout the whole of this summer, and it was frustrating not being able to do it (this time)".

Morgan's opposite number Sarfraz Ahmed hailed Pakistan's near ideal performance.

He said: "We will have to evolve in whatever manner the game does over the next two years in the lead-in to the World Cup, but certainly I think we're moving in the right direction".

Mohammad Hafeez, (left) celebrates hitting the winning runs with Babar Azam in their eight-wicket win over England in Cardiff. The Pakistani team, however, found an unlikely support in former Indian cricketers, Sourav Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh, with both terming Sohail's allegations as ridiculous.

They will face the winners of today's clash between India and Bangladesh in Sunday's final. "If there has been a captain who has made me happy after Younis Khan in 2009, it is Sarfraz", Ali said before going on to add that Sarfraz would not be bothered by such claims against him.

Pakistan's rise means they will automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup, leaving the race between West Indies and Sri Lanka.

"After the first loss we are very down, but credit goes to the team management", Sarfraz said.

In 2007, India and Pakistan had played in the final of the inaugural World T20 tournament.

  • Julie Sanders