CT 2017: Pakistan win toss, ask England to bat

"If you are playing a world-class team, you play more positive cricket". Staggeringly, England failed to score more than six runs an over in any of the last 25 overs of their innings. "We bowled okay but 200 was well under par".

Pakistan could face arch-rivals India in Sunday´s final at the Oval if the title-holders beat Bangladesh in Thursday´s second semi-final at Edgbaston.

"We continue to learn, everything we did was calculated, but Pakistan had played on the wicket previously and that helped".

Pakistan, chasing a seemingly modest 237 for victory, were on the brink of defeat at 137 for six. As he prepared for the semi-final, coach Mickey Arthur appeared less enamoured with a description he seems happy to consign to history.

"We dropped three catches (Azhar Ali was put down in the first over), but there has been a genuine effort from the boys and from the support staff, and we've expressed a lot about our fielding and we've talked about it a lot".

"You know, it was unfortunate that we dropped his catches as well today, and he would have been a different bowler, but still he came out and gave his heart out, and, yeah, he is a champion bowler for us". "After this innings, I'm really boosted up, and hopefully, we will do well in the future".

"So it's the simplicity of those things that are worrying me at the moment".

Moreover, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan also praised the team Pakistan as he took to Twitter. Ali's match-winning fifty was his second of the tournament and helped Pakistan seal a convincing victory against England.

And he did it all while battling the discomfort of a shin injury, his skipper revealed.

Perera also made a telling contribution before having to retire hurt, and Mathews said: "It's a shame to lose Kusal, he batted extremely well - but Dhananjaya de Silva is also a very good player".

"I think he (Amir) has a little bit of back spasm". Hopefully, he will recover for the finals.

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.

"Obviously, he's our main bowler. We did prepare, Pakistan bowled well but we didn't adjust and 200 isn't competitive, 250-270 would be a good score". In the two years after that tournament, they have scored eight of their ten highest ever ODI scores and set a new world record with their 444 against Pakistan last summer at Trent Bridge. England didn't manage a single individual fifty in their innings. We took wickets and upped the batting order.

Pakistan and England have faced each other twice at Cardiff.

Azhar went on to make 34 runs before he was caught by Mendis at first slip off the bowling of Lakmal.

"Credit goes to the bowlers", Sarfraz said.

Adil Rashid was back in the hut after a direct hit from substitute Ahmed Shehzad at the non-striker's end. That's simply far too slow in today's game and especially opposite Azhar.

In Fakhar it looks like they've finally found the right man for the job.

"The turnaround is built on the inclusion of youngsters and it could only be done by a Pakistan team", said Ramiz Raja, an ex-Pakistan captain who now works at a cricket commentator. "Hopefully, he will do well in future as well".

Nobody is quite sure what to expect from Pakistan and that's the theme of this match. We played last ODI here.

Pakistan had a flying start by scoring 74 runs in just 11.2 overs before Zaman fell for 50.

  • Julie Sanders