Ruthless Pakistan shock England in Champions Trophy

Former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan, under whose leadership the nation had won 50-over World Cup in 1992, tweeted: "Now the whole nation awaits our team making amends in the final against India - if they defeat Bangladesh".

"After the first loss we were very down, but credit goes to the team management", Sarfraz told a news conference.

After a meek and meagre display in their opening match of the tournament against India, Pakistan were labelled "shambolic" and "terrible" by coach Mickey Arthur but have shone ever since. "We know everyone's calibre and if you do well we will praise you and vice-versa". "You guys have been thrashed fair and square by Pakistan", he said. "It's a big challenge jumping from venue to venue but we're going to have to do that with the World Cup so it's important for us to go through games like today for our experience".

After only the second defeat in their last 13 ODIs, he said: "We've played worse than this over the last couple of years and been knocked over fairly easily in some games, (but) it doesn't seem to affect them".

It seemed Pakistani batsmen were batting on a different pitch during the chase as they cruised to complete the target in 37.1 overs, after openers Azhar Ali (76 off 100) and Fakhar Zaman (57 off 58) provided a flawless start. At a time when other bowlers are struggling to bowl yorkers, the right-arm pacer can bowl them at will - something which Bangladesh will have to look out for.

"What will eat away at Morgan over the coming days is that his team failed to show their true colours and failed to stay true to the captain's bold message that had underpinned the recovery after the 2015 World Cup", says Michael Atherton in The Times.

Top on that list has to be the catch of Fakhar Zaman, who sprinted from deep mid-wicket to his left and fully stretched himself to snaffle a Moeen Ali pull off Junaid Khan. "It's a big frustration because I think we've played some great cricket in this tournament, but we weren't anywhere close to it today", he added.

"I don't think we did play anything rash today". We lost the final of this competition last summer and we want to go one better in 2017. "This is what we would require in the final to claim the title".

Pakistan lost the ODI series in England 4-1 a year ago, but did register a consolation victory in the final match at Sophia Gardens, leaving Sarfraz positive ahead of their mid-week clash. "We played very good cricket, that's why we won", Sarfraz said.

If Hasan was man of the match, Stokes was likely the most disappointed player in the Welsh capital.

"At this stage, if you can play the shots, you should play them", he explained. I think he was okay.

  • Zachary Reyes