Pakistan punish errant England to enter maiden Champions Trophy final

For the first time ever, Pakistan has qualified for the Champions Trophy final, after thrashing England by eight wickets in the all-important semi-final in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Joe Root accepted England had missed a "golden chance" to end their long wait for a maiden one-day worldwide title after a crushing eight-wicket Champions Trophy semi-final defeat by Pakistan.

"There were huge expectations they'd go on to win the tournament, I think justifiably so on the back of what they've done over the last year-and-a-half", said Atherton.

Talking about conditions and wicket, the England captain said that there was no home advantage for his team in the game.

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

"Having watched Pakistan's game against Sri Lanka, we actually didn't think it was that bad".

Morgan, who was one of Pakistan seamer Hasan Ali's three victims, refused to completely absolve his batsmen of any blame as they lost their final eight wickets for the addition of just 83 runs.

However, Morgan did give credit to the Pakistan bowlers for restricting England to 211 in 49.5 overs.

"I felt like we were trying to take a positive option against them, but obviously, given the conditions, it didn't allow is to do that. You guys have been thrashed fair and square by Pakistan", he said.

While veterans Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali add significant experience to the side, it's been inexperienced players like Fakhar and Hasan who have inspired Pakistan to their first major ODI final since the 1999 World Cup. "We did prepare, Pakistan bowled well but we didn't adjust and 200 isn't competitive, 250-270 would be a good score". "Credit goes to Sarfraz and the way he led the team, we kept taking wickets and kept the run-rate in check".

The underdog carried their form and delivered an inspired all-round performance to defeat "so-called favourite" England in a one-sided Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Pakistan will be closely watching today's second semi-final as India is going to clash with Bangladesh at Birmingham.

"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 (Wednesday) for our experience", added the former Irish star.

Pakistan made far better use of the used wicket in Cardiff, offering little pace or bounce.

Jos Buttler (4), Moeen Ali (11) and Adil Rashid (7) fell quickly and Ben Stokes, one of the most destructive batsmen in the world, failed to hit a boundary in a scratchy 34 as the Pakistan bowlers dominated. "I thought they bowled really well".

Hussain lamented England's "timid play", which he said was in marked contrast to the way it had revived its ODI fortunes since a woeful first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup.

  • Julie Sanders