Pakistan in maiden final
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 9:04
England top order batsman Joe Root admitted that England missed a "golden chance" to end their long wait for a maiden one-day global title after a crushing eight-wicket Champions Trophy semi-final defeat to Pakistan in Cardiff. "I think the best thing about Pakistan cricket is that we can bounce back from any performance", Azhar Ali said after Wednesday's outrageously one-sided win.
The right-armer, who appeared troubled by a leg injury throughout the day, picked up the key wickets of Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes as Pakistan's quicks choked England's star-studded batting line-up on a used surface at Sophia Gardens.
"I don't think there was any home advantage if that's what you are asking", he said. Coming from our match against Australia at Edgbaston [on Saturday], it was a big jump in pace and bounce and too much of an ask for us to adjust.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said before the semifinal that if his side played its "best game" it could "put pressure" on England. 'I know you guys had us as favourites for this competition but that wasn't the opinion of the team nor me.
"We played against some really good sides recently, and we've managed to beat them".
It followed the World Twenty20 last year and the Champions Trophy four years ago, when England established a winning position in the final only to lose.
Wednesday's loss here meant England's wait for a first major ICC ODI tournament triumph will continue until at least 2019 - when they stage the next World Cup.
And Pakistan's gamble on youth and inexperience during this tournament was again vindicated by both Shadab (1-40) and dashing opener Fakhar Zaman, who clobbered a run-a-ball half-century less than a week after making his ODI debut.
"We left ourselves short today adapting to conditions".
"I think it was [the best]", he added. Most teams have tried to swing the ball up front, and when it hasn't they have struggled to take wickets in the middle overs.