England were firm favourites for today’s/Wednesday’s Champions Trophy semi-final against Pakistan but were soundly beaten by eight wickets, as Pakistan cruised home with 77 balls to spare.
“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. Knowing we were going to play on a used wicket potentially brought Pakistan’s game closer to their home [conditions].
Meanwhile Sarfraz said: “England are a good team so we have to play positive cricket against them”.
“I think we will have to evolve over the next two years in the lead-in to the World Cup, but we’re moving in the right direction”.
Jonny Bairstow (43 off 57 balls), Root (46 off 56 balls), and Eoin Morgan (33 off 53 balls) all got starts but none of them managed to make a huge score as Pakistan produced a fabulous bowling display.
Pakistan bowled and fielded tightly to restrict the sluggish hosts who failed to master a lifeless wicket and collapsed from 128 for two in bright and sunny conditions which normally favour batsmen. Talking about the victory, Pakistan Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday credited the support staff for keeping the team in good spirits after heavy loss against India, following which the side staged a sensational turnaround to reach the Champions Trophy final.
England had scored over 300 in five of the last six one-day internationals in which they batted first.
“Full credit to them, they outplayed us on this wicket”. Hasan’s wickets are also the most by any Pakistan bowler in a Champions Trophy, going past Saeed Ajmal’s eight wickets in 2009.
England bowlers struggled throughout to get breakthroughs in the Pakistan innings.
“I’m just very disappointed”, Root said.
“I don’t think there was any home advantage …”
England captain cut a frustrated figure after his team delivered a muddled and lacklustre performance. “That’s why we won today”.
Asked about a possible re-match in the final on Sunday, Sarfraz said: “Both teams (India and Bangladesh) are playing well, so we will play whoever gets through”.
“We just motivated the guys – “don’t worry about the India match, it’s gone … if we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament”. Find us on Facebook too!
“We certainly weren’t overconfident”.