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Pakistan crush England to reach final

Pakistan advanced to the ICC Champions Trophy final, on the back of a superb bowling performance and a century opening stand, as they crushed England by eight wickets in their semifinal clash in Cardiff on Wednesday.

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Paceman Hassan Ali was the pick of the Pakistan attack as he picked up 3-35 in a high-class exhibition of fast bowling while he was ably supported by fellow seamers Junaid Khan (2-42) and debutant Ramman Raees (2-44) while there was also three run outs during England’s innings as the tournament hosts were bowled out for just 211 with one ball of their innings remaining.

The opening pair of Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman then put on a 118-run opening stand as Pakistan cruised to 215 for two off just 37.1 overs.

Pakistan will now play eight India or Bangladesh in the final at the Oval in London on Sunday, June 18.

Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first on a slow and abrasive pitch which saw the England batsman battle to find any fluidity.

Joe Root top scored for the hosts with 46 off 56 balls while Jonny Bairstow weighed in with 43.

Hassan’s three victims saw him move to the top of the tournament’s wicket-taking list with 10.

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England made a solid start as they reached 128 for two but they suffered a collapse to lose eight wickets for the addition of just 83 runs.

Bairstow and fellow opener Alex Hales (13) put on 34 runs for the first wicket before Hales slapped a delivery from Raees to Babar Azam in the covers.

Root and Bairstow looked relatively comfortable in adding 46 for the second wicket before Bairstow, who had got bogged down, top edged a delivery from Hassan and was caught at deep square leg.


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Eoin Morgan (33) and Root, who was the one England batsman to play fluently on the pitch, then added 48 runs for the third wicket before Root top edged a delivery from legspinner Shadab Khan through to keeper Sarfraz Ahmed.

England then went into free-fall with even the normally aggressive Ben Stokes battling to score as his 34 runs came off 64 deliveries with no boundaries.

Pakistan’s batsmen had no such problems on a pitch which seemed tailor-made for them as Azhar, who brought up his fifty off 68 balls, top-scored with 76 off 100 deliveries with five fours and a six, and the aggressive Fakhar, who blasted his way to 57 off 58 balls with seven fours and a six took the game away from pre-tournament favourites England.


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Fakhar was stumped off the bowling of legspinner Adil Rashid while Azhar was bowled when he chopped a delivery from seamer Jake Ball on to his stumps.

Mohammed Hafeez (31 not out) and Babar Azam (38 not out) then shared in an unbroken 42-run third-wicket stand to take their team to victory.

ENGLAND: Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball

PAKISTAN: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan

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