Pakistan through to the Champions Trophy Finals

Marsha Scott
June 17, 2017

Former Pakistani cricketer Aamer Sohail has alleged that the Pakistan cricket team only made it to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy due to "external factors", a seemingly indirect reference to match-fixing.

Chasing a below-par 212, Pakistan on Wednesday rode on a brilliant 118-run opening stand between Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) before Babar Azam (38 not out) and Ali helped the team with a 55-run second-wicket partnership to set their date with the victor of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh, on Sunday.

England 211 all out, 49.5 overs [Root 46, Bairstow 43, Hasan 3-35] lost to Pakistan 215-2, 37.1 overs [Azhar Ali 76, Zaman 57, Ball 1-37] by eight wickets.

But the England captain instead laid the blame at "a failure to adapt" to conditions after his side produced the worst performance of a previously unbeaten campaign.

The bookmakers say we're heading for a Pakistan-India final on Sunday night which would be a cracker, but a Bangladesh upset would also be fantastic for cricket.

"(But) certainly, that hasn't gone to our heads at all".

EOIN MORGAN: Yeah, we left ourselves short today adapting to conditions.

"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".

It was Pakistan's third win from as many matches in the Welsh capital, including their triumph over England in September a year ago, a victory in the final game of a five-match ODI series that helped them avoid a 5-0 series defeat.

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"It's a cause of great pride and happiness for myself and for the entire Pakistan nation", said Sarfraz Ahmed after the semi-final triumph. Don't wish to get into the details on who won them the games.

Playing on the pitch which Pakistan had beaten Sri Lanka on only two days earlier, England failed to adjust to the slow, low surface and posted a meagre total of 211 all out.

"I don't think there was any home advantage, if that's what you're asking. So it was a big challenge and one that was too far for us", he said.

Fakhar hit Mark Wood for the first six of the match in the opening over of Pakistan's innings and he and Azhar played some delightful strokes in a fluent partnership.

Victories over South Africa and crucially Sri Lanka secured their place in the last four and they take their place in this weekend's showpiece thanks to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England.

"After the first loss, we were very down". We elected to bowl and chase again and that worked.

"I think the pitch was very good for both teams", he said.

"Every game is a knockout game and I told my boys to play their game and not worry about the result".

"Finishing third or fourth, I think that's about right where we sit in world cricket at the moment".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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