Pakistan, the first team to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, after they defeated England quite comfortably in front their home crowd. Bowling, fielding and batting today were just impressive by the Pakistanis. Some catches looked very impossible to take, however they made it look so easy. In addition there were two remarkable runouts by Sarfraz Ahmed and substitute Ahmed Shehzad, which removed the wickets of Mark Wood and Adil Rashid.
With their incredible bowling they restricted England to a pretty low score bowling them all out for 211 (49.5 overs). Yet again Hasan Ali was the key to the Pakistanis bowling as he picked up 3-35 from his 10 overs, he is now the leading wicket taker for the tournament with 10 wickets. The other 5 bowlers that were used surely didn’t disappoint today as they kept the bowling tight and helped with limiting the English men.
England’s batting was surely not up to standards today, running in between the wickets were also very hesitant. They played some unnecessary and cheap shots which lead to them being caught quite easily. Leading the way for the English batsmen today were Joe Root who top scored with 46 runs, and Jonny Bairstow who contributed with 43 runs. Coming down to the end of the innings Ben Stokes was the only batsmen that was trying to restore the innings as he made 31 from some 64 balls. The remaining batsmen couldn’t even get into double figures, the Pakistani bowlers were just too strong for England today.
Chasing down a target of 212 to move into the finals, the Pakistanis openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman got off to a very quick start. These two will share a 118 runs partnership with both batsmen getting to half centuries. They were destroying the English bowlers in front their home crowd. Striking the ball perfectly, getting the boundaries and great running in between the wickets, the Pakistanis were surely on top. The English will get their revenge though as Zaman (57 runs) was stumped out by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler with the bowling of Adil Rashid. With the loss of Zaman the Pakistanis continued to flourish as they were getting closer and closer to their target. Ali top scored with 76 runs before he was bowled by Jake Ball. A miracle needed to take place if England was ever going to come back to win this match. Pakistan got to their target quite comfortably in 37.1 overs, ending on 215 with the loss of 2 wickets.
We now wait for the outcome of the second semifinal between Bangladesh and India, to see who will join Pakistan in the final match of the tournament on June 18th.