Zaman, Ali help Pakistan storm into Champion’s Trophy final

Zaman, Ali help Pakistan storm into Champion's Trophy final

England top order batsman Joe Root admitted that England missed a “golden chance” to end their long wait for a maiden one-day worldwide title after a crushing eight-wicket Champions Trophy semi-final defeat to Pakistan in Cardiff.

While India and Pakistan contest the Champions Trophy final, England and South Africa prepare for their three-match T20 series, knowing they still do not have what it takes to win a one-day global trophy.

Hasan has bounced back from that onslaught by taking three wickets from each of his next three games, including 3-35 at Sophia Gardens on Wednesday as Pakistan thrashed England by eight wickets in the semifinals.

In marked contrast to their nail-biting chase in a three-wicket, virtual quarter-final, win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday, Pakistan then cruised to a total of 215 for two with a mammoth 77 balls to spare.

“I was not expecting us to bowl them out for 210, but we thought if we won the toss, elected to bowl first, [we could] restrict them to 260, 270″.

Pakistan will meet either India or Bangladesh in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday. “After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game”. “Now we are in the final”, he said.

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

“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 good to have that feeling, we don’t play at home, so whenever we get a crowd supporting us we love it. Thanks to the crowd for coming and they’ve been brilliant”, he added.

England, previously the only unbeaten team in the tournament and huge favourite to defeat Pakistan, was bowled out for just 211 here on Wednesday.

Imran Khan, the legendary allrounder who guided Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup final, predicts an Indo-Pak final even though Virat Kohli’s men still have to overcome Bangladesh in the semi-final.

“We ve played some really good cricket throughout the whole of this summer, and it was frustrating not being able to do it (in the semi-final)”. So it was a big challenge and one that was too far for us. And now that they’re in it, Pakistan fans want a rematch against India.

Big-hitting Stokes was in a restrained mood, failing to hit a single boundary and scoring 11 singles at the start.

“The turnaround is built on the inclusion of youngsters and it could only be done by a Pakistan team”, said Ramiz Raja, an ex-Pakistan captain who now works as a cricket commentator.