Pakistan defy all odds, cruise to Champions Trophy final for first time

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Image Courtesy AFP
Pakistan's Babar Azam bats during the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final cricket match between England and Pakistan in Cardiff on June 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Geoff CADDICK / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

CARDIFF: Pakistan made history as they comprehensively beaten the undefeated England on Wednesday and qualified for the final of the Champions Trophy final for the first time in history۔

Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali provided a great platform to Pakistan, scoring 118 for the first wicket. Zaman made 57 off 58 balls with seven 4’s and one six while Azhar scored 76 off 100 balls before being dismissed by Jake Ball.

It was a mere formality when Mohammad Hafeez walked in to take Pakistan to final of Champions Trophy for the first time.

Babar Azam scored 38 while Mohammad Hafeez made 31 off just 21 balls.

England were bowled out in the last over of the innings after Pakistani seamers rip through the middle order of the strong English line-up were bowled out in the last over of the innings after Pakistani seamers rip through the middle order of the strong English line-up.were bowled out in the last over of the innings after Pakistani seamers rip through the middle order of the strong English line-up.were bowled out in the last over of the innings after Pakistani seamers rip through the middle order of the strong English line-up.

Sent in on a used pitch after Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss, England found runs hard to come by, with no batsman making a fifty.

Joe Root top-scored with 46 and Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dropped opener Jason Roy, 43.

Hasan Ali continued his great form in the tournament, picking up three wickets while Rumman Raees and Junaid Khan picked up two each.

The fast bowlers were greatly supported by the spinners as Shadab Khan got one wicket while Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim bowled miserly.

Hasan Ali picked up the big wicket of Ben Stokes of a slow ball.Few overs earlier, Adil Rashid was run out by substitute fielder Ahmed Shahzad.

Such was Pakistan´s control that usually big-hitting England all-rounder Ben Stokes´s 34 took 64 balls and did not include a single boundary.

Junaid Khan struck again to dismiss Moeen Ali off a brilliant catch by Fakhar Zama. England were eight down for 201 in the 48th over.