Sports

CARDIFF – Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zamam’s brilliant opening stand lifted Pakistan’s to an easy 8-wicket win over England in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Wednesday.


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The Green Shirts tremendous win ensures a final berth in the mega event where they await the winner of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday (tomorrow).

Hard-hitter Fakhar Zaman was stumped after he completed his second ODI half-century to bring an end to his innings. Azhar continued with Babar Azam till he was bowled by Jake Ball in the 32nd over. He departed for 76. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez remained unbeaten on 38 and 31, respectively, to take Pakistan to the final.

Bowling first, Pakistan restricted England to 211 runs as Hasan Ali took three wickets in the crucial match. Sarfaraz’s men, after beating South Africa and Sri Lanka, were confident about their winning momentum against unbeaten hosts England.

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who played a crucial role in Pakistan’s sensational victory against Sri Lanka, is out with a back injury. PSL star Rumman Raees is playing in his place.

Young spinner Shadab Khan is in for all-rounder Fahim Ashraf.

Pakistan are playing their fourth semi-final of the tournament, having made past appearances in 2000, 2004 and 2009. England, on the other hand, have made it to the finals of the tournament in 2004 and 2013.

England Team
JM Bairstow, AD Hales, JE Root, EJG Morgan*, JC Buttler†, BA Stokes, MM Ali, AU Rashid, LE Plunkett, MA Wood, JT Ball

Pakistan Team

Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed*†, Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan