Pakistan reach ICC Champions Trophy final after surprise victory over England


Nasser Hussain said it was "disrespectful" to Pakistan to blame England s shock eight-wicket Champions Trophy semi-final defeat on a used Cardiff pitch.

Mohammad Hafeez (R) and Babar Azam walks back to the pavilion after Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final cricket match between England and Pakistan.

England captain Eoin Morgan said his team did not simply adapt to the conditions.

He said: "I think for the first part of our innings, we played pretty well". "Certainly, I think we're moving in the right direction".

England's batsmen - who have dazzled in the two years following the 2015 World Cup, scoring over 300 a world-leading 23 times - were bowled out for just 211 in the face of some quality seam bowling in Cardiff.

But within touching distance of a first global 50-over title after three victories in the group stage, they crumbled limply to 211 all out and the bowlers failed to fire as Pakistan strolled to their target with almost 13 overs to spare.

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Root, who is the Test skipper, said of the match: "We can make excuses, we can say the wicket was more favourable to Pakistan".

Morgan insisted they can still take positives from the tournament with the World Cup here in 2019 and with England yet to win a global 50-over tournament. 'I know you guys had us as favourites for this competition but that wasn't the opinion of the team nor me.

"At the same time, Pakistan's bowling, I thought, was exceptional".

"It's a big challenge jumping from venue to venue but we're going to have to do that with the World Cup so it's important for us to go through games like today (Wednesday) for our experience", added the former Irish star. "Certainly that hasn't gone to our heads at all", Morgan said.

India will play Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday. However, England's advancements have been so significant that it now has to class as a significant opportunity lost to add to a trophy cabinet, whose only ICC silverware is the 2010 World T20. "Pakistan bowled well but we didn't manage to adjust with the bat".

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.