ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan stun England to win by 8 wickets and reach final against India or Bangladesh

England were the overwhelming favourites to reach the final on home soil but were thrashed by a resurgent Pakistan side, who dismissed the hosts for just 211 to win by 8 wickets

Chris Stocks
Sophia Gardens
Wednesday 14 June 2017 17:17
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England crashed out to Pakistan on home soil
England crashed out to Pakistan on home soil

England always knew one bad performance could spell the end of their Champions Trophy dream. They just did not expect it to come against Pakistan or for it to cost them a place in the final.

Having won all three group games on their way to reaching the last four, Eoin Morgan’s team saved their worst to last as Pakistan belied their status as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament to pull off a shock victory.

Having fully exploited a sluggish used pitch to restrict this power-packed England batting line-up to 211, Pakistan, the world’s No.8 ODI team, chased down their target with eight wickets and 77 balls to spare.

Their reward is a place in Sunday’s final against India or Bangladesh, who contest the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday. If, as expected, India prevail expect fireworks and a tinderbox atmosphere at The Oval.

Pakistan, of course, started this tournament with a woeful display against India at Edgbaston. But they are peaking at the right time having now seen off South Africa, Sri Lanka and England in successive matches.

England's good form ended against Pakistan

It’s not quite back to the drawing board for England. But this defeat has brought home the brutal reality of knockout cricket to a group of players whose form over the two years since the last World Cup had seen them enter this tournament as favourites.

So, England’s wait for a first major 50-over title goes on. But this match should act as a useful lesson – and motivating factor – when they host the next World Cup in two years’ time.

This was the first time the two teams had met in a knockout match at a major tournament since Pakistan’s memorable victory in the 1992 World Cup final.

Just as then, England were favourites and that status was only enhanced by the last-minute back spasm that ruled Pakistan pace spearhead Mohammad Amir out of this match.

Bairstow may have justified his selection by posting 43

Any English complaints about this pitch then should be counterbalanced by the fact they were still playing at home and against opponents who were without arguably their best bowler.

They can’t even complain about bad luck given they enjoyed their fair share during an innings that started with Jonny Bairstow narrowly surviving an lbw review to the second ball of the match and the fact Pakistan put down three catches.

England, using Bairstow as an opener for the first time after he replaced the out-of-form Jason Roy, had reached a promising 52 for one after 10 overs.

The only loss up to that point came when Alex Hales hit ODI debutant Rumman Raees to cover.

Hasan Ali was sensational for Pakistan (Getty )

Progress was proving slow going, though, for a team whose usual aggressive batting style was stymied by the pitch and some excellent bowling.

Bairstow may have justified his selection by posting 43 before he was caught at deep square off the excellent Hasan Ali, England now 80 for two in the 17th over.

However, he had used up three lives by then – surviving that early review and drops on 27 and 42.

Joe Root and Morgan put on 48 for the third wicket but that partnership was ended in the 28th over when Root, on 46, edged behind an attempted cut to leg-spinner Shadab Khan.

Root was England's top-scorer

England were now 128 for three. And they were 148 for five by the end of the 35th over when Pakistan wicketkeeper and captain Sarfraz Ahmed took two more catches - Morgan, advancing down the pitch to Hasan on 33, and Jos Buttler, squared up by Junaid Khan.

Moeen Ali, hooking Junaid to deep square, and Rashid, run out by a brilliant direct hit, both departed to leave the hosts on 181 for seven in the 44th over.

At least England could take solace from the fact Ben Stokes was still in. Yet this was not the all-rounder who smashed a brilliant unbeaten hundred against Australia at Edgbaston four days earlier.

This time Stokes failed to hit a single boundary from 64 balls, scoring 34 before holing out to Hasan.

Mohammad Hafeez celebrates Pakistan's victory

Liam Plukett and Mark Wood followed to wrap up an abject innings, England losing their final seven wickets for 83 runs. They had scored just 15 boundaries - compared to 99 in their previous three matches.

There was at least hope they could defend their total given Pakistan had only passed 200 once in the tournament.

That hope was extinguished by openers Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman coasting to 100 inside 18 overs.

In the process Fakhir posted his second successive half-century – in just his second ODI.

Azhar got their too not long after.

Even the loss of both openers, Fakhar stumped off Rashid and Azhar bowled by Ball via an inside edge, couldn’t stop Pakistan’s momentum as Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez guided their side home with ease.

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