Champions Trophy 1st Semi-final: Hasan steals the show as Pakistan eliminate England to qualify for Champions Trophy final

Hasan was named Man of the Match for his figures of 3-35 off 10 overs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Hasan Ali’s three-wicket haul helped Pakistan qualify for their first-ever Champions Trophy final after they demolished England by eight wickets in Cardiff.

Hasan was well supported by the opening duo of Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman, who made 76 and a career-best 57 respectively.

With Pakistan having made it to the final, they will play the winner of the second semi-final, which will be between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Choosing to bowl first, Pakistan struck in the sixth over when debutant Rumman Raees removed England opener Alex Hales for 13.

Just as England were beginning to recover, Jonny Bairstow was dismissed by Hasan for 43.

Joe Root managed to make 46 off 56 balls, which included two boundaries, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Shadab Khan.

England captain Eoin Morgan and all-rounder Ben Stokes were the only other batsmen to make decent contributions as England began to lose wickets at regular intervals, largely due to Hasan and Junaid Khan.

With Morgan scoring 33 and Stokes making 34, England managed to reach 211 before they were bowled out.

Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Junaid and Raees snapped up two wickets apiece. Shadab, meanwhile, chipped in with one.

Chasing 212 to win, Pakistan got off to a superb start as Zaman and Azhar amassed a 118-run partnership, during which both players brought up their fifties.

Fakhar struck his second half-century in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

With Pakistan racing towards the finish line, Adil Rashid provided the breakthrough England desperately needed when Zaman was stumped by Jos Buttler off his bowling for 57, which came off 58 balls and included seven boundaries and a six.

Azhar and Babar Azam kept the runs flowing with a 55-run stand before Azhar was clean bowled by Jake Ball for 76 off 100 deliveries, which included five boundaries and a six.

Azhar scored his 11th ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

That was to be England’s last taste of success as Azam and Mohammad Hafeez sealed the deal with an unbeaten 42-run partnership.

Azam finished on 38 off 45 balls, which included two boundaries and a six, while Hafeez remained undefeated on 31 off 21 deliveries, which included three boundaries and two sixes.

Rashid and Ball claimed one wicket each.

Morgan was gutted to be eliminated from the Champions Trophy, and said: “One thing we didn’t do was adapt to conditions, coming from Edgbaston to a used wicket, Pakistan did that well and played better. We did prepare, Pakistan bowled well but we didn’t adjust and 200 isn’t competitive, 250-270 would be a good score. [Used pitch in semi-final] It’s a test… There wasn’t [too much wrong].

“We bowled okay but 200 was well under par. We continue to learn, everything we did was calculated, but Pakistan had played on the wicket previously and that helped. You have to adapt in knockout cricket, so it’s an important lesson.”

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed was over the moon to advance to the final, and said: “We bowled very well and after that the batting was good too. Mohammad Amir wasn’t playing but Raees came in and did well. We elected to bowl and chase again [which worked]. After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game.

“[India rematch in the final?] Both teams are playing well, so we will play whoever gets through. [Hasan performance?] He’s very impressive, hopefully he will do that in the final. Whenever he comes on he’s getting wickets.”

Hasan was named Man of the Match, and said: “It’s a big match, so we focused on our bowling. [Improvements after India game?] My coach Azhar Mahmmod helped me a lot, he gave me the plan and I implemented it. [Prize wicket?] Morgan. Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday and I dedicate this to him.”

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