Pak qualified for the final beating hosts England

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CARDIFF: Pakistan qualified for the final of the Champions Trophy for the first time in history, beating hosts England in the semifinal at Cardiff on Wedneday.

Opening batsmen Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman added 118 runs together on the board to put Pakistan to victory۔

Fakhar provided a great platform to Pakistan, scoring 57 off 58 balls with seven 4’s and one six.

Azhar Ali scored 76 off 100 balls before being dismissed by Jake Ball.

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

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

Pacer Hasan Ali, the star of the day, was named the Man of the Match for picking up three crucial England wickets for 35 runs.

“We focused on our bowling. My coach Azhar Mahmood helped me a lot, he gave me the plan and I implemented it,” said Hasan Ali as he received the award.

“Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday and I dedicate this to him.”

England were bowled out in the last over of the innings after Pakistani seamers ripped 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.

England’s fourth wicket fell when Hasan Ali struck again to dismiss skipper Eoin Morgan (33).

Young spinner Shadab Khan dismissed Joe Root to end a promising partnership between the prolific batsman and Eoin Morgan.

Earlier, Hasan Ali ended Jonny Bairstow’s innings (43) as Pakistan continued to keep the English batting on the backfoot.

Rumman Raees picked up the wicket of opener Alex Hales (13) in the sixth over of the innings. The wicket came after both England openers had survived early LBW scares by the Pakistani pace attack.

For the second time in three days in Cardiff, Sarfraz won the toss and elected to field on what was now a used pitch.

“We would have batted first anyway,” said England captain Eoin Morgan at the toss. “Throughout the competition, this pitch has shown to be better to set a target than chase one.

“Pakistan can beat any team in the competition on their day so we´re preparing for their best,” the top-order batsman added.

Pakistan suffered a blow as Mohammad Amir was ruled out of the Champions Trophy semi-final against England at Cardiff.

Amir was replaced by fellow left-arm seamer Rumman Raees, making his ODI debut.

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