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Update: ICC Champions Trophy 2017 - Fixtures & News updates
Pakistan Stun Favourites England to Reach Champions Trophy Final

Cardiff: Pakistan saved their best for the last, as they stunned the much fancied England team to reach their first ever Champions Trophy final.

It was a dominating performance from the men in green as they coasted home with eight wicket in hand, chasing down the total of 212 with 77 balls remaining.

First, it was the bowlers who produced a brilliant performance to restrict the formidable England batting line-up to 211 after Sarfraz Ahmed opted to bowl on the pitch which was the same one used against Sri Lanka.

The star with the ball was once again pacer Hasan Ali, who ended up with a three wicket-haul for the third time in as many games. He was also awarded the man-of-the match.

It seemed Pakistani batsmen were batting on a different pitch during the chase as they cruised to complete the target in 37.1 overs, after openers Azhar Ali (76 off 100) and Fakhar Zaman (57 off 58) provided a perfect start.

The duo shared an 118-runs stand off 127 balls ensuring Pakistan gets home comfortably.

The remarkable result also made a mockery of pre-tournament talk and predictions as the eighth-ranked Pakistan pummeled title favourites England to reach the final at The Oval on Sunday.

Champions Trophy 2017: England vs Pakistan - As It Happened

They have always been an unpredictable side but England, the only undefeated in the league stage, were expected to get past the sub-continent squad with little difficulty.

The same England batsmen, who batted with flair and finesse through the tournament, came a cropper in a high stake semifinal. They found it hard to keep the scoreboard ticking and losing wickets at regular intervals made life tougher for them. Not a single six was hit in their innings.

Pakistan, on the contrary, came out for the chase with a plan.

Ali batted solidly while Zaman attacked from ball one despite being tested with a lot of short balls.

Zaman, playing only his third ODI, went for the big shots and even though he mishit a lot of them, kept on playing in the same vein. The southpaw ended hitting seven fours and a six, that came off a top edge over the wicket-keeper.

Thanks to openers' first hundred stand of the tournament, the inconsistent Pakistan middle order was not tested much.

Number three Babar Azam played sensibly for his unbeaten 38 off 45 balls and so did Mohammad Hafeez (31 off 21), who hit the winning boundary to spark wild celebrations.

Earlier, Pakistan pacers dished out a superb bowling effort to finish the England innings in 49.5 overs at the Sophia Gardens.

Besides Ali (3/35), the other bowlers who impressed were Junaid Khan (2/42) and debutant Rumman Raees (2/44).

Young spinner Shadab Khan (1/40) scalped one wicket, while Imad Wasim (0/16) and Mohammad Hafeez (0/33) also bowled well.

England rode on useful contributions from top-order batsmen - Joe Root (46), Jonny Bairstow (43) and captain Eoin Morgan (33) - but they kept losing wicket at regular intervals due to sustained pressure created by Pakistan bowlers.

In the end, Ben Stokes, who played an unusual knock of 34 off 64 balls, helped England cross the 200-run mark.

England were dealt an early blow when Hales was sent back by Raees with Babar Azam taking the catch in the sixth over.

Bairstow, who was brought in the playing XI in place of Jason Roy, and Root helped England reach fifty in 9.4 overs.

However, Bairstow top-edged one off Ali and Hafeez took an easy catch at deep square leg, leaving England at 80 for two.

Skipper Morgan then joined Root and the duo batted with purpose to bring up the hundred in 21.4 overs. The 48-run stand for the third wicket was broken by 18-year-old spinner, Shadab Khan, in the 28th over.

Looking to cut the ball, Root nicked it to wicket-keeper Sarfraz, as England were reduced to 128 for three.

Morgan, too, perished in the 32nd over - while looking to belt it down the ground, he ended up giving a simple catch to the keeper.

Seamer Junaid Khan then struck successive blows, dismissing Jos Butler (4) and Moeen Ali (11) in the 35th and 39th over, respectively, as England slumped to 162 for six.

The total seemed to give England hope, but Pakistan's big start to their innings extinguished any such hopes.

Pakistan can now have the chance to avenge their loss against India, if India overcomes Bangladesh in the second semi-final on Thursday.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
Thanks given by:
Comprehensive India Slaughter Bangladesh, Set Up Final Date With Pakistan

Birmingham: It was a classic case of the master giving a lesson to an upstart apprentice as India thrashed Bangladesh by 9-wickets to book a place in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. The high flying Bangla Tigers were brought back to the ground as the 'Men in Blue' outclassed their opposition with both bat and ball.

The victory also means India will take on Pakistan in the final on Sunday at The Oval in London, in what would be a first meeting between the arch-rivals in the final of an ICC 50-over tournament.

After their bowlers had restricted Bangladesh to a below par total of 264, the Indian top order of Rohit Sharma (123*), Shikhar Dhawan (46) and Virat Kohli (96*) made a mockery of the target, chasing it down with 59 balls to spare.

Bangladesh needed to put pressure on India by picking up early wickets but the old firm of Dhawan and Rohit didn't allow the opposition to make any in roads. Both batsmen attacked Mustafizur Rahman to defang the 'mystery' bowler early as runs came at a brisk pace for India.

Dhawan launched an aggressive attack in the eighth over as he hit Taskin Ahmed for two boundaries and a six, as the Bangladeshi paceman was guilty of pitching the ball too short.

The duo, who are the most successful opening pair in the history of Champions Trophy, were all-set to put on another century stand until Dhawan had a brain snap. He walked down the pitch to Mashrafe Mortaza in search of a boundary, that would take him to his fifty, but ended up getting a leading edge, which was caught at backward point, to depart for 46.

India had lost their first wicket with 87 runs on the board and Bangladesh sniffed an opportunity. But Rohit Sharma, in the company of Indian captain Virat Kohli, ensured Bangladesh never had a chance.

Kohli was authoritative as always, playing some delightful strokes off the front foot, while Rohit was elegance personified as he cut and flicked with elan. Bangladesh's bowlers lacked any teeth as the duo went about chasing the target with gay abandon.

Rohit brought up his 11th one-day century in style with a perfectly timed hook shot off the bowling of Mustafizur Rahman. Thereafter it was the Indian captain's turn to reach a landmark as he became the fastest to score 8000 runs in ODI cricket (175 innings), beating AB de Villiers' record by 7 innings.

India chased the target down on the first delivery of the 41st over with Virat Kohli hitting the winning boundary.

Earlier, Bangladesh flattered to deceive in their innings as a 123-run third wicket stand between opener Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim put the Tigers in a position from where they could have easily notched up a total in excess of 300.

Virat Kohli's decision to win the toss and bowl first was vindicated as Bhuvneshwar Kumar went past Soumya Sarkar's defense in the very first over as he cleaned up the southpaw for a duck.

Sabbir Rahman was the next man in and he took the attack to the duo of Bhuvneshwar and Jasprit Bumrah, playing an array of attacking shots to try and unsettle the seam bowling pair.

But a period of sustained pressure finally worked as Sabbir's desire to deal in boundaries backfired. Bhuvneshwar bowled a slower delivery short and wide outside the off-stump and in his desire to manufacture some power, the Bangladesh number 3 hit one straight to Jadeja at backward point.

With Sabbir gone for 19, Bangladesh were reduced to 31/2 and were in desperate need of a partnership. Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim — two of the team's most experienced batsmen — then got together to steady the ship.

The duo mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard ticking. Mushfiqur hit three consecutive boundaries on the last three deliveries of the 9th over, bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, to signal his intent.

Tamim Iqbal had got off to an uncharacteristically sedate start and could have returned to the pavillion in the 13th over as he played on to a Hardik Pandya delivery. But just as the bails were broken, the umpire signalled a no ball as Hardik had overstepped. Tamim rode on his luck and opened up soon.

The duo tackled Ashwin really well, playing the off-spinner late to negate the threat posed by him.

Both Mushfiqur and Tamim played attacking shots to ensure Bangladesh maintained a healthy run-rate. Tamim reached his half-century on the last delivery of the 19th over, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, as he played a reverse lap sweep that lobbed over the third man fielder to go to the fence.

Tamim then decided to target India's premier spinner, as he hit Ashwin for three consecutive boundaries in the 22nd over. India were under the pump and the mid-pitch meetings between Kohli and Dhoni started.

With Bangladesh notching up an impressive 142/2 at the end of the 25th over, it was time for Virat Kohli to change a few things and he gambled by bringing on Kedar Jadhav's part-time off-spin.

Jadhav bolwed a few rank looseners but was lucky that the shots were hit straight to the fielders as he gave only six runs in his first over. Mushfiqur Rahim brought up his half-century in the 27th over of the innings and Bangladesh looked on target to breach the 300-run mark as the platform was now set.

But Tamim's decision to attack Jadhav turned out to be a costly one. The southpaw was restless to get a big one off the part-timer and he went for a slog sweep off a short pitched delivery. Tamim failed to connect and was clean bowled for 70. Jadhav had struck and Kohli's master ploy had worked.

The in-form Shakib Al Hasan came out to bat next but took his time to get going as India started applying pressure on the new batsman. Shakib's stay in the middle was cut short, when his attempted square cut off Ravindra Jadeja found an inside edge and the ball got stuck in Dhoni's gloves. The left-hander departed for 15 as Bangladesh slipped to 177/4 in the 35th over.

Mushfiqur Rahim, the set batsman, decided to attack Jadhav in the very next over and ended up giving a simple catch to Virat Kohli to depart for 61. Mushfiqur's suicidal shot meant Bangladesh had now plummeted to 179/5. That wicket made it certain that Bangladesh had blown away the chance to post a total in excess of 300 runs.

Mahmudullah (21) and Mosaddek Hussain (15) tried to re-build in order to create a platform for a relaunch but Jasprit Bumrah's terrific death bowling put paid to those chances.

Bumrah got the better of Mosaddek with a short delivery and then cleaned up Mahmudullah with a yorker.

At one point it seemed Bangladesh might cave in under 250 runs but captain Mashrafe Mortaza's cavalier batting took the Tigers to a fighting total of 264/7.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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