2017 ICC Champions Trophy: Pakistan Bowlers Strike To Skittle Batting-Heavy England At 211
Different story this time, as England have set a target of 212 runs for Pakistan, in the first semi-final clash of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday after Men in Green’s bowlers put on a remarkable show before moments of brilliance wrapped up the Three Lions innings at 211 in 49.5 overs at the Sophia Gardens in Welsh capital Cardiff.
The last man to go for England was Mark Wood (3 off 5), who was well short of his crease after Sarfraz threw the ball to hit the stumps, as Jake Ball remained unbeaten on two off five deliveries.
Hasan Ali was the pick of the bowler, who bagged three wickets after conceding 35 runs in his quota of ten overs, as Junaid Khan and Rumman Raees claimed two each which further saw Shadab Khan claiming a prized scalp of Joe Root.
Ben Stokes, who played a pivotal role in the past, struggled while batting against Pakistan, the left-handed batsman posted 64-ball 34 which didn’t include a boundary which shows how well Pakistan bowled.
Stokes was eventually caught by Mohammad Hafeez on the bowling off Hasan Ali. Liam Plunkett (9 off 14) was caught by Azhar Ali on the bowling of the 25-year-old Raees.
Earlier, Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and opted to field first which proved to be vital for the visitors as they picked wickets at regular intervals against batting-heavy England.
While new opening batsman Jonny Bairstow, who came at the expense of out-of-form Jason Roy, gave a steady start to England, before losing out swashbuckling Alex Hales on the bowling of debutant left-arm medium faced Rumman Raees, who replaced injured Mohammad Amir.
The right-handed Hales (13 off 13) was caught in the cover region by Babar Azam after the later tried to go over the thirty-yard circle after putting 34 on board for the first wicket in 5.5 overs.
Having a different tactic to rely on, Sarfraz Ahmed brought early changes as the hosts’ batsmen were defensive in approach against Pakistan slow bowlers.
At one stage, England was cruising at 127 for two in 27 overs with the loss of two wickets, but coming right back into the game, Pakistani bowlers pitched the ball in right areas on a surface which seem doing a bit.
Mohammad Hafeez and Shadab Khan, who replaced bowling all-rounder led from the front to put brakes on the run-rate in the middle-overs which further saw Hasan Ali use his variations quite well against the quality batting side.
However, batting mainstay Joe Root knitted a 46-run partnership for the second wicket before Bairstow’s top-edge straight went under the throat of Mohammad Hafeez at the deep square leg
Bairstow smashed 43 off 57 balls as his innings included four boundaries.
Root (46 off 56), who was looking to build the innings, was caught by Sarfraz Ahmed on the bowling Shadab Khan after he tried to cut the ball.
Skipper Eoin Morgan, who was slow with the bat, went for a big shot which further saw the ball taking the faint edge – to see Sarfraz completing a regulation catch.
Morgan scored 33 off 53 balls which included four boundaries at the strike-rate of 62.26.
Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler (4 off 7) was dismissed cheaply by left-arm fast bowler Junaid Khan when Sarfraz completed a simple catch.
Moeen Ali (11 off 14) was brilliantly caught by Fakhar Zaman while diving full to complete a superb catch in the deep.
Substitute Ahmed Shehzad affected a brilliant run-out as he found Adil Rashid well short of his crease when he was batting on 7 off 13 deliveries.
England 1st innings 211 all-out in 49.5 overs
Joe Root 46 off 56 balls
Jonny Bairstow 43 off 57 balls
Hasan Ali 3 for 35 in 10 overs.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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