CT 17:Sarfraz leads by example, takes Pakistan to the semis


Morgan denied that England had been complacent after dominant victories over Bangladesh, New Zealand and world champions Australia in the group stage and a run of 11 wins in their last 12 one-day internationals.

Pakistan were thrashed by 124 runs by defending champions India in the first group match in the eight-team tournament, but rebounded quickly to beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to qualify for their third Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Morgan hoped his bowlers could pull off a trick or two when Pakistan went in to bat but openers Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) made sure of victory with a first-wicket stand of 118.

"After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game".

"It was a golden chance for us to win something and all we can do now is keep looking towards that World Cup and use this as a really good platform", Root said.

"We're playing the first time in our life in a semi-final, so that is a fact, but also if it's pressure, I think India have got more pressure than us because the huge population is there, and people love cricket in India a lot", he said.

"But if we are under pressure then I think India are under more pressure compared to us due to their huge population and the love for the game among common public", he said. "We know everyone's calibre and if you do well we will praise you and vice-versa".

"It's no surprise any more to anyone that they are doing really well", Kohli added.

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India surged into a second successive Champions Trophy final by beating Bangladesh in front of 24,340 fans - a ODI record at Edgbaston - to set up a final with Pakistan.

Medium-fast Rumman Raees took 2-44 off nine overs on an impressive ODI debut, being called up late to replace Mohammad Amir.

Sohail apparently insinuated that bookies fixed these matches to make Pakistan and India face each other in the finals. Certainly over the next few weeks I'm going to get my head around that and all the challenges that's going to bring and more importantly all the opportunities it's also going to bring.

"I think the conditions did have a part to play and I thought the Pakistanis used them extremely well".

When he was asked as to how Pakistan managed to score on the same surface that England had managed just 211, Morgan said, "I think the explanation is they played two days ago on it".

But, the star batsman, England's Test skipper, is determined to continue their swashbuckling performance in 2019 World Cup at home.

When those failed to materialise through poor timing and failure to adapt to the slower pitch, they were scuppered - particularly given an indisciplined bowling display with far too much width on offer. "It was good for both teams", he said. We bowled okay but 200 was well under par.

He adds it means the team are out of a tournament they could have won: "They had all bases covered: powerful batting and a bowling attack full of variety and wicket-takers - a team of match-winners".