Pakistan stun England, reaches Champions Trophy final

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Pakistan defy all odds and make it into their first final in the history of the tournament as they beat England by 9 wickets at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

Mohammad Amir was sidelined with a back spasm, having been a key figure in Pakistan's virtual quarter-final win against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday.

Pakistan's progress to the last four, meanwhile, was anything but serene as they fell to a desperate 124-run hammering at the hands of fierce rivals India in their Group B opener before recovering commendably with victories over South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan outplayed their English opponents in all departments to clinch an easy eight-wicket victory in the first semifinal of the Champions Trophy on Wednesday.

Morgan's men reached 128 for two but faltered alarmingly to be bowled out for 211 as Hasan Ali (three for 35) exemplified an outstanding performance from the visitors' attack on a dry surface which suited them ideally.

Pakistan's more seasoned players like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez are yet to fire in the tournament and have so far been overshadowed by the young performers. According to our predictions, England will win today as they play in their home crowd.

"We certainly didn't want to be just making up the numbers in this competition, and we've shown that we weren't", said the South African, who took charge of Pakistan just prior to their tour of England a year ago.

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"One of the huge contributing factors towards topping our table and playing very good cricket in the group stages is that we've stayed true to what we believe in and what's worked for us the last couple of years, and I think that's the continued formula for the future", Morgan said.

Earlier Pakistan did wonderfully well in the field after they won the toss and elected to bowl first. Their bowlers bowl good lines, use the reverse swing well, the captain knows when to use which bowler, all the traits which are taught to you when you start cricket at the professional level.

Morgan said: "I don't think there was any home advantage".

Joe Root top-scored with 46 and Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dropped opener Jason Roy, 43.

"Pakistan bowlers bowled really well".

They will face the winners of today's clash between India and Bangladesh in Sunday's final.

"We played very well. I just said to Amir play your normal game", said Sarfraz who kissed the ground after hitting the winning runs.

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