Champions Trophy: Pakistan fined for slow over-rate against Sri Lanka


It was only an unbeaten record eighth-wicket stand between captain Sarfraz Ahmed (61*) and tail ender Mohammad Amir, worth 75, that saw Pakistan over line in a tense finish. But now it is among four best teams in the tournament surpassing South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

In the first semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Pakistan's bowling unit surprised the host nation England, with some brilliant bowling.

If we go by the odds, the battle between England and Pakistan will not be short on the entertainment factor as the two sides had a long history of creating some indelible memories on the cricket field.

Bairstow was dropped on 27 when Azhar Ali failed to hold a tough chance at mid-wicket off a pull against Rumman and again on 42 when Azhar, this time at slip, couldn't cling on to another hard catch.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed says his team is feeling more positive and confident than ever ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal against England despite concerns about its fragile middle order. Sarfraz rescued Pakistan from a precarious position of 162/7 while chasing 237, to set up a semi-final date against England.

It then needed an "ugly" win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday to take Pakistan into the last four of a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day worldwide sides.

First Meet in Champion Trophy - 0 No. of times Pak and Eng played each other in Champions Trophy, before today. They can get those extra runs in the first 10 overs.

Joe Root and Morgan continued to score at about five runs an over but Root, on 46, nicked leg-spinner Shadab Khan to wicketkeeper Sarfraz and Morgan (33) aimed an expansive drive at the lively Hasan and gave Sarfraz another catch to leave England in trouble at 4-141.

There were to be no sixes for anyone, in fact, on this small playing area during an England innings in which the last eight wickets were lost for 83 runs.

Sarfraz played a stellar role in Pakistan's three-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in a virtual quarterfinal, which yet again exemplified their unpredictable side, before managing to scrape through.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez remained not out on 38 and 31, respectively.

"I think we've started brilliantly", said Morgan.

Bangladesh have so far rode their experienced players' performances to book a semi-final berth albeit some assistance from rain in the game against Australia where they were down in the dumps when the skies opened up and points were split.