Pakistan beat England a year back at Cardiff. England, this time was with a strong form winning back to back in Champions Trophy, but the Cardiff tussle with Pakistan did not change. In the first semifinal of this tournament a rejuvenated Pakistan beat England by eight wickets sparing more than 13 overs. Pakistan’s inroad to grand finale cannot be more emphatic than this. All England could do in the inning was to pull up their sluggish score. There was not a single six in the inning overpowered by Pakistan bowler. The Cardiff pitch helped Pakistan in a unique way in both bowling as well as batting. There were reverse swings in pace deliveries, which England bowlers just could not do.
It is the first instance since the last world cup when England largely slogged behind 300 plus score in ODI. Eoin Morgan, the skipper, truly said the team did not prepare for a used pitch. However, such excuses do not matter. England’s inning never caught a momentum. By more than half bowled the team could only cross the 100th mark. They did not lose wickets much until the first 30 overs, but the run rate was disappointing.
Once English batsmen started to lash Pakistan’s deliveries, they began to lose wickets as well. From 3 for 127 in 28 over, the team fell to 162 for 6 in 39th. Each of Pakistan’s bowler played with intense discipline finishing with excellent figures. Only Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root score 40 plus runs, but never made it out to half centuries.
Pakistan’s inning was stronger from beginning till end. England bowlers scrambled to the opening partnership between Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman, which indicated their happy ending. The players partnered for 21 overs bringing 118 runs. It was more than just the foundation, it was more than half the chase. Zaman, the ODI debutant, scored 57 off 58, while Azhar played 32.2 overs adding 76. Pakistan had to bat only 37 overs to chase down the less than decent score of England. The victory for Pakistan will be a massive rejuvenation of cricket in the nation. It is a milestone.
India and Pakistan ready to battle in Asia Cup
India lining up the bests for Asia Cup
India ready with new squad for Test series
Outstanding Root keeps Series at home thumping
India, England ready for ‘Pressure less’
Pakistan’s intense attack sets Zimbabwe on
Sri Lanka Captain, Manager and Coach suspended
India’s Wrist Spin ensemble to undergo big test
Nepal to play maiden ODI against Netherland in
India wraps up T20 Series against England winning
Shaw-Agarwal pair relieves India A with a strong
West Indies topples Bangladesh at 62 for 6 by end
ICC hardens Codes of Conduct; Ball Tempering will
Kemar Roach slogs Bangladesh to their lowest ever
Finch’s record knock hands greatest T20