In 47 ODIs since their abject failure at the 2015 World Cup, England batsmen have scored 25 centuries, compared with 22 in 88 matches during the previous four years.

The final will take place on June 18th at the Oval, in London.

Hasan Ali got his second big wicket of the match by striking the wicket of England captain Eoin Morgan at 33.

“We just motivated the guys – “don’t worry about the India match, it’s gone … if we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament”.

It is a contest where the team to beat England take on an unpredictable Pakistan. With Mark Wood at number 10, who is not a pushover, England possess one of the deepest batting line-up in the tournament, yet a formidable bowling attack too.

England opener Alex Hales got the first review bang on and saved himself from getting dismissed after umpire ruled out in the favour of the bowler Rumman Raees, playing his first ODI.

And all that was done without their most risky bowler Mohammad Amir, who had to sit this semifinal out with a back spasm.

Morgan came closest to doing so when he said: “There’s a chance we could make a change”. Since his debut, all of Pakistan’s remaining bowlers have a combined seven three-fors.

Adil Rashid bowled his best ODI figures against Australia, 4-41.

Sarfraz revealed the key conversation he had with Amir in between the wickets that helped the bowler keep his nerves. “They bowled really well”, he said.

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.

Hassan, who with ten wickets is now the tournament’s leading wicket-taker, was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his brilliant performance with the ball.

And when dangerman Jos Buttler (four) was caught behind off a Junaid delivery that nibbled off the pitch, England had lost three wickets for 20 runs. Junaid (3-40) added to the mid-order carnage as Sri Lanka, who had begun breezily to reach 82-1 from 14 overs, could do little more than see out their overs to post a disappointing 236 all out, with Hasan Ali also weighing in with 3-43.

He confirmed that, despite their setback, England’s long-term ambition to win the 2019 World Cup remains on track.

Babar Azam (38) and Mohammad Hafeez (31) just completed the formalities after the fall of the duo and the game was over in the first ball of the 38th over.

Pakistan had to hold their nerves to clinch a narrow three-wicket win against the Angelo Mathews-led side in their do-or-die Champions Trophy fixture and eventually seal the semi-final spot at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Monday.


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