Cardiff pitch gave 'home advantage' to Pakistan: Eoin Morgan

16 June, 2017, 05:59 | Author: Douglas Reid

In marked contrast to their nail-biting chase in a three-wicket, virtual quarter-final, win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Monday, Pakistan then cruised to a total of 215 for two with a mammoth 77 balls to spare.

The tournament in England and Wales has not followed the script in the past week and a half.

The final is at The Oval on Sunday.

"One thing we didn't do was adapt to conditions, which I thought Pakistan did extremely well", England captain Eoin Morgan said.

I don't think so. "We knew that we were going to play on a used wicket at some stage in this tournament, and we found out the other day that today was going to be on a used wicket", Morgan had said. And having watched the game against Sri Lanka, we actually didn't think it was that bad.

"There is always big hype surrounding the semi-final matches but we have to stick to our game".

Pakistan would bowl brilliantly restricting the flow of runs and knocking England over for 211, a target they chased easily. Left-hander Fakhar hit a six - something England didn't manage in their entire innings - when a top-edge off fast bowler Mark Wood flew safe. And they did so in style, despite being without injured left-arm quick Mohammad Amir because of a back spasm.

Bayliss has often spoken about the four-year plan to build to the 2019 World Cup, with the Champions Trophy seen as a stepping stone, but the manner of England's one-sided exit against Pakistan will be a dent to the confidence of a team that had surfed a wave of run-scoring. "Obviously, he's our main bowler".

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Chances for the next best will come around in the Twenty20 series against South Africa that begins on Wednesday at the Rose Bowl near Southampton. They bowled really well, especially in the middle part, starting with Shadab. They themselves say that in the last couple of years. The hosts had reached 118-2 with Morgan and Test captain Joe Root at the crease.

Root and Bairstow looked relatively comfortable in adding 46 for the second wicket before Bairstow, who had got bogged down, top edged a delivery from Hassan and was caught at deep square leg.

Seamer Junaid Khan then struck successive blows, dismissing Jos Butler (4) and Moeen Ali (11) in the 35th and 39th over, respectively, as England slumped to 162 for six.

In this tournament, India defeated Pakistan in their first match.

"Today was a ideal performance from all departments", said Ali.

"We are just concentrating on this match and we will try to play at our best", he added.

Even usually big-hitting all-rounder Ben Stokes - fresh from an unbeaten century against Australia at Edgbaston - took 64 balls to make a 34 that, remarkably, did not include a solitary boundary.

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. It was a major disappointment for England, who won all three group matches in their bid to claim a first global 50-over title and had beaten Pakistan in 12 of their last 14 one-day internationals.

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