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19 Junio 2017, 06:07 | Gerardo Tarin
ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan embraced their drab yet effective identity to achieve success
Former Pakistani players appreciated their national team after they defeated hosts England to reach the final of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday.
Many wondered if a tricky chase might nonetheless be on the cards, but openers Azhar and Zaman made a mockery of that notion in a stand of 118.
"There will be a lot of talk about the Cardiff pitch after Pakistan dumped England out of the Champions Trophy". Set just 212 to win, Pakistan finished on 215 for two.
Pakistan - who are the lowest ranked team in the tournament - could now gain revenge over India for their opening-game defeat, but only if Virat Kohli's side can overcome Bangladesh in the second semi-final on Thursday.
Pakistan defeated England to qualify for the final of the 50-over tournament.
"Pakistan did that extremely well and full credit to them".
With ten wickets, Hasan is now the leading wicket-taker of the tournament.
A breakthrough finally came when Jos Buttler stumped Zaman for 56 off Adil Rashid's bowling, but a partnership of 55 between Azhar and Babar Azam kept the pain coming for England.
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. A top edge on the pull and it seemed that the ball would land safely.
Four members of Pakistan's XI on Wednesday - Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and Rumman Raees - have never played an worldwide match in their own country, and a one-off limited overs series against Zimbabwe in 2015 has been the only taste of home internationals for Azhar, Babar Azam, Imad Wasim and Junaid Khan.
Michael Atherton believes England failed to give a true account of themselves and "fluffed their lines" in their ICC Champions Trophy semi-final defeat to Pakistan. It was a clear mis-match but Pakistan were the superior team.
England didn't manage a single individual fifty in their innings.
He was well supported by left-arm pacer Junaid Khan and Rumman Raees who both scalped two-two wickets and kept the pressure on the English batsmen.
Of his narrow escape, he said: "That time I didn't see the hand of [bowler Lasith] Malinga. Getting England out for 211 is never easy because they have a wonderful balance to their side and we knew if we didn't take wickets they would score heavily", he added. Joseph Root fell when the score was 128 when he was in 46.
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But Amir's very next ball saw Kohli, aiming legside, get a leading edge to point where Shadab Khan made no mistake with the catch. He was reprieved on three, caught behind off a Bumrah no-ball, and went on to carve, slice and belt his way to a 92-ball century.
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I hope this result puts into perspective some of the rubbish that was spoken after Pakistan beat England in the semi-final. He was finally out in the 34th over , scoring 114 off 106 balls, including 12 boundaries and three sixes .
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Everything has been flowing. "Struck it well, hit a bunch of greens, and that's what you've got to do to play well around here". A four-time victor on the PGA Tour , Thomas was simply pleased to be in contention after his tremendous round.
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Johnny Miller owned the previous best round of eight-under 63 set en route to victory in the final round at the 1973 U.S. Someone can get out early and shoot a low score. "What I've done this week is unbelievable ", Koepka .
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We have a young team and credit to my boys". "Fakhar is a great impact player , he played like a champion batsman today". Within three overs , however, their reply was in tatters as Amir produced a devastating spell of bowling.