Pakistan thrash England to enter final

England take on Pakistan in the Champions Trophy semi-finals in Cardiff on Wednesday

Cardiff on Wednesday, witness something special, after Pakistan marched into the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy, thrashing the hosts England by eight wickets.

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's a big frustration because I think we've played some great cricket in this tournament so far, and we weren't anywhere close to it today.

Asked how that came about, Morgan said: "I think the explanation is they played two days ago on it".

But within touching distance of a first global 50-over title after three victories in the group stage, they crumbled limply to 211 all out and the bowlers failed to fire as Pakistan strolled to their target with almost 13 overs to spare.

Pakistan had played in Cardiff on Monday, beating Sri Lanka in what was a virtual quarter-final, and Morgan added: "Pakistan did that (adapt) extremely well and full credit to them".

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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"England got stuck in the middle period after starting well, and then were well set at 100-2 but we lost our way in the middle period". I don't think we were used to it. "After two years of positive one-day batting, that is the biggest disappointment", read his column.

Ranting on the team live on TV, Sohail slammed Sarfraz Ahmed for overblown praises for the team for beating England while insinuating that "external forces" were responsible for Pakistan's victory. "But you have to adapt in knockout cricket, so it's an important lesson".

"Credit goes to Sarfraz and the way he led the team, we kept taking wickets and kept the run-rate in check". They outplayed us today on this wicket.

Bangladesh and India face off on Thursday for a place in an all-Asian Champions Trophy final against Pakistan which takes place at the Oval on Sunday.

"I think we need to continue playing exactly as we are and just get better at it".

"Shadab Khan has that bit of mystery - he can spin it both ways, and we've seen traditionally in this type of cricket, legspinners can do well - but on this ground, Hafeez, who is an orthodox offspinner, could have been targeted".

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