Sarfraz Ahmed expecting tough test when Pakistan take on England

The Green Shirts tremendous win ensures a final berth in the mega event where they await the victor of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Thursday (tomorrow). For an addition of another 63 runs, the team lost another 5 wickets and before everyone thought that Pakistan will choke to defeat, Sarfraz gave the crucial stand the team needed.

Openers Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) then helped knock off the inadequate total with nearly 13 overs and eight wickets to spare as England bowed out of their own tournament at the semi-final stage.

Pakistan certainly made far harder work than they ought to have done of getting to the knockout stage in a winner-takes-all clash given they bowled Sri Lanka out for 236, with pacemen Junaid Khan (3-40) and Hasan Ali (3-43) doing the bulk of the damage.

Requiring under five runs an over, Pakistan set about their task in clinical fashion as Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali delivered a 74-run opening partnership.

And their fans could have been forgiven for thinking the worst when Pakistan suffered a 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals and title-holders India in their Group B opener, with Arthur himself branding the team's performance "shambolic".

When asked how Pakistan managed to score at 5.7 runs an over on the same surface that England had managed just 211 on in nearly 50 overs, Morgan replied: "I think the explanation is they played two days ago on it".

Last year, England has thrashed Pakistan 4-1 in an ODI series at home and host will look to repeat this in this match.

Tensions did rise for Pakistan when Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez and Ali all fell within 18 runs of one another, and coach Mickey Arthur's side hit a mid-match lull in tempo that threatened to throw off their pursuit. When asked how Pakistan were preparing for a game against the hosts and tournament favourites, he played down any possibility that they were daunted by the challenge.

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But he said a semi-final could not be the summit of Pakistan's ambitions, with an all Asian final against either India or Bangladesh, who play Thursday, in their sights.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said before the semi-final that if his side played their "best game" they could "put pressure" on England.

Pakistan have shown a remarkable improvement in their fielding since the India match.

Pairing them together just left Pakistan's middle order too much to do in terms of upping the run-rate - something it's poorly equipped to do due to a lack of power hitters.

Despite being in a promising position on 128-2, they collapsed to 211 all out, with Ben Stokes, so destructive against Australia, toiling away with 34 off 64 balls as the runs dried up.

"I don't think there was any home advantage", Morgan said.

Young spinner Shadab Khan is in for all-rounder Fahim Ashraf. "It's unfortunate that Jason didn't get runs", said Morgan.


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