Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan in final.

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Pakistan beat England by eight wickets in the first Champions Trophy semifinal on Wednesday.

Champions Trophy, semi-final, Cardiff:

England 211 (49.5 overs): Root 46, Bairstow 43, Hasan 3-35

Pakistan 215-2 (37.1 overs): Azhar 76, Fakhar 57

Pakistan won by eight wickets.

Champions Trophy 2017: Pakistan in final.

England struggled on a slow pitch against some brilliant Pakistan bowling and fielding, mustering only 211.Fakhar Zaman’s 57 launched Pakistan’s chase, while Azhar Ali made 76 as victory was sealed with 12.5 overs to spare.

Pakistan will play India or Bangladesh in Sunday’s final at The Oval.

Midway through the England innings, the game was delicately poised. The hosts had reached 118-2 with Morgan and Test captain Joe Root at the crease.

From there, though, Pakistan was imperious. Led by pace bowler Hasan Ali, who took 3-35, and backed up by some tigerish fielding that improved after Jonny Bairstow (43) was dropped twice, Sarfraz Ahmed’s team squeezed the host nation.

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Root was caught behind off 18-year-old leg-spinner Shadab Khan for a busy 46 and Morgan played a loose waft to edge Hasan and depart for 33.It began a regular fall of wickets around Ben Stokes, who failed to find the boundary in a 64-ball 34.

Moeen Ali was brilliantly caught at deep square leg by Fakhar, Adil Rashid was run out by sub fielder Ahmed Shehzad’s direct hit and, when Mark Wood was run out attempting a single to wicketkeeper Sarfraz, it completed a collapse of eight wickets for 83 runs.England’s hopes rested on taking early wickets, but they were punctured by the strokeplay of Fakhar, who threw everything at the new ball.

Facing a barrage of short deliveries, left-hander Fakhar was hit on the head by Wood, but also caused chaos with pulls to the boundary and a top edge over wicketkeeper Jos Buttler’s head for six.He shared 118 with Azhar before being stumped off Rashid, leaving Azhar to snuff out any hopes of an England revival in a stand of 55 with Babar Azam.

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Although Azhar was bowled by Jake Ball, Babar and Mohammad Hafeez accelerated towards the finish line. England was well beaten long before Hafeez pulled Stokes for the winning boundary.

India plays Bangladesh in the second semi-final in Birmingham on Thursday.

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