Waqar lashes out at England skipper Morgan for pitch complaint

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 19, 2017

It motivates you to give the best when you see the expectation from fans back home.

Chasing a below-par 212, Pakistan on Wednesday rode on a brilliant 118-run opening stand between Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) before Babar Azam (38 not out) and Ali helped the team with a 55-run second-wicket partnership to set their date with the victor of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh, on Sunday.

Of course, the Champions Trophy isn't quite a World Cup, but Pakistan qualified as the eighth and last team for the tournament and, this evening, Sarfraz held the trophy.

While Sarfraz could hardly contain himself, India captain Virat Kohli was gracious despite the margin being an embarrassing (and unbelievable) 180 runs.

Some players were allowed to play in the IPL to further prepare and the domestic season was restructured so those players not in India could play white-ball cricket. Despite their attempts to salvage the situation, they could not adapt to the conditions nor the Pakistani bowling.

I've just played one game with a pink ball before in Dubai but I will have to get used to it because it looks like there's going to be a lot of day-night cricket in the future.

Virat didn't stop there in acknowledging that things just didn't go right for India.

"After the first loss, we were very down". Fakhar Zaman with his aggressive intent ensured that wasn't the case, and on a pretty good batting surface, the odds are hugely stacked in favour of the chasing side when you are only looking at 212.

"Sometimes, you have to accept and admire the skill of the opposition". It may have been nerves, but mostly "the skill, variety and verve of Pakistan's fast bowlers proved to be too good for England's batsmen, who were confounded by a mixture of reverse-swing, yorkers, bouncers and slower balls".

Barring Zimbabwe, no other country has visited Pakistan after the terror strike on the Sri Lanka team bus in March 2009. As he prepared for the semi-final, coach Mickey Arthur appeared less enamoured with a description he seems happy to consign to history.

"Whilst we can say that we had nothing to lose when we came into the Champions Trophy, but make no mistake, we were in it to win it as well". Zaman has provided #Pakistan some electrifying starts. Even the best bowlers go the distance these days. "But then, the board member was unofficially told that English has nothing to do with it and that Kapil paji would do what he needed to - win matches for India", he recalls. "As a result, the bar was set very high for this tournament, and they've failed to deliver -- that's the brutal truth of sport".

A few words on Aamir (three for 16).

Sohail was himself at the heart of the match-fixing scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket in the late 1990s. With some of the strongest teams - on paper at least - knocked out early including South Africa and Australia, England had a great chance to win their first global one-day tournament.

Maybe, had Hardik Pandya not been run out at a time he was blazing away, India could have come much closer to the target.

Their Champions Trophy squad contained just two players over the age of 30 so there will be no mass exodus of players ahead of the next World Cup.

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