ICC Champions Trophy: Eoin Morgan unbowed as befuddled England fluff their lines

Ross Houston
June 19, 2017

Pakistan advanced to the International Cricket Council Champions Trophy final on the back of a superb bowling performance and a century opening stand, as they crushed England by eight wickets in their semi-final clash in Cardiff yesterday.

"I think, going into today's (Wednesday's) game knowing that we were going to play on a used wicket potentially brought Pakistan's game closer to their home (conditions)", he said.

"One thing we didn't do was adapt to conditions, which I thought Pakistan did extremely well", said England captain Eoin Morgan.

If they want it to be completely neutral ground and bring all the teams into the tournament, which, you know, would have no home advantage, I would keep it the same way. "It's a big challenge jumping from venue to venue but we're going to have to do that with the World Cup so it's important for us to go through games like today for our experience".

"But certainly today it was - coming from Edgbaston, it was obviously a big jump in pace and bounce and too much of an ask for us to adjust to really", he added.

The unpredictable Pakistani side bowled and fielded tightly to restrict the host to an underwhelming total of 221 all out and the lowest-ranked team in the tournament knocked off the runs in style with a massive 12.5 overs to spare ending England's quest to secure their first trophy in a 50-over global tournament. They just did not expect it to come against Pakistan or for it to cost them a place in the final.

Morgan was part of the England side who lost the final of this tournament to India four years ago, when they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

'We were disappointed not to beat Pakistan because we had been playing well enough but we still have a bit of work to do.

Bairstow was dropped on 27 when Azhar Ali failed to hold a tough chance at mid-wicket off a pull against Rumman and again on 42 when Azhar, this time at slip, couldn't cling on to another hard catch.

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.

"This doesn't feel great at the minute but there's a lot of cricket still to play this summer, and we've got to make sure we're right for that".

Pakistan will now play eight India or Bangladesh in the final at the Oval in London on Sunday, June 18.

"Credit goes to the bowlers. I think we played very well and that's why we won", he said.

Hasan Ali, who was adjudged the Man of the Match, was the pick of the Pakistan bowlers as he picked up three wickets giving away just 35 runs in his quota of 10 overs.

Besides Ali (3/35), the other bowlers who impressed were Junaid Khan (2/42) and debutant Rumman Raees (2/44).

The 30-year-old thinks England need to focus more on knockout cricket if they are going to improve.

"I felt like we were trying to take a positive option against them", said Morgan.

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