Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Sarfraz Ahmed concerned with 'soft dismissals' ahead of England clash

Hosts England, who had won their all three matches in Group A, were outplayed in both batting and bowling by Pakistan who were the lowest ranked side in the eight-team Champions Trophy tournament. Credit should go to Pakistan.

They have excelled while chasing as their bowlers have given them consistent breakthroughs.

But with title-holders India playing Bangladesh in Thursday's second semi-final at Edgbaston, there are concerns that Wednesday's match at the 14,100 capacity Cardiff ground could be blighted by mass no shows.

"I think his best attribute, certainly in white-ball cricket over the previous year and a half, has been his relentless attitude to score runs regardless of the situation", Morgan said.

Kohli acknowledged the amount of one-day cricket played in the region was a factor, but he has also been impressed with the way so numerous Asian nations have adapted to English conditions.

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Hasan Ali has picked up the crucial wickets , and comeback man Junaid Khan has filled the void left by enforcer Wahab Riaz. Earlier, Hasan Ali ended Jonny Bairstow's innings (43) as Pakistan continued to keep the English batting on the back foot.

Once again the introduction of new blood, Fakhar Zaman up the order, helped Sarfraz's men open the innings in a better way while Azhar Ali, however slow he maybe, helped the team to start off on the right foot. "If somebody does get left out, they're not going to be far from our plans".

"I think he (Amir) has a little bit of back spasm".

While Pakistan may be tempted to exploit England's historical problems playing spin, it is their fast bowlers who have led to their success in this tournament. "Hopefully, he will recover for the finals", Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said.

"Maybe some of the teams have really surprised the opposition with the way they have batted and bowled in certain situations". The all-rounder added that the hosts will be in for a shock if they take their opponents lightly. Then Hasan came in, and he took wicket. England didn't hit a single six compared to five for Pakistan.

Pakistan will likely will go with an unchanged squad from the last match, against Sri Lanka, which will include dynamic opener Fakhar Zaman.

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Azhar Ali and Babar Azam put on a decent partnership for Pakistan, but the scoring rate keeps increasing and with it so does the pressure.

But Bairstow's luck ran out when a misjudged pull off Hasan's third ball sailed gently to Mohammad Hafeez at deep square leg.

Three-time semifinalist Pakistan made two changes - bringing in Raees and legspinner Shadab Khan for seamer Fahim Ashraf - from the team which survived a batting collapse to beat Sri Lanka on the same pitch in Cardiff on Monday.

While Roy has failed, every other batsman has hit form with Alex Hales (151), Joe Root (212), Eoin Morgan (175) and Ben Stokes (150) among the top 11 tournament run-scorers.

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