Cardiff, June 14: After thrashing hosts England by eight wickets in the first semi-final, clinical Pakistan cruised to the ICC Champions Trophy final at the Sophia Gardens here on Wednesday (June 14).
Chasing a below-par 212, the Green Brigade 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 stand to set their date with the winner of the second semi-final between India and Bangladesh, on Sunday.
After bowling the hosts out for 211, thanks to pacer Hasan Ali's 3/35, the Pakistani openers put stitched a partnership of 118 runs to ensure their side a comfortable win.
The 27-year-old Zaman was the more destructive of the two, bringing up his second consecutive fifty off 49 balls. His knock was laced with six boundaries and a six off a bouncer from pacer Mark Wood in the very first over of the innings.
It seemed the Pakistan batsmen were in a hurry to get to the total as the duo helped the team touch the three-figure mark in the next seven overs before Ali too got to his half century off 68 deliveries.
Earlier, Pakistan bowlers led by Hasan Ali put up a quality display to restrict England to 211 runs in 49.5 overs. Ali was complimented well by Juniad Khan and debutant Rumman Raees, who chipped in with two wickets each.
For England, Joe Root (46), Jonny Bairstow (43) and Ben Stokes (34) were the major contributors to the cause.
Here are the Hatke Moments from the match:
Alex Hales' bang-on review
England opener Alex Hales got the first review bang on and saved himself from getting dismissed after umpire ruled out in the favour of the bowler Rumman Raees, playing his first ODI.
It was the final delivery of the fourth over, when the ball hit the pads and the umpire's finger went up!
That looked tight, though but Hales after consulting with his opening partner Jonny Bairstow to consult and decided to go upstairs. The ball-tracker showed the ball had pitched outside leg and Hales got a reprieve.
Rumman Raees gets his first ODI wicket
Left arm-pacer made his debut for Pakistan in the match against England and made it count by getting his maiden ODI wicket. He removed Alex Hales for 13.
Hales aimed something expansive over the infield, but didn't get enough bat into his stroke, the blade turned on impact and gave a comfortable catch to Babar Azam.
Hasan Ali removes England skipper Eoin Morgan
Hasan Ali got his second big wicket of the match by striking the wicket of England captain Eoin Morgan at 33. Ali bowled a ball very wide and forced Morgan to try and belt it down the ground, but the left-handed batsman only succeeded in getting a thin edge to the keeper.
Ali certainly tricked Morgan by keeping things tight for the left-handed batsman.
Fakhar Zaman's stunning catch
Englad all-rounder Fakhar Zaman took a stunning catch to get rid of Moeen Ali for 11. Ali Moeen top-edged a pull out to deep backward square of Junaid Khan. Zaman kept his eye on the ball and galloped towards his left, and plucked the ball with both hands by stretching at full length.
Zaman's catch brought curtains to Ali's innings and gave England their sixth jolt.
Fakhar Zaman slams second consecutive fifty
Young Fakhar Zaman's second consecutive fifty in the tournament set the tone for Pakistan as they comfortably chased down a below-par score of 212 against England.
He smashed his fifty off 49 balls and the second one in a must win match. Zaman scored 58-ball 57 before getting stumped by Jos Buttler off Adil Rashid. His knock comprised 7 fours and a six and gave Pakistan a solid opening start. With the help of a Azhar Ali's innings at the other end Zaman put up an opening stand of 118.
This was only his 3rd ODI innings. He had made his 50-over international debut against South Africa last week.
Azhar Ali slams 11th ODI fifty
Pakistan opener Azhar Ali top scored (76 off 100 balls) from both the teams. Ali's match winning fifty was his second of the tournament and helped Pakistan seal a convincing victory against England. It was the 11th ODI fifty from the right-handed batsman, who has slammed 25 half-centuries in Tests.
Winning runs come from Mohammed Hafeez's bat
Mohammed Hafeez cracked Ben Stokes towards the fence to hit the winning runs for his team in the 38th over. With this boundary, Pakistan registered an emphatic eight-wicket victory over England and entered their maiden Champions Trophy final.