Cardiff, June 14: Pakistan thrashed title favourites England by 8 wickets to storm into the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Wednesday (June 14).
It was a near flawless performance by Pakistan as they outclassed England in every department of the game to book a ticket to the final.
Inviting England to bat first, Pakistan restricted them to a paltry 211 and chased down the total in the 38th over.
The foundation for the chase was laid at the top of the order by left-handed batsman Fakhar Zaman. He certainly qualified to be the Hatke Player of the Match.
Zaman's second consecutive fifty in the tournament set the tone for Pakistan as they comfortably chased down the paltry total.
Azhar Ali scored 76 off 100 balls, but the way this youngster punished England bowlers in the first powerplay to ensure Pakistan achieve the target easily.
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.
Zaman played some impressive shots during his stay at the crease and put Pakistan in a dominating position against title favourites England.
His half century was one of the highlights of the match for it was the first one of the match. The 27-year-old will be hoping to carry this form into the finals on Sunday (June 18).