Champions Trophy 2017, England vs Pakistan

ICC Champions Trophy 2017
Virat-Kohli-led India will be looking to defend their title in England this year Reuters

27 June, 2017

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed insisted he always believed his side could turn their fortunes around after they reached the ICC Champions Trophy final with a dominant eight-wicket win over England in Cardiff.

Morgan suggested being asked to play on a pitch used two days previously for Pakistan's final group game, created problems for his side.

"I said after the loss to India if we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament".

But the England captain admitted his side failed to adapt to condition as his side produced their worst ODI performance since they crashed out of the World Cup to Bangladesh two years ago. "We knew that we were going to play on a used wicket at some stage in this tournament". Before the game I said it would depend which Pakistan turned up.

Morgan, however, gave credit to Pakistani bowlers for restricting England's batsmen from scoring big runs.

"Once that ball started reversing, credit to Pakistan, they put it in very good areas and made it very hard to build new partnerships once we lost a couple of wickets".

In reply, Azhar Ali (76 off 100 balls) and Fakhar Zaman (57 off 58 balls) got Pakistan off to a fantastic start as they added 118 runs for the first wicket.

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I don't think there is a mental issue about getting over the line, however. "We played very good cricket, that's why we won".

As for England, there is a lot they can take from the tournament and use as they build towards the 2019 World Cup, which is also on home soil.

"I don't think there was any home advantage".

The winners executed the ideal game as they chased down their opponents' opening total, and they comfortably won the match by eight wickets in Cardiff, Wales. "That's why we won today".

After spending a night full of celebration in Cardiff, Pakistan took the road to London brimming with confidence ahead of their Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

"We left ourselves short today, adapting to conditions", said Morgan.

"After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game". Pakistan's ace bowler Mohammad Amir was rested for this match due to an injury but his absence wasn't felt as other bowlers stepped up and restricted England to just 211 (all out) in 50 overs. Pakistan don't do it consistently enough themselves but when they get it right they are the best in the world at it.

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