CARDIFF, June 14: An unpredictable Pakistan today stunned England by eight wickets to enter their maiden Champions Trophy final, continuing their sensational run in the tournament.
Pakistani bowlers produced another professional performance to restrict the formidable England batting line-up to 211 after Sarfraz Ahmed opted to bowl on a used surface.
The star with the ball was once again pacer Hasan Ali, who ended up with a three wicket-haul for the third time in as many games.
It seemed Pakistani batsmen were batting on a different pitch during the chase as they cruised to complete the target in 37.1 overs, after openers Azhar Ali (76 off 100) and Fakhar Zaman (57 off 58) provided a perfect start.
The duo shared an 118-runs stand off 127 balls ensuring Pakistan gets home comfortably.
The remarkable result also made a mockery of pre-tournament talk and predictions as the eighth-ranked Pakistan pummeled title favourites England to reach the final at The Oval on Sunday.
Pakistan surprised many by bouncing back brilliantly from their heavy loss against India in the tournament opener to beat South Africa and Sri Lanaka enroute to the last four.
They have always been an unpredictable side but England, the only undefeated in the league stage, were expected to get past the sub-continent squad with little difficulty.
The same England batsmen, who batted with flair and finesse through the tournament, came a cropper in a high stake semifinal. They found it hard to keep the scoreboard ticking and losing wickets at regular intervals made life tougher for them. Not a single six was hit in their innings.
Pakistan, on the contrary, came out for the chase with a plan. � PTI
England innings: J Bairstow c M Hafeez b H Ali 43, A Hales c B Azam b R Raees 13, J Root c S Ahmed b S Khan 46, E Morgan c S Ahmed b H Ali 33, B Stokes c M Hafeez b H Ali 34, J Buttler c S Ahmed b J Khan 4, M Ali c F Zaman b J Khan 11, A Rashid run out 7, L Plunkett c A Ali b R Raees 9, MA Wood run out 3, J Ball not out 2; Extras: (LB-1, W-3, NB-2) 6; Total: (all out in 49.5 overs) 211; Fall of wickets: 1-34, 2-80, 3-128, 4-141, 5-148, 6-162, 7-181, 8-201, 9-206, 10-211; Bowling: J Khan 8.5-0-42-2, R Raees 9-0-44-2, I Wasim 5-0-16-0, S Khan 9-0-40-1, H Ali 10-0-35- 3, M Hafeez 8-0-33-0.
Pakistan innings: A Ali b Ball 76, F Zaman st Buttler b Rashid 57, B Azam not out 38, M Hafeez not out 31, Extras: (lb 1, w 11, nb 1) 13; Total: (2 wickets; 37.1 overs) 215; Bowling: M Wood 8-1-37-0, J Ball 8-0- 37-1, B Stokes 3.1-0-38-0, L Plunkett 6-0-33-0, A Rashid 10-0-54-1, M Ali 2-0-15-0