CARDIFF -Pakistan Wednesday won the toss and decided to field first in the first semifinal of 2017 Champions Trophy on a used pitch in Cardiff, similar to the one at which Pakistan beat Sri Lanka in a nail-biter.
5.5: OUT! Rumman Raees dismisses Alex Hales, simple catch at cover by Babar Azam. England 34/1
AD Hales c Babar Azam b Rumman Raees 13 (13b 2×4 0x6) SR: 100.00
Overs 5: England 29/0. Plenty of drama in first five, two reviews taken and both went against Pakistan. Pakistan took review off Junaid’s bowling in first over that was turned down by the third umpire. England reviewed the decision in fourth over when Hales was given out against Raees. It pitched outside leg.
AD Hales 13 (12b 2×4 0x6)
JM Bairstow 16 (18b 2×4 0x6)
Junaid Khan 3-0-23-0
Rumman Raees 2-0-6-0
Junaid Khan opens the bowling attack for Pakistan. Jonny Bairstow opening for England along with Alex Hales. On the other end, Roman Raees shares the new ball with Junaid.
Former Pakistan Skipper Imran Khan wished Sarfaraz and Pakistan team best of luck for today’s match. This is their “cornered tiger” moment, said the 1992 World Cup winning captain.
He advised that Pakistan must go for an all-out attack and banish fear of losing.
The match began at 02:30 PM (PST) at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. Both sides are expected to go all guns blazing to secure a spot in the final.
Bad news for Pakistan is that the ace bowler Mohammad Amir has missed the crucial match owing to a back spasm. Amir was hit with injury in the practice session whilst he was bowling in the nets.
Roman Raees has replaced Amir in the playing eleven. On the other hand, Faheem Ashraf has not been picked up by Pakistan, and leg-spinner Shadab Khan has come in the squad for him.
England have made only one change as out of form Jason Roy is missing the semifinal, and Jonny Bairstow replacing him.
England: JM Bairstow, AD Hales, JE Root, EJG Morgan*, JC Buttler†, BA Stokes, MM Ali, AU Rashid, LE Plunkett, MA Wood, JT Ball
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed*†, Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan