After making into semi-finals in style, confident Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said that his side is ready to take on England in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 cricket tournament. The match between the two giants will be held on June 14 at the Cardiff Wales Stadium. Pakistan reached semi-finals after beating Asian neighbours Sri Lanka by 3 wickets in a nail-biter encounter held on June 12.
Interestingly, on the same ground last year saw Pakistan chase down a target of 303 against England in a four-wicket win that prevented a 5-0 ODI series whitewash.
“We played the last ODI here. We win that time, we chased 300, so definitely our confidence is very high playing in Cardiff,” Sarfraz Ahmed said after nail-biting victory over Sri Lanka.
“If you are playing a world-class team (England), definitely, you play more positive cricket, so we will do so against England,” Pakistan’s skipper added.
If Pakistan do manage to beat the hosts, it will be their first appearance in the final of a 50-over ICC tournament since losing to Australia in the title clash of the 1999 World Cup. The last time Pakistan qualified for a 50-over ICC tournament was at the 2011 World Cup when they lost a thriller to arch-rivals India in Mohali.
England, on the other hand, were the dominant team in Group A after they topped the group after defeating teams like Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand in home conditions and they will look to maintain their winning streak.
England lead the head-to-head battle with a 6-4 record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments. The last time Pakistan defeated England in an ICC event was in 1996.
England: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(wk), Moeen Ali, Steven Finn, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Adil Rashid, David Willey
Pakistan: Sarfraz Khan (c and wk), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Hafeez, Shadab Khan and Shoaib Malik.