CARDIFF - England's four decades of pain at major 50-over tournaments will continue for at least another two years after an enigmatic Pakistan side sensationally dumped them out of the ICC Champions Trophy on Wednesday.

Pakistan were given next-to-no chance of knocking off the tournament favourites in their semi-final in Cardiff but another superb bowling performance steered them to a crushing eight-wicket win and their first final at a major ODI event since the 1999 World Cup.

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Ten days after they were humiliated by India in Birmingham, Pakistan now face the prospect of taking on their fierce rivals again in the tournament decider at The Oval on Sunday. India will play Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday.

As he'd done in victories over South Africa and Sri Lanka in the group stage, paceman Hasan Ali (3-36 from 10 overs) led the way as Pakistan dismissed England's all-conquering batting line-up for just 211 on a worn surface at Sophia Gardens.

Left-armers Junaid Khan and Rumman Raees, the latter in his ODI debut, also picked up two wickets each as none of England's batsmen finished their innings with a strike-rate of more than 100. It was just the second time in 47 matches since their much-publicised one-day revolution began two years ago that no England batsman has scored a half-century.

Any thought of the kind of batting collapse that has become Pakistan's unwanted trademark at this tournament was hammered away by another stunning performance from rookie opener Fakhar Zaman (57 from 58 balls), who shared a 118-run opening stand with the rejuvenated Azhar Ali (76 from 100).

Pakistan's opening pair flays England

And Babar Azam (38no) and Mohammad Hafeez (31no) finished the job as Pakistan secured victory with an eye-watering 77 deliveries remaining meaning England, for all they've achieved in ODI cricket since their embarrassing exit from the 2015 World Cup, are still without a trophy from 19 attempts at major ODI tournaments stretching back to the first World Cup in 1975.

Everything seemed to be heading in favour of the hosts after they'd been sent in to bat on a stunning morning in the Welsh capital; Jonny Bairstow, recalled in place of dumped opener Jason Roy, narrowly survived a video review in the opening over while Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan were both given out on the field only to have the decisions correctly overturned by the third umpire.

But from a strong position at 2-128 in the 28th over, England lost their last eight wickets for 83 as Pakistan's impressive seam attack brilliantly exploited the same pitch that had hosted their match against Sri Lanka on Monday.

Playing just his 20th ODI, Hasan added another three wickets to his hauls of 3-24 and 3-43 earlier in the group stage – despite appearing to be hobbled by injury – and moved to the top of the tournament's wicket-taking charts.

The reverse swing and clever variations of Rumman (handed his debut in place of the injured Mohammad Amir) and Junaid also proved to be too much for England's batting stars as they limped past the 200 mark in the 48th over.

Despite a few fumbles in the field, Pakistan also produced two run-outs while Fakhar pulled in a sensational diving catch on the square leg boundary, right in front of the viewing platform adjoining the team dressing-room's where delighted coach Mickey Arthur and his Australian offsider Steve Rixon stood and applauded. No-one epitomised England's torrid time with the bat quite like dynamic allrounder Ben Stokes, who was uncharacteristically sedate in compiling 34 from 64 balls (with no boundaries) as he struggled to come to terms with the two-paced pitch.

Despite the sub-par total, a victory target of 212 on a difficult surface for batting meant England would have gone to the break unsatisfied but knowing they were still in with a serious chance of victory given Pakistan's batting wobbles so far in the tournament.

But left-handed Fakhar, who has been a revelation since making his debut just a week ago, hammered a run-a-ball half-century including six fours and a six as Pakistan knocked off almost half of their victory target before the first drinks break. By which point the fat lady was already warming her vocal chords and England were beginning to ponder how their impressive one-day resurgence has still failed to net them a major piece of ODI silverware – at least until they host the next World Cup in two years’ time.

 Scoreboard

ENGLAND:

J Bairstow c Hafeez b Hasan        43

A Hales c Babar b Rumman          13

J Root c Sarfraz b Shadab              46

E Morgan c Sarfraz b Hasan          33

B Stokes c Hafeez b Hasan           34

J Buttler c Sarfraz b Junaid            4

M Ali c Fakhar b Junaid  11

A Rashid run out               7

L Plunkett c Azhar b Rumman     9

M Wood run out              3

J Ball not out      2

EXTRAS: (lb1, w3, nb2)   6

TOTAL: (all out; 49.5 overs)          211

FOW: 1-34, 2-80, 3-128, 4-141, 5-148, 6-162, 7-181, 8-201, 9-206, 10-211

BOWLING: Junaid Khan 8.5-0-42-2, Rumman Raees 9-0-44-2, Imad Wasim 5-0-16-0, Shadab Khan 9-0-40-1, Hasan Ali 10-0-35-3, M Hafeez 8-0-33-0

PAKISTAN:

Azhar Ali b Ball   76

Fakhar Zaman st Buttler b Rashid              57

Babar Azam not out        38

M Hafeez not out            31

EXTRAS: (lb1, w11, nb1)                13

TOTAL: (2 wkts; 37.1 overs)         215

FOW: 1-118, 2-173

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

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: M Erasmus (SA), R Tucker (Aus)

TV UMPIRE: C Gaffaney (NZ)

MATCH REFEREE: A Pycroft (Zim)

 

Pakistan captain Sarfraz

Credit goes to the bowlers and the batters who finished it very well. We adapted to conditions, we knew if we restrict them we could easily chase it down. Every game is a knockout game and I told my boys to play their game and not worry about the result. Both India and Bangladesh are playing good so either of them can be in the final.

England captain Morgan

One thing we didn't do was adapt to conditions, which I thought Pakistan did extremely well. Full credit to them, they outplayed us on this wicket. We did prepare for a used wicket but 211 wasn't a good score. 250/270 would have been. This pitch is a test, the Champions Trophy is a test, you can't have home conditions for any side.

Man of the match

Hasan Ali

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It was a big match and we were focused on our bowling. The way I bowled against South Africa is the same way I bowled today. I stuck to my plans and Azhar Mahmood (the bowling coach) helped me a lot. Tomorrow is my brother's birthday and I dedicate my man of the match award to him.