By: Khalid Iqbal
After grabbing nail-biting victory against wayward Sri Lankan team, Pakistan eventually reached semi finals of the champions trophy 2017 and booked place to face unbeaten England on Wednesday in Cardiff.
Pakistan’s shaky batting once again put Pakistan in trouble during the chase of relatively low total. Fans are worrying as Pakistan has to face much better and strong English team in semi-final, which is hosting the team and playing on their own grounds with utmost confidence.
England have the batting guns in the shape of Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Joe Roots and Alex Hales and nevertheless Ben Stokes who’s ton against Australia one of best of his career. They also have best seamers Plunkett, Mark Wood and secret weapons in the shape of spinners Adil Rasheed and Moeen Ali.
Pakistan along with some good youngster have the few experience like Hafeez, Shoib, Azhar but honestly speaking the things that pushed Pakistan into semis was its luck, particularly in last two matches.
Against South Africa, when rain lashed out match Pakistan was heading by 19 runs as per Duckworth-lewis (D/L) method that caused the Pakistan triumph.
In Do or Die match against Sri Lanka, Pakistan had lost all his guns just at 162 and no hope was seen as Sri Lankan spectators started jubilation of victory. Sarfraz Ahmed dropped twice at crucial stages when he was building Pakistan’s innings with Muhammad Amir.
Malinga was seen hapless and finally, after dropped Sarfraz second time he lost hopes that could be seen on his face.
Pakistan’ luck works —– will it work again against England ?
The plus point, and if we not more pessimistic, left hand opener Fakhar Zaman’s dashing fifty and more importantly his confidence that can fire against England.
The strong area of Pakistan is seam-bowling attack, which is looking more aggressive and accurate with impeccable control in last two matches, particularly young Hassan Ali and Muhammad Amir were showing some good swing and pace in previous matches.
Pakistan’s spin attack- Imad Waseem and Muhammad Waseem- who had put South Africa in trouble can also give English batsmen tough time as they are not as much good to play spin as compare to seams bowling.
At last but more significant is LUCK that had fully supported Pakistan in Quarter-final like match against South Africa and Do or Dir match against Sri Lanka—- and more hopefully it will work in Semi-final against England!