Champions Trophy: Team Remained In Good Spirits After India Loss, Says Sarfraz Ahmed
Pakistan Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday credited the support staff for keeping the team in good spirits after heavy loss against India, following which the side staged a sensational turnaround to reach the Champions Trophy final.
Riding on half-centuries from Azhar Ali (76) and Fakhar Zaman (57) Pakistan beat England by eight wickets to book their place in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. The opening stand gave the visitors a great platform to chase down England's total and later on Babar Azam and Mohammed Hafeez finished the job for Pakistan. Hasan Ali was again instrumental with the ball in hand for the former World Champions as he returned with figures of 3 for 35 to restrict England to a paltry score of 211 in the semi-final. Talking about the victory, Pakistan Sarfraz Ahmed on Wednesday credited the support staff for keeping the team in good spirits after heavy loss against India, following which the side staged a sensational turnaround to reach the Champions Trophy final.
"Credit goes to the bowlers. We really bowled well. Mohammad Amir did not play but Rumman Raees came and bowled really well," said Sarfraz after Pakistan stunned England in the first semifinal on Wednesday.
Speaking about what led to the turnaround after the India game, he said, "After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game. The team management also kept motivating us."
Asked about a possible re-match in the final on Sunday, Sarfraz said: "Both teams (India and Bangladesh) are playing well, so we will play whoever gets through."
He was all praise for pacer Hasan Ali, who took a three-wicket haul for the third time in a row.
"He's very impressive, hopefully, he will do that in the final;. Whenever he comes on he's getting wickets."
England captain Eoin Morgan said his team did not simply adapt to the conditions.
"We did not adapt to conditions. Pakistan outplayed us. It was a used pitch but you should be able to play on all kinds of surface at this level.
"Pakistan did that well and played better. We did prepare, Pakistan bowled well but we didn't adjust and 200 isn't competitive, 250-270 would be a good score."
Whether used pitch was a factor in the unexpected loss, Morgan said: "It's a test... There wasn't too much wrong. We bowled okay but 200 was well under par.
"We continue to learn, everything we did was calculated, but Pakistan had played on the wicket previously and that helped. You have to adapt in knockout cricket, so it's an important lesson."
(With PTI Inputs)