Live| CT17 semifinal, Eng vs Pak: Onus on Root, Morgan as England look to rebuild

dc-Cover-8taj7id2orpt0j4sdmurdc6je3-20170614154001.MediJust as England were looking to get going, Pakistan have struck again. Jonny Bairstow departs seven runs short of his 6th ODI 50. Skipper Eoin Morgan has come out to bat. England have their limited-overs and Test captain on the pitch, right now.

Hosts and tournament favourites England take on surprise package Pakistan, who have shown great character to turn their fortunes around, in a must-win semifinal clash at the Sophia Gardens, in Cardiff.

England 93-2 from 20 overs:

There was a loud LBW shout against Morgan off Hafeez’s bowling but he is safe as England need him and Root to keep Pakistan in check after Bairstow’s dismissal in the 17th over. If these two manage to put up solid stand, it will make the matters even more dangerous for Pakistan as it will give license to Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler to hammer and tongs.

England: 80-2 from 16.3 overs:

WICKET! Pakistan have struck back. And its the danger man, who is walking back to the pavillion. Bairstow was looking in good touch, as he was playing the big shots with ease. However, looking to find yet another boundary, Bairstow lobbed an easy catch to Hafeez at deep square-leg.

England: 77-1 from 15 overs:

Bairstow hand Root have done well to stabilise the innings after the early wicket of Hales. The duo are scoring at a brisk pace, scoring boundary at free will.

Shadab Khan into the attack, and he almost gets a wicket off the first ball. Joe Root tried to drive one on the off side, but he mis-timed his shot, as he ball was airborne for a while. However, it went just wide of short extra cover.

England: 51-1 from 10 overs:

Hales’ wicket has certainly slowed down the scoring rate for England. Sarfraz Ahmed has recognised this opportunity to introduce Imad Wasim into the attack. The left arm spinner has done well to rein back England, with an economy rate of 2 runs per over.

Joe Root comes out to bat.

England: 34-1 from 5.5 overs:

WICKET! What a moment for the 25-year-old Raees. Hales launches into a big cover drive against the left arm paceman, but he mis-times it, and only managed to lob it straight into the safe hands of Babar Azam.

England: 29-0 from 5 overs:

The two Pakistan bowlers are swinging and seaming it all over the place. After a strong lbw appeal in the first over by Junaid, Raees now goes up in appeal, as he raps Hales on the pads. This time, the umpire raises his finger. However, the two england openers immediately decide to go for a DRS referral, which showed that the ball pitched outside the leg stump. Other than these two opportunities however, Bairstow and Hales have looked solid out there, playing shots at free will. They have kept the score ticking at a steady rate.

England: 5-0 from 1 over

Junaid is spot on the mark straight away, as the ball wraps Bairstow on the pads, as the Pakistan bowlers go up in appeal. The umpire says not out, but Amir immedia tely signals his captain for a DRS referral. Ball tracking showed that the ball would have gone on to flick the off stump, after having pitched in line. However, less than 50 per cent of the ball would have hit the off stump, which is why the umpire’s original decision stands.

An eventful over, this. After all that drama on the first ball of the over, Hales plays a classic straight drive to bring up the first boundary of the for England.

Junaid Khan to get the proceedings underway against Junaid Khan, as the sun beats down on the Cardiff Cricket Stadium.

The national anthems are done, and the match is set to begin, as Sarfraz Ahmed gathers his charges into a huddle.

Couple of changes for both the sides. Rumman Raees comes in to replace Mohammad Amir, who had suffered a back spasm before the game, has been ruled out of the game. Also, leggie Shadab Khan replaces Faheem Ashraf in the Pakistan XI.

As hinted by England skipper Eoin Morgan on the eve of the match, Jonny Bairstow replaces Jason Roy for England.

Teams:

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Here are the @englandcricket and @TheRealPCB team sheets for today! #ENGvPAK #CT17
2:43 PM – 14 Jun 2017
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Pakistan XI: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk/c), Imad Wasim, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.

England XI: Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball

Sarfraz Ahmed has won the toss, and has decided to put England in to bat first.

Bad news for Pakistan fans. Mohammad Amir’s participation in this game is in doubt. According to reports, he is suffering from a back spasm.

Preview: England will take on Pakistan in the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Sophia Gardens here on Wednesday. The hosts will go into the match as firm favourites against Sarfraz Ahmed-led side, whose entry to the semi-final came as a surprise to many.

The ICC Champions Trophy is one trophy which both England and Pakistan have not won, with England finishing runners-up, twice, in 2004, and 2013, both at home. It is without doubt that when they come face-to-face on Wednesday, both the teams will give it their best shot.

The only ICC trophy England has won is the ICC World Twenty20, back in 2010, in West Indies. England has had a smooth tournament so far, with almost everything going their way. Being the only team to remain unbeaten in the tournament so far, they will head into this game with a positive mindset.

However, the only recent disappointment for them has been Jason Roy, who managed just 18 runs from 3 matches, with his top score of 13 coming in the match against New Zealand. If Roy is excluded from the playing eleven, then Sam Billings may get a look in.

Pakistan, on the other hand, had an up and down tournament so far. After losing to India, they went on to win against South Africa and Sri Lanka, with the second win confirming their place in the last four. However, the match against Sri Lanka did not go as smooth as expected. After restricting the Lankans for 236, the Men in Green struggled through to victory, winning by just three wickets.

Pakistan have their injury concerns too. One of the main injuries coming early in the tournament, after their defeat to India,was when Wahab Riaz was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with an ankle injury. The PCB had named a replacement, Rumman Raees, who has not played a game yet. They have, however, gone with newcomers Fakhar Zaman and Fahim Ashraf, who have played two games and one game respectively.

It will be all to play for when the two sides face each other on Wednesday, and promises to be a good contest.

Squads:

England: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Jake Ball, David Willey, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Steven Finn.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain and wicketkeeper), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Fahim Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Rumman Raees.

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