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Arthur backs Pakistan's 'best game' to beat England

15 June 2017

"After India, every game was a knockout game, I said to the players to just play your game". Pakistan in this department have been found wanting, they are too one-dimensional one feels.

But within touching distance of a first global 50-over title after three victories in the group stage, they crumbled limply to 211 all out and the bowlers failed to fire as Pakistan strolled to their target with almost 13 overs to spare.

In the finals they will lock-horns with the victor of semi-final 2 which will be played tomorrow between India and Bangladesh.

Victories over South Africa and crucially Sri Lanka secured their place in the last four and they take their place in this weekend's showpiece thanks to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over England.

It was Stokes along with his captain Morgan who played well to see their team through to victory against New Zealand to help Bangladesh qualify.

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Joe Root and Eoin Morgan continued to score at about five runs an over against accurate Pakistan bowling and tight fielding.

"We certainly didn't want to be just making up the numbers in this competition, and we've shown that we weren't", said the South African, who took charge of Pakistan just prior to their tour of England a year ago.

Sarfraz Ahmed on Pakistan's near flawless performance: "I think the pitch was very good for both teams".

Given how Pakistan have batted both historically and during the course of this tournament, you would have to be either very courageous or very foolish to back them against an England side that looks more and more impressive with every outing - an nearly troubling position for most English cricket fans to find themselves in given the team's horrific ODI past. "Hopefully, he will recover for the finals", Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said.

While Pakistan's bowlers thrived on the slow wicket at Sophia Gardens, the same could not be said for England as all their key batsmen got in before throwing away their wickets. Besides Ali (3/35), the other bowlers who impressed were Junaid Khan (2/42) and debutant Rumman Raees (2/44). The southpaw ended hitting seven fours and a six, that came off a top edge over the wicketkeeper. Mark Wood (0-37) started the bowling for England with a wide and was then hit for six in the same over by Fakhar Zaman. He is No 7 in the ICC all-rounder rankings but had an all-round miserable game.

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0 Instances of England going without a six for 25 overs since the last World Cup.

Mohammad Hafeez (31 not out) hit Stokes for a boundary to seal the win, sharing a 42-run partnership for the third wicket with Babar Azam (38 not out).

England is the only team to exit the group stage unbeaten, having won all three of their matches.

In Pakistan's final group match against Sri Lanka, Hasan took 3-43.

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