Sohail said: “Sarfraz needs to be told that you have not done anything great. Someone has helped you win the game. There is no reason for you (Sarfraz) to be so happy. We all know what happens behind the scenes. Don’t wish to get into the details on who won them the games. If asked, I will say that the prayers of the fans and God has won them the games. They have been brought to the final due to external factors and not based on on-field performance. The boys now need to be level-headed and focus on playing good cricket.”
But Sohail has now done a U-turn and says that the video is out of context and he had spoken before the semi-final clash between Pakistan and England.
Pakistan stunned the much fancied England team to reach their first ever Champions Trophy final. It was a dominating performance from the men in green as they coasted home with eight wicket in hand, chasing down the total of 212 with 77 balls remaining.
First, it was the bowlers who produced a brilliant performance to restrict the formidable England batting line-up to 211 after Sarfraz Ahmed opted to bowl on the pitch which was the same one used against Sri Lanka. The star with the ball was once again pacer Hasan Ali, who ended up with a three wicket-haul for the third time in as many games. He was also awarded the man-of-the match.
It seemed Pakistani batsmen were batting on a different pitch during the chase as they cruised to complete the target in 37.1 overs, after openers Azhar Ali (76 off 100) and Fakhar Zaman (57 off 58) provided a perfect start. The duo shared a 118-runs stand off 127 balls ensuring Pakistan gets home comfortably.
The remarkable result also made a mockery of pre-tournament talk and predictions as the eighth-ranked Pakistan pummeled title favourites England to reach the final at The Oval on Sunday. They have always been an unpredictable side but England, the only undefeated in the league stage, were expected to get past the sub-continent squad with little difficulty.
The same England batsmen, who batted with flair and finesse through the tournament, came a cropper in a high stake semifinal. They found it hard to keep the scoreboard ticking and losing wickets at regular intervals made life tougher for them. Not a single six was hit in their innings. Pakistan, on the contrary, came out for the chase with a plan.
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First Published: June 16, 2017, 11:59 AM IST