Skipper Sarfraz always had faith in his charges

ODI cricket

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has said that he always believed that his team could overcome England and reach the Champions Trophy final.

His team were up for the challenge from early on after electing to bowl first and were unlucky to have an early leg before shout turned down.

Pakistan would bowl brilliantly restricting the flow of runs and knocking England over for 211, a target they chased with ease.

The skipper says his team and management didn’t panic after the heavy defeat to India in the opening game.

Speaking after the match Sarfraz said: “After the India match, we just motivated the guys.

“Don’t worry about the India match. This is gone. We have two matches. If we play good cricket, definitely we will win this tournament. Now we are in the finals.

“No one recognised us. So I was very happy for my team performance, and all the credit goes to my team management and my players.”

The bowling attack exceeded Sarfraz’s expectations with Hasan Ali bagging three wickets while his fellow quicks Junaid Khan and debutant Rumman Raees claimed two scalps each.

The spinners kept things tight in the middle overs with big hitting Ben Stokes unable to find the boundary in over 60 balls.

The skipper added: “I was not expecting we would bowl them out for 210.

“Yesterday we came here, we had a meeting and we thought if we won the toss we would elect to bowl first and could restrict them to 260, 270. That’s why the target was easy for us.

“Credit goes to the bowlers. They bowled really well, especially in the middle part, starting with Shadab [Khan]. They took Joe Root. Then Hasan came in, and he took a wicket. Then Junaid Khan, Rumman Raees. All credit goes to the bowlers.”

The captain was thrilled with the performance of the youngsters in the team: “I’m very happy about my youngsters performing, especially Hasan who is improving day by day. Shadab is also improving day by day, and now today Fakhar Zaman. He’s playing in his third match, and now he’s batting just like a champion batsman. So I’m really happy about his performance.”