Pakistan's Sarfraz welcomes England challenge

Sarfraz Ahmed says a confident Pakistan will play more positive cricket against "world class" England in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Pakistan defeated Sri Lanka by three wickets in Cardiff on Monday to book a last-four showdown with the hosts back at Sophia Gardens on Wednesday.

Half-centuries from Fakhar Zaman (50) and Sarfraz (61 not out) got the job done after Hasan Ali (3-43) and Junaid Khan (3-40) did well to restrict Sri Lanka to 236 all out.

"I think it was a great win," Sarfraz said.

"Credit goes to the bowlers. They bowled really well at crucial times."

Babar Azam (10), Mohammad Hafeez (1) and Shoaib Malik (11) all failed before calm was restored by Sarfraz, who acknowledged some of his specialists must quickly improve.

"Yeah, a little bit concerned about the middle-order batting," he said.

"Definitely we'll meet as a team and sort out the problems." 

The skipper, though, could be satisfied with his own contribution, despite being handed a life when he was inexplicably dropped by Thisara Perera while on 38.

"Definitely, as a captain, it was a very important inning for me," he said.

"I'm really boosted and hopefully we will do well in the future. 

Of his narrow escape, he said: "That time I didn't see the hand of [bowler Lasith] Malinga. When I played the shot, I just said 'oh'."

Pakistan lost the ODI series in England 4-1 last year, but did register a consolation victory in the final match at Sophia Gardens, leaving Sarfraz positive ahead of their mid-week clash.

"England are a very, very good team," he said.

"They've been playing really good cricket for the last two years. And if you play a world-class team, definitely you play more positively. Definitely our confidence is very high playing in Cardiff."

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