Sarfraz hails Pakistan bowling display


Sarfraz Ahmed hailed his bowling attack after they laid the foundation for Pakistan's eight-wicket victory over England in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals.

Pakistan had to go into the match without main strike bowler Mohammad Amir but they did not miss him, with Rumman Raees slotting in to replace the 25-year-old.

Rumman took 2-44 on debut in Cardiff, while Junaid Khan chipped in with 2-42 from his 8.5 overs.

They were superbly supported by Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and Hasan Ali as England struggled to adapt to the conditions on a pitch used two days ago.

Hasan particularly impressed with figures of 3-35 from his full allocation, the seamer removing dangermen Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow along the way.

England's troubles led to Morgan criticising the conditions at Sophia Gardens, but Sarfraz felt the pitch was "very good" and credited his bowlers with securing the surprise victory.

"I was not expecting us to bowl them out for 210, but we thought if we won the toss, elected to bowl first, [we 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.

"He bowled really well, he took Joe Root. Then Hasan came in and he took wickets. Then Junaid Khan, Rumman Raees - all credit to the bowlers. They bowled really well."

So happy was the 30-year-old, he labelled the victory as the best of his 74-match one-day international career.

"I think it was [the best]," he added. "I think all the three games [against South Africa, Sri Lanka and England] are the best games when I was captain.

"I think it [today] was the best game because it was a semi-final, no one recognised us."