Cardiff: England take on Pakistan in the first of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 semi-finals in a knockout of mismatch.
81 matches; England 49 wins; Pakistan 30 wins; no result 2.
In the first semi-final between England and Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy, it would be fair to think the home side hold the upper hand while Pakistan would once again look to stutter over the winning line.
Both of Pakistan’s wins – against South Africa and Sri Lanka – have not been comprehensive in any way shape or form.
On the other hand, England won all three of their group games against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Australia.
The number eight side in the world have defied those odds to find their place in the knockout stages. They started the campaign with a dismal show against arch-rivals India with a poor display of all skills of the sport. They were disappointing with the bat, ball and in the field – something that coach Mickey Arthur also acknowledged.
They improved against South Africa and had their share of luck with rain and Duckworth-Lewis method to beat South Africa. That serious luck continued when Sri Lanka put down multiple catches including letting Sarfraz Ahmed bat further with two simple takes off Lasith Malinga.
The hosts came into the tournament with a 2-1 ODI series win against South Africa as part of preparations and have looked scarily good. The Eoin Morgan-led side scored 300-plus in the first two matches and then easily beat Australia to cruise into the semis and send their Ashes-rivals packing.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Mark Wood.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (capt, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, JunaidKhan, Rumman Raees.
Pitch and condition:
The pitch for the first semi-final is the same as the one used for Monday's game. The wear and tear could mean a bigger role for spinners, although the short straight boundaries could negate the assistance.
Stats and trivia
Best at Champions Trophy:
England: Runners-up 2004 and 2013
Pakistan Semi-finalists 2000, 2004, 2009
Wednesday June 14, 2017
Start time 10.30am local (0930 GMT)