ICC Champions Trophy 2017: England vs Pakistan, 5 things that went wrong for Eoin Morgan's side

England v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
England were completely outplayed on the night

Cardiff was the venue which produced the biggest upset of the Champions Trophy as Pakistan thrashed England by eight wickets in the first semi-final. Pakistan asked England to bowl first and bundled them out for just 211. Hassan Ali and Junaid Khan were again the crusaders for Pakistan as they dismantled the power-packed batting line-up of the hosts.

In reply, Pakistan managed to chase that total down in just 37 overs as their openers, Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali, came to the party. So, without further ado, let's take a look at the five things which went wrong for England tonight:

Extra Cover: ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Joe Root and Eoin Morgan's wickets in quick succession is the SK Turning Point of the Match

#5 Bad shot selection from senior players

After England proved to be smart and lucky at the same time with two DRS calls in the first few overs, the openers settled down and kept the scoreboard ticking. Hales hit two boundaries and looked confident up front. But a rash shot against the debutant, Rumman Raees, resulted in his downfall. It was a wicket thrown away unnecessarily by England which was then repeated by Hales' teammates in the middle overs.

Eoin Morgan endured a tough start but survived 53 balls before throwing his wicket away to a wide delivery from Hassan Ali. Joe Root too fell to a short and wide delivery from Shadab Khan whereas Moeen Ali attempted a nothing shot against Junaid Khan off a short delivery.

#4 Lethargic in the field

England v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Semi Final : News Photo
Misfields galore dented England’s chances

When a team have to defend just 212, you expect their fielders to be up for the task and fight to stop every single. The England close-in fielders did not drop any catches today but they were not at their usual best in the field and gave away many runs in the run chase. Many simple efforts were missed which resulted in singles. A Jonny Bairstow misfield went for a four in the opening powerplay as well.

Moments like this can affect the mood of a bowler, which wasn't the case for Pakistan as they fielded like their lives depended on it and took two sensational catches. Another instance of poor England fielding came just after the fall of the first wicket. Morgan’s men committed two blunders to allow new man Babar Azam to rotate the strike, relieving him of all the pressure.

#3 Bringing the spinners on a bit too late

2017 ICC Champions Trophy Cricket England v Australia Jun 10th : News Photo
Rashid was brought on far too late

In the games that Pakistan have won, Imad Wasim has been brought on in the first powerplay followed by either Mohammad Hafeez or Shadab Khan. This has enabled them to get in a few quick overs economically. Hafeez was brilliant today against the left-handers and so was Shadab. England needed to do this as well to break the monotony of the fast bowlers.

Fakhar Zaman looked at ease against Jake Ball and Mark Wood but may have struggled against the guile of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in the first 10 overs. Rashid was brought on in the 15th over by which time both the openers had settled themselves at the crease. Morgan missed a trick by not employing Ali/Rashid earlier in the second innings.

#2 Horrible day for Ben Stokes

England v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
Stokes had a day to forget

Ben Stokes, the MVP of the recently concluded IPL and England's talisman, had been in great touch going into this game. He had won the game on his own against Australia and could have done the same today when he arrived to bat at 128/3. He arrived at a time when batting was tough against the reverse-swinging ball. While Stokes did manage to score 34 and take England to a fighting total, it came off a whopping 64 balls.

Can you imagine a player of Stokes’ calibre playing 64 balls and not hitting a single boundary? It just wasn't Stokes’ day as he struggled to time the ball against every single Pakistani bowler.

His luck didn't improve with the ball as well with the all-rounder conceding 38 runs in just 3.4 overs. He bowled no balls and wides and was slaughtered for fours and sixes.

#1 Losing their way in the middle

England v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Semi Final : News Photo
Root’s dismissal triggered the collapse

England were put in to bat by Pakistan and looked like they could score more than 300 runs, as, at one stage, they were cruising at close to five runs per over while Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were at the middle. But as soon as Bairstow was sent back to the changing room, England's scoring rate dropped considerably.

More than the run rate, England lost wickets at regular intervals and the Three Lions could not forge a partnership in the middle order. England lost their entire middle order for just 60 runs as from 80/1, England were reduced to 162/6 in the space of 23 overs.

This was the biggest turning point of the game as England lost their way in the middle. In the overs between 20 and 40, England scored just 75 runs which shows Pakistan's dominance in the middle overs.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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