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Old issues return as muddle-headed England lose to Pakistan

19 June 2017

Eoin Morgan, in his post-match press conference, had blamed used pitches for its semi-final loss to Pakistan.

The hosts were thrashed by eight wickets at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff as Pakistan ran riot with the ball and then the bat.

Pakistan, which suffered a 124-run thrashing by India in its opening group game, then cruised to the meagre victory target with 77 balls to spare.

England were bowled out for 211 in their semi-final and afterwards skipper Eoin Morgan said that they weren't prepared for the sluggish used surface.

"It has been a privilege to watch England in one-day cricket for the past two years but, on a day when it really mattered, they were unable to reproduce anything close to their best form".

"(But) certainly, that hasn't gone to our heads at all".

"We left ourselves short today adapting to conditions", Morgan told a news conference.

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"There were huge expectations they'd go on to win the tournament, I think justifiably so on the back of what they've done over the last year-and-a-half", said Atherton.

"Credit goes to the bowlers and the batters who finished it very well", said Sarfraz at the presentation ceremony.

Talking about India rematch in the final, he said, "Both teams (India and Bangladesh) are playing well, so we will play whoever gets through".

The fact is that the used wicket in Cardiff played into Pakistan's hands.

Just as important for Pakistan is the significance of Hasan's dismissals.

"Finishing third or fourth, I think that's about right where we sit in world cricket at the moment".

Morgan is the only survivor in England's now much-admired white-ball team from the one Collingwood led to this country's only global trophy to date - at the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010. If they want it to be completely neutral ground and bring all the teams into the tournament, which, you know, would have no home advantage, I would keep it the same way.

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Meanwhile, England coach Trevor Bayliss reckoned a semi-final exit was consistent with an ODI ranking of fourth.

"One of the things about knockout cricket is that you have to adapt to conditions".

There will be a lot of talk about the Cardiff pitch after Pakistan dumped out England.

England ground to a near standstill as their last eight wickets fell for 83, and Ben Stokes found himself batting entirely out of character without hitting a single boundary from his 64 balls.

The winning runs came courtesy of a Hafeez pull to the square-leg boundary, leaving him unbeaten on 31, as Pakistan continued to belie their ranking of eighth in one-day global cricket.

"I think the pitch was very good".

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