Junaid Khan, Pakistan, Jos Buttler, England, CT 2017
England crumbled under the pressureStu Forster/Getty Images

A knockout game, with a place in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy at stake, and England, the hosts, the most exciting team over the past couple of years and the best side in CT 2017 so far, looked like a deer caught in headlights. Pakistan, on the other hand, looked like their team from the 1990s, bowling with venom and verve to roar into the final.

Pakistan have made a habit of surprising teams in this tournament, and after they dented South Africa's hopes of winning their first ever ICC tournament, it was the turn of England to run into an inspired side.

Deciding to bowl first, Pakistan, managed to do something not too many teams have managed since the 2015 World Cup – bowl the England batsmen out cheaply. And all that was done without their most dangerous bowler Mohammad Amir, who had to sit this semifinal out with a back spasm.

Say what you want about Pakistan, call them mercurial or unpredictable, they know how to win big games, how to handle the pressure, and boy did they do that in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Up against an England team who had won all three games in the group stages, and that too pretty comprehensively, Pakistan could have easily thought: "Alright, we have come farther than most expected of us, so no shame in bowing out in the semifinals."

Instead, they went into inspired mode, bowling England out for just 211, before knocking those runs down with ridiculous ease.

In the absence of Amir, Rumman Raees, his replacement stepped up nicely, picking up two wickets, with Junaid Khan chipping in with a couple as well.

Hasan Ali, Pakistan, England, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, semifinals
Hasan Ali was just plain brilliant for PakistanGlyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

But the man who impressed most one more time was their best bowler in this Champions Trophy – Hasan Ali. The fast bowler is building quite a reputation, and if he continues this form, he could very well lead Pakistan to the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 title.

Now the big question is who Pakistan might face in that final.

India vs Bangladesh is the second semifinal, to be played at Edgbaston on Thursday, and what India cannot do, absolutely cannot do, is take Bangladesh lightly. Too many teams in this crazily unpredictable tournament have suffered losses at the hands of teams they were expected to beat comfortably.

Indeed, India were one of those sides, when they failed to cope with a brilliant Sri Lanka batting performance, and Virat Kohli's side cannot have another off day.

The chance of an India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy final is too hard to ignore, too mouth-watering a prospect – there can be nothing better for the fans, broadcasters, experts and players.

Pakistan have done their bit, and how.

Now, it's over to India to set up that dream final, which would be the first one between the two teams in an ICC tournament since that unforgettable finale in the 2007 World T20.

The Pakistan players deserve all the applause