Sports

Champions Trophy 2017 : An Early Look At Where The Semi-Finalists Stand

Champions Trophy 2017 : An Early Look At Where The Semi-Finalists Stand
Written by Aiman

The league games of the Champions Trophy ended yesterday, with Pakistan defeating Sri Lanka by 3 wickets to become the last team to qualify to the next round. It has been an uneven tournament in England, as summer rains have played spoilsport in most matches, but there has been plenty of good cricket to go around. The most unexpected of this tournament’s developments was Bangladesh qualifying for the semi-final, after they defeated New Zealand in one of their finest ODI performances, and Australia was swatted aside by the in-form England team, who won all their group matches and are the only team to do so in the tournament. In Group B though, uneven performances made it impossible to say which team would make it to the semis until the final match, when India defeated South Africa convincingly by 8 wickets and Pakistan escaped with 3 wickets yesterday, completing the lineup.

Group A toppers England will play yesterday’s victors Pakistan at the Cardiff Cricket Stadium, while Group B toppers India (who are tied on points with Pakistan but have better run rate) will play minnows Bangladesh at Edgbaston. Although one does not know what to expect, here is a brief summary of the team’s performances leading up to each semi-final and how it may all play out :

Semi Final 1 Pakistan v/s England:

Pakistan huffed and puffed to the semi-finals, and one has to give them credit for them defeating South Africa and Sri Lanka, after they were thrashed convincingly by India in their first match. Pakistan’s batting is as brittle as it gets, as was apparent last night, but their pace attack may be the best one in the tournament. The middle over assault by Aamir and company was the turning point in the game, as it kept Sri Lanka to a below-250 score, and by their performances so far, Pakistani batsmen could not chased down a score any higher.

England, on the other hand, have looked golden as they vanquished Australia to end their campaign. They have looked good with the bat and the ball, regularly notching up 300-plus scores and the bowling looking good with a quality spinner complementing their traditional pace. They will walk into the match as favorites.

Semi Final 2 : India v/s Bangladesh :

Defending champions India have blown hot and cold this tournament. Their hiding of the Pakistani team in their opening match seemed ominous, but all talk of a dream bowling attack came to ashes as they fell to Sri Lanka even after setting a 300-plus target. In their death match against South Africa, though, the balling came into itself again, with the comeback of Test spinner R Ashwin, and they bowled out the Proteas for 188, making for an easy chase home.

Bangladesh may have surprised themselves with the semi-final spot, but they will have to rise up and do better if they want to claim their place with the other South Asian powerhouses. Their run chase against New Zealand was laced with early hiccups, but the golden stand between Mahmudullah-Hasan took them home. They will look to continue this against India, but considering how they would have almost definitely lost to Australia if rain had not interrupted the match, and how they did lost to England, it will be a tough task for the Bangladeshis.

Schedule :

June 14 (Wednesday) – 1st Semi-final (A1) England Vs (B2) Pakistan 3 PM IST (10.30 AM Local, 9.30 AM GMT) – Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff

June 15 (Thursday) – 2nd Semi-final (A2) Bangladesh Vs (B1) India 3 PM IST (10.30 AM Local, 9.30 AM GMT) – Edgbaston, Birmingham

About the author

Aiman

Keenly interested in sports of all sorts, I am a physicist by training and curious about everything.