The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has been a fantastic tournament, there have been some dominant batting performances and some excellent bowling, but for me the amount of upsets that have taken place has been brilliant. We here at Fours n’ Sixes have reported on every game so far and that hasn’t changed with match reports below from both semi-finals before getting on to the final between India and Pakistan.
England vs Pakistan – Semi Final
Cardiff for England who had played some outstanding cricket coming into this match, they were undefeated, brimming with confidence and with most of their players in form. Pakistan won the toss and chose to bowl with their two bowling changes in mind.. For England Jason Roy was finally replaced by Johnny Bairstow who would open with Alex Hales. They were only three balls in and Pakistan used a review, it was a good review too and definitely worth a shout, as replays showed it was hitting the top of the stumps but as it was originally not out. It was umpires call. Not out still.
Then another review on Hales when he was on nine and England on 24, it pitched outside leg though and again not out. They could have had two wickets early doors but had none. Hales finally went for 13 which meant they were 34-1, Bairstow went just on the drinks break too then for 43. England tried to kick on but wickets kept going and did Root’s back injury affect him again as he went for another good score of 46, then Morgan 33. People were getting in but not getting big scores and with two more quick wickets soon went down to 162-6. Pakistan were well on top now and into the tail.
Stokes got 34 but everyone kept going cheaply whilst batting with him and eventually they were all out for just 211 with a run out on the last ball of the innings. In my opinion they were easily 60 odd runs short. Credit to Pakistan as they were excellent and that was led by their two quick left arm bowlers. Their fielding and catching was quality as well and they really stepped up their performance for this game.
That showed in their batting as well, as they made it look very easy as they got all the way to 118 before Fakhar went for 57 off Rashid’s bowling. Azhar went for 76 off Jake Ball but the game was nearly up by then as they’d reached 173-2. The job was pretty much done and they went on to lose no more wickets and won with thirteen overs left. The best team won on the day as they adapted to the conditions better and outplayed England in all departments.
India vs Bangladesh – Semi Final
Edgbaston it was for the second semi-final and although Bangladesh were very happy to be there, they of course wanted to win to show even more how far they’ve now come. Kohli won the toss for India and both teams were unchanged from their last group games. What a start as well as Soumya went for a duck off the last ball of the first over with a very poor shot. Sabit was then gone on 19 after he felt the pressure of 13 dot balls and gave away an easy catch. They did kick on though to recover, Tamim gone for 70 with Mushfiqur on 52 (eventually he got 61) as they recovered to 154-3. They were the highest scores for Bangladesh as they battled on to 218-6 and then 264-7 by the end. They did well to get that many in the end as India bowled great, especially Bumrah.
What a batting masterclass from India then, we’ve seen them do it before and in a big semi-final game they did it once again. Dhawan did lose his wicket for 46 when they were on 87, but a brilliant 100 from 102 balls for Sharma who made it look easy. He went on to finish on 123 but Kohli missed out on his ton by just four runs as he finished himself on 96. His team had won though and won easily. There was 10 overs spare as they got to 266-1 to reach their fourth ICC final. It was a class performance and they made it look easy as mentioned as they coasted to victory.
Pakistan vs India – Final
As two nations eyes were on The Oval on Sunday watching one of the greatest sporting rivalries out there, we had a friend of our website in the ground supporting his team Pakistan. It was a beautiful day as the players took to the field with millions watching back home and around the globe. India won toss and choose to bowl and once again had no changes to their team. Pakistan had just the one change as Amir was back in and that would obviously prove key.
A lucky Fakhar was given out on 3 but Bumrah’s foot was over the line and the decision changed to not out. Fakhar had missed the group game defeat against India but this time he notched up a 100 off just 92 balls (video below shows that moment). Finally he was gone for 114 from an excellent Jadeja catch though. Malik went cheaply himself then with a wild baseball shot. Babar did well for 46 and their good score was turning into a very healthy one as they just kept going to get to 338-4 as Hafeez finished on 57. India to be fair had pulled it back a little towards the end but huge total and no run chase had ever been bigger at that ground.
Rohit went early doors, gone for a duck of just the third ball as Pakistan continued started off bowling where they’d finished against England in the semi. They were simply brillitant and on target from the off. Amir was the man and in the middle of his third over though he’d got Kohli as the ball edge the slips. It was an easy catch but point down by Azhar and his big hands. Was that a huge turning point in the game? No. As the next ball Kohli found an edge again to Shadab at point and Amir had his man this time. For me that sums Pakistan cricket. Down one moment and literally back up the next.
Amir opening spell fixtures were three wickets for sixteen runs and India collapse to 33-3 with Dharwan gone, Yuvraj gone and Dohni gone to more catches! It didn’t get any better for India as they went from 54-5 to 72-6 before a brave battle from Pandya for 76. He was their only hope but he was ran out by his own man and that meant the game was pretty much over. Pakistan eventually winning by a massive 180 runs with at least twenty overs to spare. Well played Pakistan, ICC 2017 Champions Trophy Winners!