ICC Champions Trophy 2017 – round three

Two games down each now so every team had something to play for in the final round of games. The two shock wins for Pakistan against South Africa and Sri Lanka over India, plus Australia’s two rain affected games have left the tournament wide open with only England so far filling one of the four sem-final spots.

New Zealand vs Bangladesh

Winner takes all then with both teams on one point, but only if England were to beat Australia on the Saturday too. NZ won the toss and decided bat and fielding an unchanged team. Two changes for Bangladesh to strengthen their bowling attack and it worked as they had some excellent bowling from the off. However Wiiliamson and Taylor finally got them up to 152-3 before Kane went on 57. Ban are not always known for their fielding but they were superb. Taylor went for 63 and then the wickets just kept falling with no one else helping out which meant they collapsed from 201-3 to 265-8.

Bangladesh themselves had an awful start when they were 0-1 after 2 balls with their main man Tamim Iqbal being the victim. Was it game over for them now? Even more so when they only reached 33-4? But stand up Shakib and Mammudallah who unbelievable stood up and took on the NZ bowling attack with some absolutely stunning batting. No one gave them a hope but four after four just kept coming with sublime timing from Shakib. He made a wonderful 114 as he went on 275-5, just 9 runs short of the D/L predicted score. Mummudallah got to his 100 too though which meant they then had two runs to win from 3 overs.. Job done. Southee was excellent at start for NZ with the 3 wickets but then it all went wrong. NZ Out.

That means the underdogs are getting their own way, with Pakistan beat South Africa, Sri Lanka beating India and now Bangladesh beating New Zealand, so forget the rankings, everyone is beating everyone. Will there be anymore to come?

England vs Australia

With England already qualified an Australia win would put them through too with them after their two wash outs. Lose and Bangladesh go through. Both teams were unchanged at Edgbaston. England love to chase so opted to bowl after winning the toss. Warner was first to go on 40-1, then Finch went on 68 himself with a great catch from Morgan – 136-2, A great start. Jason Roy might not be batting well but he must have been come up with the catch of the tournament so far. Catching on the line to get Maxwell, but as he fell over he threw it back with his feet so close to the rope and caught it again, brilliantly done. Wickets kept going down then but Head batted out the innings with a good 71. Wood and Rashid both taking 4 wickets each. England had a chance.

However, Roy failed again, this time with 4, surely he’s had it now? Hales then went too so it was a bad start and 6-2 for England. Root gone too, so 35-3 – Bangladeshis must have been worried. Great fast bowling from Australia but then a captain’s innings from Morgan, with a superb 87. Stokes then with a brilliant 100 and Butler 29 not out too. 240-4. Then the rain came and England were way ahead on Duckworth/Lewis and won the game on that in the end. Australia out and still cursing still the English weather.

South Africa vs India

Two games to go then in this group, all have played two and all are on two points so everything to play for. Couple of changes for both teams with India winning the toss and bowling. SA had some dodgy running between the wickets from the beginning and eventually that would prove to be their downfall. With both Amla and de Kock on 35 the first wicket went and that was Amla. De Kock soon followed, before some shocking moments for SA.

With an excellent catch earlier, Dhoni then helped with a brilliant run out to take De Villeirs. 140-3 and just two runs later there was some truly astonishing stuff and not for the better. Even when it was obvious a wicket was lost – neither batsmen knew who was out. It took a replay to check if they’d cross as they both ended up running to the same wicket. Truly embarrassing. Miller out for 1. SA then lost 8 wickets for just 45 runs. Including another shocking run out even after an India miss field.

Not much to say about the India innings. They won easily with 12 overs to spare. Kohli 76 not out. A complete performance with bat, ball and out in the field. India through to the semis.

Pakistan vs Sri Lanka

On Cardiff which would become Pakistan’s new home for a couple of days as they joined England, Bangladesh and India in the semis after a great match against Sri Lanka. Pak won the toss and bowl first. Both teams made one change, SA’s was a forced one due to injury. SL had an okay start and they were looking good, but before you knew it there were two quick wickets on 82 and 83 and they were three down. Dickwella and Mathews got them going again but Angelo went on 161-4 before another two quick wickets which meant 162-5 and then 162-6. The sixth wickets came from an outstanding catch from Sarfraz behind the stumps to get Dickwella. He followed that up with nearly another great catch again on 165-6 but just couldn’t hang on. SL’s tail then wagged a little but they could only finish on 236 all out with 4 balls to spare. Terrific bowling from Pakistan.

Fakhar got a quick fire 50 off 34 ball and the start to get Pakistan to 74-0 but then he went. Three more wickets followed and Pak were then 110-4, so SL were in with a chance. Pak then lost another so were 131-5 after great bowling from Malinga, Another went down then which meant they were 137-6 – game on now! Were Sri Lanka going to win this or could the captain Sarfraz hang on and lead his team over the line with just three wickets remaining, He certainly did and they didn’t lose another wicket as he made 57 and Amir helped out with 28 that took them through to the semis.

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