ICC Champions Trophy 2017 – round two

With all the teams having now played once we moved onto the second rounds of games at the same three grounds. The games were played from Monday to Thursday this week and if anyone hadn’t won their opening game then this round became crucial.

Australia vs Bangladesh

Only their second game but already it became a must win for both. Lose and they are out. Both teams brought in their spinners at The Oval and Bangladesh won the toss and choose to bat with Tamim Iqbal the main man. And so it proved as players tumbled around him as he batted on and was unlucky to get out himself on 95 with Ban on 180 for 7. Eventually that wicket and then the last 3 wickets all went for just 2 runs more runs. A poor effort when they know they can do much better. But with forecast not good, the Aussies must have been worried going off that they might have another game abandoned.

And they did. In what should have been an easy win just like their first game they were undone by the weather. As predicted the rain did come down and the game never really got started. Aus were cruising on 83-1 off 16 overs the match was abandoned. It means both teams are still in it and can qualify but Aussies must be cursing the rain big time.

England vs New Zealand

On to Cardiff for Eng vs NZ and after a few wash outs in this group, were coming to the half way stage with all four teams still looking to qualify. If England won though, they were through. With Woakes injured and probably out of the tournament Rashid came in. NZ won toss and decided to bowl. With a break for a minute’s silence at 11am for the London victims of the recent terrorists attack being observed the game got under way again. Jason Roy failed again, how many more goes will he now get? Maybe one more? Hales made 56 with Root getting them going up to 118-2. Root then went for 64. England eventually all out for 310 with Butler also smashing 61 off just 48 balls.

New Zealand were always struggling from the off and were constantly behind the required run rate and that is why the hosts England won and qualified for semi-finals with two wins out of two. The only NZ batter to score well again was Williamson who top scored 87 but with no one helping it out the England batsmen shared the wickets around with Plunkett taking 4-55, Ball 2-31 and Rashid 2-47.

South Africa vs Pakistan

This game was held at Edgbaston with Pakistan having to win due to their loss and poor run rate in their first game against India. They changed their team for two changes because of this. South Africa won the toss and decided to bat with an unchanged eleven themselves. SA were poor again and never ever got going. Miller was the only one to get a score as he knocked off 75 of SA’s total of just 219.

Pakistan fielded brilliantly and all their bowlers bowled well, sharing the wickets around and because of this won the game easily via the DLS method. They were on 119-3 and ahead by 19 runs when the game finished. First shock result of the tournament.

India vs Sri Lanka

Which was quickly followed by a second as Sri Lanka had to win this game against joint favorites or they were out and going home. They won the toss and chose to bowl with a couple of changes to their team. India were unchanged. A super start from Rohit 78 and Dhawan 51, but Rohit finally went on 138. Great opening partnership. Then two more wickets went but Dhoni came in to help Dhawan get his 100. He finally went for 125. Dhoni ended on an excellent 63 as India pushed for more runs at the end of the innings with some beautiful shots. 322 to win for SL then.

I don’t think anyone gave them the backing before the game, even less so at the half-way point and when the first wicket went after 11 runs India must have been very confident. However some excellent batting by both Mendis and Gunathilaka got them to 170 before Gunathilaka was superbly ran out for 76. Then a stupid run out for Mendis too on 89 which left two new batsmen at the crease. Would they crumble? No is the answer. As Mathews 52 and Gunaratne 34 saw them over the line. There was huge smiles all round. What a famous victory and easy in the end too. Absolutely superb batting and only their second highest run chase.

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