And now we’ve finally reached to the last league game of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2017 which would be played between the two Asian nations Pakistan & Sri Lanka at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff . South African team has already been knocked out of the tournament in their previous match by India, having lost to them by huge 8 wickets. The two Asian giants would face not very much different situation in an another ‘unsaid’ quarter-final of the Group-B. It would be a do or die for both of the teams.
England & Bangladesh having qualified already from the Group-A & India from the Group-B, this match will witness the second team which would be qualifying for the semi finals.
Pakistan won their last game against the Proteans by a marginal 19 runs whereas Sri Lanka defeated Indian team by 7 wickets on 8th June.
“We are not trying to get too far ahead. We just want to take one game at a time. We’re not thinking about the semifinal just yet. We’ve got to play really good cricket to beat Pakistan, and we all know that they are a very dangerous team,” said Mathews.
Sri Lankan team would be playing without Kusal Perera. He retired after an injury in the previous game just before he was short off to a couple of runs to his half-century at an individual score of 47. “It is unfortunate to lose Kusal as he can bat anywhere in the batting order, he gives that option. We have been left with only seven batters, so we had to call up Dhananjaya de Silva,” said the Sri Lankan skipper.
Pakistan are tagged ‘unpredictable’ which has now become predictable, their last game saw too many balls being wasted away as dot balls. More than 15 overs were washed away as dot balls, a thing which neither helps in building up a huge total beyond 300 neither it helps in chasing such targets under immense pressure. It is of sure that the Pakistani team would be under pressure as compared to their counterparts today. History, however, favors Pakistan as they have won twice as against one by Sri Lanka in Champions Trophy.
The equation is simple- whoever wins the match will qualify for the semi-finals and will meet Group A table toppers England on Wednesday. The fact that only one of the 2 teams would resurface and appear in the semis, both the teams would sink off in their best cricket today so as to maximize their winning perspectives today.
Nothing can be said about both the teams today. Both started off with a poor and dull start but later on won their 2nd league games and kept their hopes of entering into semis alive. There’s no favorite outside today, but surely the Sri Lankan side seems heavy on the papers. Let’s see what players have to unfold from their cricket for us.