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Friday, June 14, 2013

Champions Trophy: India Going Strong, Pakistan Out!



While Indian Cricket made all the wrong headlines thanks to the IPL Spot Fixing scandal the Indian Cricket team in England and Wales for the on-going ICC Champions Trophy-2013 played the best of cricket so far. India became the first team of the tournament to sail into the semifinals outplaying West Indies in their second Group-B match on 11th June. Earlier in the Championship opener on 6th June India edged out South Africa by 26 runs in a toughly competitive and high-scoring encounter. In both matches Shikhar Dhawan, the sensational new-find for India, made brilliant back-to-back centuries contributing hugely for the team victories. In fact, this is Shikhar’s 3rd consecutive hundred if we take into account his brilliant Test century against Australia in Mohali after which he got injured. With Rohit Sharma this opening duo seems to be doing extremely well at the moment and cricket fans would hope they make the pair Team India has been looking for after the failures of the Sehwag-Gambhir duo. India’s powerful batting display in English conditions has won special praise.

The other semifinalist from Group B is likely to be decided in the crucial encounter today between South Africa and West Indies—both teams with one win each. In a virtual quarter final the winner will go straight into the semis. There is a worry of rain over the match and in case the match is abandoned both teams would be locked at 3 points each making net run-rate coming into play.

The scenario in Group A is far more complex. Sri Lanka on the brink of elimination fought for dear life last night and convincingly beat a strong England by 7 wickets with 17 balls to spare. Chasing a big target of 294 runs Sri Lanka won in style thanks to a scintillating unbeaten century by Sangakkara. The England-New Zealand tie on 16th June is set to be another quarter final where the winner would go straight into the semis. However if New Zealand is defeated they would still stick on for the last match of Group A between Australia and Sri Lanka on June 17. If Australia win Sri Lanka will be eliminated and New Zealand-Australia will be tied with 3 points each making net run-rate decide the second team to go into the semis.

Unfortunately for the sub-continental cricket fans Pakistan got eliminated very early due mainly to their uninspired performances. They lost both their matches against West Indies and South Africa. However, the much-awaited blockbuster encounter between Pakistan and India is yet to be played. Whatever the stakes for both teams and the lack of it an India-Pakistan match is always a mouth-watering prospect. Pakistan is eliminated no doubt, but they would love to exit with the satisfaction of beating India. And India would like to make its slate clean winning all group encounters and play the semifinal with tremendous confidence. The respective fans would not settle for anything less than a win. Stay tuned tomorrow for the big one! 


The Teams As They Stand Today the 14th of June:

Group A
Teams
Mat
Won
Lost
Tied
N/R
Pts
Net RR
For
Against
New Zealand
  2
 1
 0
 0
 1
  3
+1.048
139/36.3
138/50.0
England
  2
 1
 1
 0
  0
  2
+0.289
562/100.0
518/97.1
Sri Lanka
  2
 1
 1
 0
 0
  2
-0.517
435/97.1
432/86.3
Australia
  2
 0
 1
 0
 1
  1
-0.960
221/50.0
269/50.0
Group B
Teams
Mat
Won
Lost
Tied
N/R
Pts
Net RR
For
Against
India
  2
 2
 0
 0
 0
  4
+0.979
567/89.1
538/100.0
South Africa
  2
 1
 1
 0
 0
  2
+0.410
539/100.0
498/100.0
West Indies
  2
 1
 1
 0
 0
  2
-0.086
405/90.4
406/89.1
Pakistan
  2
 0
 2
 0
 0
  0
-1.108
337/100.0
406/90.4

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