ICC Champions Trophy: Must-win for Pakistan, Sri Lanka in semis qualification
Pakistan and Sri Lanka square off in the last league game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. A win for either team helps them enter the semi-final while a loss eliminates them from the competition.icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 12, 2017 11:26 IST
Three out of the four semi-finalists have been decided in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. England, Bangladesh and India have secured qualification for the knock-outs. The final league game of the tournament features Pakistan taking on Sri Lanka in Cardiff. Pakistan’s journey has been erratic so far, having lost heavily to India in their first game but bouncing back and defeating South Africa in a rain-interrupted match in Edgbaston.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have also been inconsistent. The team started badly with a heavy loss to South Africa but Angelo Mathews’ side stunned defending champions India to throw the whole group wide open. India’s win over South Africa sealed their passage to the semi-final where they will take on Bangladesh. The winner of the Pakistan vs Sri Lanka game will face England in the knock-out stages.
Heading into the last league game, India’s win has knocked South Africa out of the competition. The stakes in this match are simple. If Pakistan win, they will face England in the semi-final. If Sri Lanka win, they are through. However, in case of a wash-out, both teams will end up on three points. The situation will boil down to net run-rate. Pakistan’s heavy loss to India and their narrow win over South Africa has given them a net run-rate of -1.508, which is the worst among all the teams. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have a net run-rate of -0.879.
A wash-out will mean that Sri Lanka will head into the knock-out stages while Pakistan will be eliminated. Conditions in Cardiff are expected to be cloudy but weather reports suggest that there will not be rain during the course of the match.