The second Semi-Final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 between Bangladesh and India will be played at Edgbaston on June 15. Ahead of their tie we look back at how both teams arrived at the semi-final and which team will go on to the final at the Oval on Sunday 18 June.
A magnificent batting display under extreme pressure from Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah gave Bangladesh a famous win against New Zealand in a thrilling Group B match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, keeping their team alive in the tournament while New Zealand was knocked out.
The two cracked stunning centuries in putting together 224 runs in 34.5 overs, the highest ever stand for Bangladesh in One-Day Internationals. It was the third highest for the fifth wicket in all ODIs.
The five-wicket win on Friday at Cardiff Wales Stadium meant that the whole of Bangladesh would be praying for England, the tournament favourite, to beat the old enemies Australia on Saturday, which will put Bangladesh in the semi-finals of the tournament, the furthest it would have ever gone in an ICC event. Needless to say England cruised to another win at Edgbaston and ensured that the Tigers qualified for the semi-final.
If there was one image that summed up how the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 has gone for South Africa, it came off the first ball of the 30th over after it had been put in to bat by Virat Kohli at The Oval on Sunday.
Faf du Plessis had just steered the returning R Ashwin to short third-man and set off for a single. At the other end, David Miller responded. Du Plessis took a few steps and changed his mind, turned back and dived into his crease. The only problem was, Miller had no idea du Plessis had turned around, and both men ended up at the same end. The ball was thrown to the other for an easy run-out, and the third umpire had to be called on not to adjudicate whether a batsman was in or out, but which batsman had made his ground first. Miller was the unfortunate batsman who had to depart
— ICC (@ICC) June 11, 2017
Reeling under the shock of AB de Villiers’ run out just five balls back, this was another massive bowl to South Africa’s innings, which stuttered and sputtered to 191 all out in 44.3 overs in a Group B clash that is a virtual quarter-final.
India now only needs its batsmen to keep their heads on a pitch that has not played any extravagant tricks to book a semifinal date with Bangladesh at Edgbaston, and keep its title defence alive.
Before the match, both captains had stressed the need to stay calm, not get overexcited and thus make clear decisions on the field. Only India lived up to those words in the first half at least, with the run-outs showing South Africa’s ability under pressure in dubious light.
The Semi-Final Clash
India will be firm favourites going into this clash, having already played at Edgbaston and utterly dominated Pakistan with a batting masterclass from Virat Kohl and Rohit Sharma. India’s whole top order has been in pretty good touch this tournament. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh have all averaged above 40 in the tournament although those stats may be slightly skewed by the fact that each man has only played three games.
What will please the Indian management more than anything is that the top four has only exposed the middle order on one occasion. That came in the loss against Sri Lanka at the Oval where Kohli and Yuvraj both failed with the bat after a fantastic platform was set by the openers.
Bangladesh go into the semi-final as obvious underdogs. Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza told reporters “It’s a big thing for our cricket. It is an opportunity for us but I want to request everybody not to think we will go all the way to win the title. It’s a tournament of the top eight teams and more challenging than the World Cup. So, to be in the semi-final is itself an achievement for us. It is also a reward for our continued effort towards improving our game. I think everyone has contributed to what we are today. The whole nation will be with us as they were in our desperate times and good times.”
The pressure will be on Mustafizur and Mashrafe to grab a few early wickets before the spinners come on and try to strangle the batsmen in the middle overs. The Tigers will need to use all of their tricks in to unsettle the Indian top order – keep an eye out for Mustafizur’s off-cutter once the ball gets a bit older. The Indians will do well to remember just how destructive he can be. He did, of course, grab himself a five-for on debut against India in Mirpur where he used his variations to great effect.