Archive for the ‘icc champions trophy’ Category


Fakhar and the Pasthun Factor in Pakistan’s Champion’s Trophy Campaign

June 25, 2017

Michael Atherton, in The Times & The Australian, 20 June 2017, where the title isChampions Trophy: Fakhar, Amir lead charge as India lose plot”

It is a game of infinite possibilities and surprises. On a sweltering day, in front of a raucous full house of swaying blues and greens, and to a global audience in the hundreds of millions, Sarfraz Ahmed’s ragtag army, the exiles of the international game, outplayed the swaggering House of Kohli to win the Champions Trophy.

 Fakthar Zaman  


It was a day for underdogs everywhere and you would need a heart as cold and hard as a taxman’s not to have been moved by it. To flourish, cricket must encourage the notion of equality and fair play and we have to believe that any team, no matter the resources or the situation, has a chance of winning on any given day. India are the “haves” of cricket and Pakistan the “have nots”, but here Sarfraz’s side showed that a team prepared to have a go can succeed against the odds. Two weeks ago, they lost to India by 124 runs; now they beat them by the whopping margin of 180 runs. It showed what a sequence of victories, a dash of confidence and a smattering of new faces could achieve.

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Coaching India: The Issues … Beyond the Kumble-Kohli Rift

June 24, 2017

Sambit Bal,  courtesy of ESPNcricinfo, …. June 2017

A battle that has broken in the Indian camp is likely to produce no winners. It is certain, however, to produce rumours, half-truths, intrigue and innuendoes, and those will do no credit to Indian cricket or the men involved. A breakdown of the relationship between the coach and the captain is invariably unsettling for the team, but when the names involved happen to be Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli, the reverberations are inevitably far more severe.

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Champion Bloggers on the Champion’s Finale at the Oval

June 19, 2017

ESPNcricinfo, 19 June 2017

A bailout or a bail-in? Mohammad Hafeez helped Pakistan add 91 in the last ten overs © Getty Images


  • @CRICFAN56623542: Luck is part of the game. Better teams make use of luck…Fakhar dropped on 3 made century.. Koli dropped out the next ball. Pakistan is way ahead of india on head to head and yes India was neither the best ever. It was always Australia and West Indies of the old. Things get open now with a not so dominant Australia but frankly speaking i think it is a rare low from them as well as south Africa. And you said “will not ever”, my friend no one can know that. I always thought teams winning on home grounds should not get the same points as those who win as visitors. ICC should review the point system. I believe that teams winning at home should get half the value of points as those winning as visitors. Put that in the system and you will see how your so called big 4 falls to the ground.

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Kohli gives Credit where Credit is due

June 9, 2017

Amit Kumar, 9 June 2017, where the title is “We Trusted Our Bowlers But Sri Lanka Were Pretty Good, Says Virat Kohli”

After an awful bowling performance from defending champions India saw them slump to an unexpected seven-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka in a high-scoring ICC Champions Trophy, captain Virat Kohli said he expected his bowlers to defend 321 but Sri Lanka batted exceptionally well to take the game away. “We felt we had enough on the board, we trusted out bowlers, but Sri Lanka were pretty good,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

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Sri Lanka surprise India

June 9, 2017

Andrew Fidel Fernando, in ESPNcricinfo, 9 June 2017 — where the title is  “Mendis, Gunathilaka anchor highest Champions Trophy chase to keep SL alive”

They may be coming off an awful run of form, two of their players might have been ruled out, and their No. 4 may damage his hamstring during a crucial innings, but still, if the wind and the light and the time of day are just right, Sri Lanka can still summon up a little of their old big-tournament magic. They can rally, they can surge, they can surprise. That India’s batting went more or less perfectly to plan made Sri Lanka’s ice-cold pursuit even sweeter. They were, after all, chasing a commanding 321 for 6, on an Oval surface that had turned up a little green on match day.

: Hardik Pandya of India reacts after a dropped catch off his bowling during the ICC Champions trophy cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at The Oval in London on June 8, 2017 (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)                         

 Asela Gunaratne in a previous match

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Umair Wolid’s Analysis: Why Sri Lanka lost

June 6, 2017

Sri Lanka went into the much anticipated 8th edition of the Champions Trophy as ‘underdogs’ given their recent performances and skipper Angelo Mathews said “he’s happy to be in that position”. Mathews missed the opening game as he was nursing from a hamstring injury, a major blow as Sri Lanka faced South Africa, one of the tournament favorites.

 in Daily Mirror, 4 June 2017,

Winning the toss and putting South Africa to bat, Sri Lankan seamers contained the South African openers giving away only three boundaries within the first 14 overs.  South Africa eventually scored 299 runs and Hashim Amla scored his fifth ODI century against Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka’s chase looked under control when Niroshan Dickwella showed his aggressive batting skills by taking over the South African bowling attack which included the number one ranked ODI bowler Kagiso Rabada. Despite the quick-fire opening stand, Sri Lanka lost its way in the middle and lost the match by a staggering 96 runs.

Listed are 5 key reasons for Sri Lanka’s loss  ……..05 – Malinga’s drop 

Faf Du Plessis was left off the hook when he was on 8 runs when Malinga dropped a rather straight forward catch. He was swirling around the boundary rope and eventually dropped the catch. Faf later went on to dominate the Lankan bowlers with ease and scored 75 runs.

04 – Genuine wicket taking bowler 

Sri Lanka took a huge gamble by operating with four specialist bowlers and hoping the likes of Asela Gunarathne to fill in as the 5th bowler’s slot. To be fair with Gunarathne, he didn’t let the African batsman score freely where he gave away only 63 runs at an economy rate of just over 6 runs per over.  Sri Lanka missed the services of a genuine wicket taking bowler to control and pick up wickets in the middle overs of the match. South Africa scored 130 runs between the 10th and the 30th overs of the match which gave them a solid platform.

Being the only genuine spinner of the team Seekkuge Prasanna looked hapless by the solid batting of Amla and Faf where he gave away 72 runs in his 10 overs. Having four genuine wicket-keepers in the playing XI (Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis , Kusal Perera , Dinesh Chandimal ) Upul Tharanga didn’t have much part time bowling options too .  Despite losing control in the middle overs Sri Lankan seamers pulled back in the death overs where they didn’t allow South African hard-hitting batsmen to score heavily.

03 – Middle-order collapse 

After the quick-fire start Sri Lanka got from Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga, the other batsmen didn’t have much composure to build up a partnership and take Sri Lanka towards the 300 run mark. Sri Lanka at one stage were 93 runs for the loss of 1 wicket but went on to lose five more wickets in a span of 62 runs which led the scoreboard to a disappointing 166 for 6 wickets.

02 – Upul Tharanga’s wicket 

If someone who could have done it for Sri Lanka after loosing Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal, it would have been Upul Tharanga. Upul who played a decent innings holding the Sri Lankan innings until he tried to clear Imran Tahir over deep cover where he was caught by David Miller. Upul’s wicket opened the flood gates for South Africa to bowl out Sri Lanka well within 42 overs.

01-    The Tahir factor 

Tahir has now picked up 24 wickets in his last 10 games against Sri Lanka at an astonishing average of 15.79 runs per wicket. Tahir was the decisive factor in the bilateral series in January/February as well as in this game.  AB De Villiers kept Tahir until the 17 over of the match and he didn’t take much time to act on what he does best. Dinesh Chandimal got run out on the first over of Tahir and then Chamara Kapugerada trapped for a wonderfully disguised googly of his first ball faced. Kumar Sangagkara on the commentary box stated that Kapugerada should have been expecting the googly from Tahir first up as he beats the right handers often with his accurate googly.

Tharanga gave his wicket away to Tahir trying to clear him over deep cover and then Asela Gunarathne followed. It was a matter of time until South Africa picked up the remaining wickets and Tahir came in and picked up the last wicket to finish with figures of 4 for 27 at an economy of 3.17

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A Golden Ball on a Pedestal

May 23, 2017


CARDIFF, WALES – SEPTEMBER 04: The ICC Champions Trophy during the 5th Royal London One day International match between England and Pakistan at SSE Swalec Cricket Ground on September 04, 2016 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

 So — who will be the Player’s Champion at the  end of the forthcoming competition?