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ICC CHAMPIONS TROPHY 2017

Top-order blows have de Silva lining

12 June 2017

AFP


AFP


Injuries to key Sri Lanka batsmen may see replacement dropped straight in the deep end for must-win final group-stage clash

Sri Lanka replacement batsman Dhananjaya de Silva could find himself thrown straight into a winner-takes-all Champions Trophy match against Pakistan in Cardiff on Monday.

Whichever team triumphs in the Welsh capital will join title-holders India as one of the two Group B qualifiers for the semi-finals of a tournament featuring the world's top eight one-day international teams.

Quick Single: Nothing to do with composure: de Villiers

Sri Lanka are having to shore up their top order after injuries saw both Chamara Kapugedera and Kusal Perera ruled out of the remainder of the Champions Trophy, while vice-captain Upul Tharanga, an experienced batsman, is completing a two-game ban.

Near-perfect India thrash Proteas

Tharanga was suspended by the International Cricket Council for presiding over a slow over-rate during Sri Lanka's opening defeat by South Africa - a match regular captain Angelo Mathews missed due to a calf problem.

Kapugedera then suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Danushka Gunathilaka for Sri Lanka's surprise win over India at the Oval, only for Perera to have to go off mid-innings with a hamstring injury having batted well for his 47.

Now Sri Lanka will hope De Silva, who struck a series-sealing Test century against Australia last year, can follow the lead of opening batsman Gunathilaka, who made an impressive 76 in Sri Lanka's surprisingly comfortable seven-wicket win on Thursday.

August: De Silva strikes gold with maiden ton

"It's a shame to lose Kusal, he batted extremely well - but Dhananjaya de Silva is also a very good player," Mathews, who struck a crucial 52 not out against India, told reporters in Cardiff on Sunday.

"We had to bring him into the squad because we are left with only seven batters at the moment.

"He has a good chance of playing, but we still haven't decided."

Gunaratne thrills with "unbelievable shot"

Monday's match had the look of a 'dead rubber' after both sides were beaten first up, with Pakistan suffering a 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals India.

But they too bounced back, defeating top-ranked South Africa.

Quick Single: Kohli pulls no punches to keep India firing

Now Pakistan are just one game away from a semi-final with either tournament hosts England or Bangladesh and a wary Mathews said: "We all know they're a very dangerous team.

"There's no room for complacency in this kind of tournament."

It was Pakistan's attack, a well-balanced mix of spin and speed, that put them in a position to beat South Africa and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will look to his bowlers to repeat that performance against Sri Lanka.

Proteas rocked by dramatic run outs

"We took wickets," he said. "If you take wickets, every good team feels under pressure."

Meanwhile, allrounder Mohammad Hafeez said the 'win or go home' nature of the match would help Pakistan maintain their "crystal clear" focus in what will be the only Group B match at Cardiff.

"We are ready," Hafeez insisted. We know this is a game we all want to win and want to go through to the semis."

"We saw a little bit of the conditions. We had a couple of sessions here, and we are very much prepared for that."


Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation


Schedule


1 JuneEngland beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

2 JuneNew Zealand v Australia, No Result

3 JuneSri Lanka lost to South Africa by 96 runs

4 June – India beat Pakistan by 124 runs

5 JuneAustralia v Bangladesh, No Result

6 JuneEngland beat New Zealand by 87 runs

7 JunePakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs (DLS method)

8 June Sri Lanka beat India by seven wickets

9 June  Bangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets

10 June England beat Australia by 40 runs (DLS method)

11 JuneIndia beat South Africa by eight wickets

12 JuneSri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)

14 JuneFirst semi-final (England v B2), Cardiff (D)

15 JuneSecond semi-final (Bangladesh v B1), Edgbaston (D)

18 JuneFinal, The Oval (D)


19 June – Reserve day (D)