England Beat Australia. Thanks to the rain. Which has now become a common factor that decides the outcome of the matches of the ICC Championships Tournament 2017.
To be fair, England did really well. They were well on their way to victory. But nothing like hitting the winning shot and throwing your arms up to the sky. And this is cricket we are talking about. Anything could have happened. Very unlikely for Australia to have come back, but not impossible. Watching the match, I realized that the Aussies could have tipped the scales to their benefit. The run out of Morgan (87) saw a lot of passion and determination. The boys looked a little hopeful. But England had more than enough deliveries left to reach their target.
England needed 278 runs to win. After losing early wickets (35/3) they picked up thanks to Morgan’s 87 and Ben Stokes’ 102. Morgan’s run out could have been avoided, yes. Zampa’s throw was bang on target. It is hard when the hit is direct. But England knew they could still make it. Sloppy fielding by the Aussies and a couple of dropped catches also helped. It was a moment of celebration when Stokes hit his century.
Rain stopped play. By the now-very-popular, and equally-hated, Duckworth-Lewis method, England were way ahead. They were declared winners once it became obvious that play could not resume.
Earlier in the day, Australia was sent into bat by England. With the grounds good for runs and a small boundary on one side, Australia intended to make the most of it to reserve a berth for themselves in the next round. After losing David Warner (21) in the eight over, the batting picked up with Finch hitting 68 off just 64 balls and the captain giving him the company. Smith - 56 off 77 deliveries - also supported Travis head (71 Not Out from 64). The total of 277 was not very high considering the stakes, but defendable.
This is an impressive team for England, who also had the advantage being the Home Team.
So here’s where Group A Stands. NZ is on their way home. Probably home too. Thanks to the rain and some good work from the home team, of course, England is through to the next round. Since Australia lost, Bangladesh, second on the table, joins England. This is their first ever Semis in a global tournament. Good for them.
Group B is still wide open. India meet South Africa and Sri Lanka meet Pakistan. Anything could happen. With rains, it is just all the more unpredictable. Time to call in the weatherman too to help analyze future of the teams in this tournament.