India set up Pakistani grudge match in Champions Trophy final



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    India have cruised into the final of the Champions Trophy after a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh on Thursday, setting up a clash with old rivals Pakistan.

    A masterful unbeaten 123 from Rohit Sharma steered defending champions India to victory with nearly 10 overs to spare after they were set a target of 265 by Bangladesh, playing in their first semi-final of a major tournament.

    Sharma shared a 178-run partnership with Virat Kohli, who ended unbeaten on 96 as India delivered a composed and classy batting display.

    Bangladesh’s bowling attack never managed to create any real pressure on what was a good batting track and they will also feel they failed to put up a big enough target.

    An entertaining 123-run third-wicket partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim put Bangladesh in a strong position but their middle order failed to fully capitalise on that foundation.

    Bangladesh ended their 50 overs on 7-264 after Tamim top scored with 70 and Mushfaqir made 61, but with a stronger middle and lower order contribution they would have expected to reach around 300.

    Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed two early wickets for India – Soumya Sarkar dragging on in the first over and then Sabbir Rahman slashing a short ball to Ravindra Jadeja at backward point to leave Bangladesh at 2-36.

    Tamim was fortunate when he was bowled by Hardik Pandya off a no-ball when he was on 17, but he took good advantage of the reprieve.

    Together with Mushfiqur, Tamim took the game to India with some aggressive batting, taking calculated risks and scoring at a brisk pace as they brought up the century partnership off 104 balls with 10 fours and one six.

    The breakthrough came after India had managed to slow down the run-rate and with the pressure on, Tamim lost his composure, bowling the part-time off-spin of Kedar Jadhav as he attempted a wild slog.

    Shakib Al Hasan was superbly caught, off a bottom edge by MS Dhoni, stood up to spinner Ravindra Jadeja and then Jadhav struck again with the crucial wicket of Mushfiqur, whose mistimed shot was snaffled up by Virat Kohli at midwicket.

    Bangladesh badly needed Mahmudullah, a century maker in the win over New Zealand last week, to regain the momentum but he was only able to make 21 off 25 balls before being bowled by a fine Jasprit Bumrah yorker.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • Columnist

      June 16th 2017 @ 11:03am
      Ronan O'Connell said | June 16th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      This has the makings of a classic final. Really hope it’s a close one.

    • June 16th 2017 @ 12:40pm
      hari said | June 16th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

      Seems like there are no cricket fans in Australia, only Aussie fans!

      • Roar Guru

        June 16th 2017 @ 2:11pm
        Chris Kettlewell said | June 16th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

        You know what, cricket fans in every country are more interested in “their” team than any other team and are never going to be as interested in a competition once “their” team is out.

        And going by comments on this site, it looks like there are a lot more Aussie critics than fans a lot of the time.

    • Roar Guru

      June 16th 2017 @ 1:45pm
      Rellum said | June 16th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

      Come on Pakistan, would love to see them beat India here.

    • June 16th 2017 @ 11:31pm
      Tanmoy Kar said | June 16th 2017 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

      Is it a Champion’s Trophy or an Asia Cup?

    • June 17th 2017 @ 10:49pm
      Bobbo7 said | June 17th 2017 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

      Really depends which Pakistan turns up tomorrow. They were simply brilliant against England. Would have beaten anyone with that performance. They usually struggle against India but I have a feeling they may just turn up for the final

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