The final league game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 is a winner takes it all encounter. Pakistan, who have been inconsistent, square off against Sri Lanka who has also not displayed consistency. The situation is simple for both teams. A win puts them into the semi-final while a loss eliminates them. The situation is slightly dire for Pakistan as a washout will also knock them out. Sri Lanka, buoyed by their victory over India in their previous game, will be aiming to repeat their performance and qualify for the semi-final.
Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella(w), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews(c), Asela Gunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Fahim Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali
23:18 hrs IST: Pakistan will take on England in the first semifinal match on Wednesday.
23:11 hrs IST: After the match, Sarfraz Ahmed said – “First of all, thanks to the Almighty. I can’t believe it. Thanks to Amir, he played really well. I jus told him to play his game and not to worry about the score. That if we took it to the 40th over we would win. Drop catches are part of the game. Allah helped us and that’s why Pakistan won today.”
23:02 hrs IST: Pakistan have clinched the match by 3 wickets! Sarfraz Ahmed finishes with 61 off 79 balls.
22:57 hrs IST: This has been an inspired show by Sarfraz, but the batting will be a concern for the team ahead of their match against England. PAK 233/7
22:53 hrs IST: Pakistan looked in trouble after losing seven wickets, but the skipper has truly led from the front. PAK 222/7
22:50 hrs IST: Pakistan are just 18 runs away from victory!
22:47 hrs IST: A beautiful drive from Sarfraz Ahmed and it brings up his fifty! PAK 217/7
22:45 hrs IST: A wide ball from Lakmal and Sarfraz Ahmed gets his 3rd boundary! PAK 211/7
22:41 hrs IST: It’s all going terribly wrong for Sri Lanka. Another misfield and another boundary. PAK 205/7
22:39 hrs IST: Another catch miss for Sri Lanka! The fielding has really failed them today. PAK 199/7
22:38 hrs IST: Sarfraz Ahmed moves into the 40s. PAK 198 for the loss of 7 wickets.
22:34 hrs IST: 39 overs gone. Pakistan need 41 off 66 balls.
22:30 hrs IST: A mishit from Sarfraz and Thisara Perera misses an easy catching effort at mid-on. PAK 194/7
22:24 hrs IST: Another boundary for Sarfraz Ahmed as the fielder makes a mess of it in front of the boundary. PAK 192/7
22:21 hrs IST: A single takes the partnership to 25 runs. This is turning out to be extremely crucial for Pakistan. PAK 188/7
22:17 hrs IST: Sri Lanka gifts 4 runs in overthrows! It’s a comedy of errors at Cardiff! PAK 183/7
22:10 hrs IST: 34 overs gone. Pakistan are 173 for the loss of 7 wickets.
22:06 hrs IST: Sri Lanka are choking Pakistan right now with the batters struggling to score any run. PAK 168/7
22:01 hrs IST: It has been a woeful batting performance by Pakistan till now! PAK 166/7
21:56 hrs IST: OUT! Faheem Ashraf backed the run too much as the ball touched the bowler’s fingers and hit the non-striker end wicket for a run out. PAK 162/7
21:53 hrs IST: The pair of Sarfraz Ahmed and Faheem Ashraf is key to Pakistan’s chances in this match. PAK 162/6
21:48 hrs IST: The Sri Lanka frontline pacers have eight overs left. What will Mathews do? PAK 158/6
21:44 hrs IST: 28 overs gone.Pakistan are 157 for the loss of 6 wickets.
21:41 hrs IST: A boundary for Ashraf! This is getting interesting! PAK 150/6
21:38 hrs IST: The Pakistan fans are putting their hopes on Faheem Ashraf and he starts with a six! PAK 144/6
21:32 hrs IST: OUT! Nuwan Pradeep strikes again as Imad Wasim becomes his third victim. PAK 137/6
21:28 hrs IST: 25 overs gone. Pakistan are 132 for the loss of 5 wickets.
21:24 hrs IST: OUT! Fifth wicket goes down for Pakistan as Shoaib Malik is caught behind for 11, PAK 131/5
21:15 hrs IST: Maiden over from Malinga. Pakistan 124/4 after 23 overs.
21:12 hrs IST: 5 runs from Lakhmal’s over. Pakistan are 124/4.
21:10 hrs IST: Pakistan’s batsmen are going for some seriously tight singles here. Sri Lanka need to do better with hitting the stumps at such opportunities.
21:07 hrs IST: Malik and Sarfaraz take 8 rubs from Malinga’s over. Pakistan 119/4.
21:05 hrs IST: FOUR! Malinga strays a little too wide and Sarfaraz duly sends the ball through the off side field.
21:03 hrs IST: Excellent over from Lakhmal; just the one run and a wicket from it. Sri Lanka are 111/4 after 20 overs.
20:58 hrs IST: WICKET! Azhar Ali edges one to Mendis at slip who makes no mistake. Lakhmal gets his first wicket of the game.
20:56 hrs IST: Another tight over from Sri Lanka; just 4 off it. Pakistan 110/3 after 19 overs.
20:50 hrs IST: After 18 overs, Pakistan are 106/3.
20:42 hrs IST: OUT! Wickets are tumbling fast as Mohammad Hafeez departs. PAK 95/3
20:37 hrs IST: OUT! Pradeep strikes for Sri Lanka. Babar Azar departs for 10. PAK 92/2
20:30 hrs IST: A loud caught behind appeal from Thisara Perera, but was denied by the umpire.PAK 89/1
20:27 hrs IST: 14 overs gone. Pakistan are 87 for the loss of one wicket.
20:22 hrs IST: Babar Azam boasts of an ODI average of 54! PAK 80/1
20:19 hrs IST: Short, wide and punished by Babar Azam as he gets his first boundary. PAK 78/1
20:17 hrs IST: Babar Azam is the new batsman for Pakistan. PAK 74/1
20:15 hrs IST: OUT! Fakhar Zaman goes for the big one but is caught in the deep, PAK 74/1
20:14 hrs IST: Fifty for Fakhar Zaman! PAK 74/0
20:13 hrs IST: Deft touch by Zaman and the ball rushes to the boundary. PAK 73/0
20:11 hrs IST: Asela Gunaratne is introduced into the attack. PAK 68/0
20:09 hrs IST: 10 overs gone. Pakistan are 65 for no loss.
20:06 hrs IST: This is too easy for the openers as Zaman gets another boundary through the fine leg region. PAK 61/0
20:04 hrs IST: Length ball and Farhan Zaman gets the first six of his innings. PAK 57/0
20:00 hrs IST: 50 comes up for Pakistan in the 9th over with all 10 wickets remaining.
19:56 hrs IST: Zaman dances down the wicket and hits it straight down the ground for a boundary. PAK 41/0
19:53 hrs IST: A slower delivery and Azhar Ali hits it out of the ground! PAK 37/0
19:50 hrs IST: 7 overs gone. Pakistan are 31 for no loss.
19:47 hrs IST: Nuwan Pradeep is the new bowler for Sri Lanka. PAK 27/0
19:43 hrs IST: Azhar Ali joins the party with a boundary of his own. PAK 26/0
19:35 hrs IST: 4 overs gone. Pakistan are 19/0 with Fakhar Zaman getting his 4th boundary of the game.
19:32 hrs IST: This is turning out to be a very costly over. Zaman drives it through cover for another four. PAK 14/0
19:30 hrs IST: Back to back boundaries for Fakhar Zaman. PAK 10/0
19:23 hrs IST: No run conceded in the first over. PAK 0/0
19:22 hrs IST: Lasith Malinga to bowl the first over. PAK 0/0
19:00 hrs IST: The winner of this game will face England in the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal.
18:50 hrs IST: OUT! Sri Lanka’s innings comes to an end on 236 as Fahim Ashraf picks out the last wicket.
18:47 hrs IST: 2013 was the last time a Pakistan bowler delivered 3 or more maidens in an ODI, before Junaid Khan in this game. SL 235/9
18:43 hrs IST: OUT! That’s the end of Asela Gunaratne as he is caught in the deep off Hasan Ali. SL 232/9
18:40 hrs IST: At the end of the 48th over, Sri Lanka are 232/8 thanks to a late charge from Asela Gunaratne.
18:37 hrs IST: A dil-scoop from Gunaratne! SL 225/8
18:34 hrs IST: 46 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 218 for 8.
18:32 hrs IST: A reverse weep from Gunaratne, but the catch is put down by the fielder. SL 217/8
18:30 hrs IST: 45 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 214 for 8.
18:25 hrs IST: OUT! Hasan Ali gets the better of Suranga Lakmal as he is castled for 26. SL 213/8
18:22 hrs IST: Another boundary. This partnership is going great guns right now. SL 207/7
18:18 hrs IST: 200 comes up for Sri Lanka in the 43rd over. SL 200/7
18:18 hrs IST: 200 comes up for Sri Lanka in the 43rd over. SL 200/7
18:15 hrs IST: Asela Gunaratne and Suranga Lakmal have steadied the innings. SL 198/7
18:05 hrs IST: A good over by Imad Wasim as just 2 runs came off it. SL 184/7
18:02 hrs IST: 38 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 182 for the loss of 7 wickets.
17:54 hrs IST: Sri Lanka have lost 4 wickets in the matter of just 12 runs. SL 173/7
17:52 hrs IST: It was a straight one from Junaid Khan and Perera edged it to the slip fielder. SL 167/7
17:50 hrs IST: Another wicket goes down as Junaid Khan dismisses Thisara Perera. SL 167/6
17:47 hrs IST: Mohammad Amir has been brilliant in his second spell with two wickets to his name. SL 166/6
17:44 hrs IST: Brilliant catch by Sarfraz Ahmed, but the ball did hit the ground! The batsman is safe. SL 165/6
17:39 hrs IST: OUT! Second wicket for Amir as he dismisses Niroshan Dickwella! SL 162/6
17:35 hrs IST: OUT! Another wicket goes down. Dhananjaya de Silva is caught behind for 3 as Junaid Khan strikes again. SL 162/5
17:28 hrs IST: OUT! Finally the breakthrough for Pakistan! Mohammed Amir castles Angelo Mathews for 39. SL 161/4
17:23 hrs IST: Dickwella was beaten thrice in that over. Can Junaid Khan claim the all-important wicket? S: 162/3
17:21 hrs IST: Junaid Khan is back in the attack and he has been Pakistan’s best bowler till now. SL 161/3
17:18 hrs IST: 30 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 16 for the loss of 3 wickets.
17:15 hrs IST: Another one for Angelo Mathews! The Sri Lanka skipper is looking in prime form as he hits it to the long-on boundary. SL 155/3
17:14 hrs IST: A brilliant boundary for Angelo Mathews and Sri Lanka’s score goes past 150. SL 151/3
17:13 hrs IST: The partnership between Niroshan Dickwella and Angelo Matthews is 63 off 82 balls. SL 147/3
17:08 hrs IST: Sri Lanka were completely outplayed in their first game against South Africa, but the win over India will give them a lot of confidence. SL 140/3
17:03 hrs IST: A close shave for Angelo Matthews, but he was able to make his ground. SL 134/3
17:00 hrs IST: Angelo Matthews was brilliant against India and his team will be banking on him again to guide them to glory. SL 133/3
16:57 hrs IST: 24 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 124/3
16:55 hrs IST: Excellent over for Sri Lanka, as they take 12 runs off Ashraf. They are 118/3 after 23 overs.
16:50 hrs IST: FOUR! Mathews hits the first boundary in nearly 10 overs through the leg side.
16:48 hrs IST: SL 106/3 after a tight over from Hafeez.
16:43 hrs IST: 100 comes up for Sri Lanka in the 21st over. SL 102/3
16:40 hrs IST: Niroshan Dickwella brings up his fifty with a single. SL 97/3
16:35 hrs IST: 19 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 96/3
16:32 hrs IST: Sri Lanka came into the tournament with an ‘underdog’ tag and a win here can do wonders for this team. SL 91/1
16:25 hrs IST: 17 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 86 for the loss of three wickets.
16:21 hrs IST: Angelo Matthews is the new batsman for Sri Lanka. SL 83/3
16:18 hrs IST: OUT! Another wicket goes down as Faheem Ashraf takes the important wicket of Dinesh Chandimal. SL 83/3
16:12 hrs IST: OUT! Hasan Ali is the one to strike for Pakistan as he takes the wicket of Kusal Mendis. SL 82/2
16:10 hrs IST: Pakistan have lost just once against Sri Lanka in ICC tournament. SL 82/1
16:08 hrs IST: Niroshan Dickwella has played brilliantly till now and he is just 12 runs away from his half century. SL 81/1
16:00 hrs IST: A brilliant shot by Kusal Mendis and the ball rushes to the boundary. SL 70/1
15:59 hrs IST: Pakistan’s woeful performance continues as Babar Azam commits yet another misfielding. SL 66/1
15:53 hrs IST: Imad Wasim is bowling a straight one and without much movement, the Sri Lankan batters are looking very comfortable. SL 59/1
15:50 hrs IST: 50 comes up for Sri Lanka for the loss of one wicket.
15:44 hrs IST: India defeat South Africa by 8 wickets last night to guarantee their spot in the semifinals. The winner of this match will now face England in the semis. SL 40/1
15:39 hrs IST: 8 overs gone. Sri Lanka are 37 for the loss of one wicket.
15:35 hrs IST: The wicket has not bothered the Sri Lankan batters much as they continue to keep the scorecard ticking. SL 36/1
15:27 hrs IST: It was a weak shot from Danushka Gunathilaka and Shoaib Malik made no mistake in taking the catch. SL 26/1
15:24 hrs IST: OUT! Gunathilaka is the first person to go for Sri Lanka as Junaid Khan strikes! SL 26/1
15:18 hrs IST: After a superb over, Junaid suffers the downside as he concedes three fours in his over. Sri Lanka start well and have moved to 25/0 after four overs
15:16 hrs IST: CRACK! Superb shot from Gunathilaka. Short and wide from Junaid and the batsman pounces on the width and cracks it to the deep extra cover for a boundary.
15:12 hrs IST: Dickwella has started off well and Sri Lanka have started off steadily. Sri Lanka 12/0 after three overs.
15:08 hrs IST: Junaid Khan to partner Amir at the other end. He starts off with a maiden. Good swing on offer for the left-armer. Sri Lanka 4/0 with two overs.
15:03 hrs IST: Mohammad Amir opens the bowling. Niroshan Dickwella gets going with a boundary. Sri Lanka 4/0 in first over.
14:56 hrs IST: Time for the national anthems of both the nations. Conditions are overcast in Cardiff but there is no threat of rain for the moment. However, it is the UK weather, folks. It can be very fickle indeed.
14:50 hrs IST: Shoaib Malik is playing his 250th ODI for Pakistan. It seems he has been playing for so long. From his debut in 2000 till 2017, he has batted in all positions. Yes, even at No.11.
14:30 hrs IST: Pakistan have chosen to bowl vs Sri Lanka. Shadab Khan is not playing in this match for Pakistan.
14:25 hrs IST: All set for the toss. Looks like Dhananjaya de Silva will come in for Kusal Perera, who was ruled out due to a hamstring injury he sustained in the game against India at The Oval.