KARACHI: Bangladesh confirmed their qualification in the ICC Champions Trophy with an emphatic seven-wicket win over South Africa in the second ODI of their three-match series.
The series-levelling win not only adds South Africa to Bangladesh’s recent high-profile scalps of Pakistan and India but also ensures that only one of West Indies or Pakistan can make their way into the 2017 Champions Trophy.
Bangladesh are currently seventh with 94 points. A loss in the final game will mean that they lose one rating point and will be on 93 by the cut off time of September. A win in the series decider, on the other hand, will take them to 96 points.
Unless more matches are added to Pakistan and West Indies’ fixture list before September — an unlikely scenario — both sides cannot end with more points than Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Hafeez-inspired win in the first ODI against Sri Lanka helped them leapfrog the Caribbean side into the final Champions Trophy spot.
The subcontinent giants — who have featured in all editions of the tournament so far — moved to 89 points, one more than West Indies.
The men in green will be looking to further consolidate their position in the remaining four matches of the series as wins in all of them will take Pakistan to as high as 94 points.
A 4-1 series win will still give Pakistan some cushion over West Indies as they will end up on 92 points. However, if they lose all four matches they can end up as low as 84 points.
The final position will most likely be decided by the upcoming series between Pakistan, West Indies and Zimbabwe but the men in green will be hoping to go into it with a series win and a cushion of several points in their hands.
West Indies have also featured in all Champions Trophy editions, even winning the 2004 one, meaning that one of the
two ever-present teams will not feature this time around.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.
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