England and Pakistan will face each other on Wednesday in Cardiff, in the first semi-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy.
England were the first country to secure a place in the last four of the tournament, after winning their first two matches in Group “A” against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They then went on to complete a clean sweep of victories in the qualifying stage, beating Australia in Birmingham on Saturday, and clinching top spot in the Group.
Pakistan started the tournament in dreadful fashion, suffering a heavy loss to their neighbours and great rivals India. However, they fought back into the running for a place in the knockout phase with a surprise victory over South Africa. They were faced with a winner take all matchup against Sri Lanka in Cardiff, the victor’s reward being to play England for a place in the final, the losers being eliminated.
A topsy turvy contest ended with Pakistan recovering from 162-7, and seemingly on their way out of the competition, to reach their target of 237 with more than five overs remaining, and without losing another wicket.
Wednesday will be the fourth time that England have appeared in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy, and twice previously they have progressed through to the final itself. Although on each occasion, they were beaten to the title. By the West Indies in 2004 and India in 2013. On both occasions, the tournament was held in England.
Pakistan will also be making a fourth semi-final appearance, but in their case they have yet to appear in the final itself. Being beaten by New Zealand twice and the West Indies on the other occasion.
The winners in Cardiff will face the victors of the India against Bangladesh game, which is being played in Birmingham on Thursday. The Final being scheduled for the Kennington Oval in London on Sunday.