The ICC Champions Trophy has reached the knockout stages, and there have been some fantastic performances from the stars of the upcoming Hero CPL so far. Here is a run down of our #CPLWatch.
New Zealand haven’t had the best of things so far in the tournament, not least when they unluckily suffered as a result of the English weather when their game against trans-Tasman rivals, Australia, finished in a no result when they looked set for a victory. Against England they were brushed aside by the rampant hosts who are the only undefeated team in the tournament.
Despite the poor results Kane Williamson of the Tridents - Pride of Barbados has been in brilliant form. Williamson’s finished the tournament with 244 runs at an average of 81.33. At the end of the group stage only India’s Shikhar Dhawan had more runs. If other New Zealanders had stood up like Williamson they would be in the semi-finals.
Things went badly wrong for South Africa against India and Pakistan, but Hashim Amla of the Trinbago Knight Riders got them off to the best possible start with a match-winning hundred against Sri Lanka.
Quinton de Kock fell early to leave South Africa 44-1 in the 13th over. Amla then shared a stand worth 145 with Faf du Plessis that set a brilliant platform. Amla batted until the 43rd over before he fell to a run out. It seemed like the only way that anyone could get him out as he finished with 103 from 115 balls.
Imad Wasim of Jamaica Tallawahs hasn’t been ripping up trees in the wicket taking column, but he has the best economy rate of any Pakistan player and the eighth best in the tournament - he has conceded just 4.72 runs an over in a tournament were a par score has been better than a run a ball.
In Pakistan’s must-win game against Sri Lanka, Imad was brilliant at bogging down the middle order and making the Sri Lankans fight for runs. By the time the quicks came back into the attack the Sri Lankans were forced to up the rate and wickets tumbled.
Shakib al Hasan
Bangladesh’s rise as a force in ODI cricket is one of the game’s happier stories in recent years, and few have had more impact that the number one all-rounder in the world, Shakib al Hasan. The Jamaica Tallawahs’ man played a massive part in getting his team to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy.
Batting against New Zealand with his team 33-4 in pursuit of a target of 266, Shakib put on 224 alongside Mahmudullah for the fifth wicket to see his side home. Shakib wasn’t there at the end, he was bowled by Trent Boult when he was on 114, but he had helped pull off one of the more remarkable comebacks in the history of ODI cricket.