KARACHI: Pakistan and West Indies are to contest to reach in Champions Trophy as Bangladesh confirmed their seats to England. Bangladesh beat South Africa by seven wickets in Mirpur to level the three-match ODI series at 1-1 and secure qualification to the 2017 Champions Trophy. The result in Bangladesh now means the battle for the final spot in the eight-team tournament is squarely between Pakistan and West Indies.
Even if Bangladesh lose their third and final ODI against South Africa, it is no longer possible for both Pakistan and West Indies to pass their points tally before the September cut-off date. Azhar Ali’s Pakistan side are current playing a five-match series in Sri Lanka and they will meet the West Indies in a tri-series also featuring hosts Zimbabwe in August and September.
Pakistan will need to ensure they come out on top in Sri Lanka to keep their Champions Trophy hopes alive before they look too far ahead though. Pakistan have played in all editions of the Champions Trophy since the tournament’s inception in 1998. It is an ICC event they are yet to win, having made it to the semi-finals in 2000, 2004 and 2009. Australia and India are two most successful teams in the Champions Trophy with two title wins each.