The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 semi-finals have been decided. The locals, England, along with three Southern Asia teams: Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, made it through to the last four.
The semi-final line-up has sprung some surprises. England and India were among the favourites before the tournament, but Bangladesh and Pakistan have defied expectation to reach this stage.
South Africa and Australia, the two top ranked teams in the ICC ODI Rankings, have already crashed out of the competition.
Group A: England and Bangladesh go through
England won all three of their matches. The hosts defeated Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand, reaching six points to secure the top spot of Group A.
With three points, Bangladesh will be playing their first ever semi-final in an ICC Champions Trophy. They defeated New Zealand and shared points with Australia in a rain-affected match.
All three of Australia’s matches were interrupted by the UK’s less-than-glorious weather. The Aussies were 44 runs ahead of the Bangladesh on DLS calculations, when the match was called off due to rain, needing just four more overs to force a result. It was a cruel blow for the men from down under.
Group B: India and Pakistan advance
Both semi-finalists from Group B were decided in the last two group matches: India vs South Africa and Pakistan vs Sri Lanka. The four teams reached their last group stage match with two points each.
On Sunday India thrashed the ICC ODI top-ranked team, South Africa, by eight wickets, assuring the top spot of the group and a spot in the last four.
Pakistan were the last team to qualify to the knockouts, beating Sri Lanka in a smashing contest on Monday.
ICC Champions Trophy semi-finals
In the first semifinal, England, who topped Group A, will take on the second-placed team in Group B, Pakistan, on June 14th at the Sophia Gardens, in Cardiff.
The second semi-final will be played between India, who topped Group B, and Bangladesh, the second-placed Group A team, on June 15th at Edgbaston, in Birmingham.
The final will take place on June 18th at the Oval, in London.
British drizzle could spoil party
There is concern from cricket fans all around the world that the infamous British weather may spoil the semifinals.
One 'reserve' day has been kept by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the final match of the tournament, but there will be none for the semi-finals.
According to the ICC, the team that topped their respective group will go through in case of a rain wash-out.
This means that in the case of the rain rendering semi-finals unplayable, England and India would progress to the final.
According to the weather forecast, no rain is expected during the semi-final in Cardiff. Yet the heavens may open during the match in Birmingham between India and Bangladesh.
The ICC has also included specific rules for the semi-finals, if they end as a tie. If both teams end with the same number of runs, they would have to play a Super Over. This would represent an unprecedented step, as no ODI has ever gone into the Super Over before.