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World Cricket and 2017: Pakistan rediscover its lost glory, Windies and Lankans plummet further

Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan made a stunning display of skills and grit, as they overpowered Virat Kohli-led India to clinch the ICC Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom.

Published: 27th December 2017 12:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th January 2018 08:06 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistan Team celebrating the fall of an Indian wicket during the Champions Trophy Final. | AP

Online Desk

Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan made a stunning display of skills and grit, as they overpowered Virat Kohli-led India to clinch the ICC Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom. Along with Pakistan, Bangladesh too carried on their giant strides in world cricket, while Sri Lanka and West Indies declined further.

Here is a brief look on how the world cricket shaped itself in 2017.

Pakistan:

The Green Brigade toured Australia earlier this year, where they suffered 0-3 and 1-4 losses in Tests and ODIs. However, the 3-0 ODI win in the Caribbean helped them to qualify for the Champions Trophy, which they clinched after beating India in the final.

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Also, International cricket returned in Pakistan, with Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co. registering a 2-1 T20 series win against World XI. They ended the year on a bittersweet note against Sri Lanka in UAE, as they lost the Test series 0-2 and won the ODIs and T20s by 5-0 and 3-0.

Sri Lanka: After missing the semi-final slot in Champions Trophy, Sri Lanka were further pummelled at home through 2-3 ODI series loss against Zimbabwe and 0-9 thrashing from Indians.

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However, their Test fortunes saw a tinge of revival in UAE, where they thrashed Pakistan by 2-0.

West Indies: After missing the Champions Trophy slot, West Indies were thrashed by India in ODIs at home in July. However, they won the solitary T20 by nine wickets against Men-in-Blue.

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In the England tour during August-September, they created history by chasing down 322 runs to win the second Test. However, they lost the Test series 1-2, followed by 0-4 loss in ODIs, thereby missing the World Cup 2019 direct qualifying berth. 

England: After starting the year with a 2-1 ODI and T20 defeats in India, Eoin Morgan and Co.’s dreams of winning the ICC Champions Trophy at home were dashed when they lost the semi-final against Pakistan.

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They compensated it by winning home series against Proteas and Windies at home. Joe Root took over as the England Test captain.

Australia: The Steven Smith-led outfit started the year by beating Pakistan at home. They put up a fighting show in the 1-2 Test series loss in India.

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However, the first-round elimination in Champions Trophy, along with Test match loss in Bangladesh and 1-4 ODI thrashing in India made 2017 a bit mediocre for them. 

South Africa: After getting eliminated from the Champions Trophy first round, Proteas’ UK stay saw more horrors when they lost the ODIs 1-2, Tests 1-3 and T20s 1-2 against England.

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They somehow salvaged their pride by beating Bangladesh 2-0 in Tests, 3-0 in ODIs and 2-0 in T20s at home during September-October.

New Zealand:

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Like Proteas and Aussies, the Kiwis too got eliminated from the Champions Trophy first round. However, they gave in-form Indians a run for their money in the subcontinent, despite losing the ODI and T20 series 2-1, as both the series saw tense decider matches.

Bangladesh: The Tigers played their first-ever Test match in India and put up a brave show in their 208-run loss in Hyderabad. During March-April, they toured Sri Lanka, where they drew Test, ODI and T20 series.

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Then in Champions Trophy, they reached into the semis. During August-September, they also won their first ever Test match against Aussies at home by 20 runs. However, the poor show in South Africa dented their good run again.

Afghanistan:

The new entrant in the world cricket kept its march going. Along with Ireland, the war-ravaged country achieved the status of a Test-playing nation. On June 9, it earned another milestone, when it defeated West Indies in an ODI match by 63 runs.

Afghanistan Under-19 players celebrating after beating Pakistan in the final of the U-19 Asia Cup tournament. | Picture Courtesy: @ACCMedia1

Also, their leg-spinner Rashid Khan and all-rounder Mohammed Nabi created history by making debuts in Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash T20 League. Another major feat was their Under-19 boys winning the youth Asia Cup in November, where they thrashed Pakistan for 185 runs in the final.



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