Australia and New Zealand have won their respective ICC Champions Trophy semi finals and that means the trophy will stay in the Antipodeas.
Australia showed that the final ball bye against Pakistan was worth the effort. Topping Pool A put them up against England. Without the best bowler of the tournament, Stuart Broad, the Poms were swept aside. Watson, the batsman who wasn’t really out of form, proved the selectors were right. He hit 136 not out, Ponting 111 not out as Australia prevailed by nine wickets with almost ten overs remaining.
New Zealand was a little harder pressed to dispatch Pakistan. In their must win final match in Pool B, Grant Elliot shone with the ball. In the semi final, aided by Vettori, he guided the Black Caps home with an unbeaten 75.
Well done to New Zealand. I believe that this is their first final of a major tournament (no, I don’t count the B&H Tri Series). It’s all come together for the Black Caps. They could not take a trick in their preparation tournament in Sri Lanka and they were soundly beaten by South Africa in their first match here. They even lost their warm up match against the Warriors (a local first class team). Who’d have thought they’d be playing the final, with every chance of prevailing against a very beatable Australian team.