ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Top 5 performers who won’t be playing in the semi-finals

India v Sri Lanka - Cricket : News Photo
Sri Lanka failed to make it to the semi-finals despite Nuwan Pradeep’s stellar efforts

The semi-finalists of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 have been decided. Hosts England will take on Pakistan in the first semi-final while India will take on Bangladesh in the second semi-final at Edgbaston. The leading run-scorer in the tournament, Shikhar Dhawan, is through, along with some of the other top performers.

But the No. 1 ranked ODI side in the world along with the two finalists of the 2015 World Cup will play no further part in the tournament. That means that the leading wicket-taker in the tournament will not be playing in the semi-finals. Much like him, there are other top performers who are unlucky not to go through to the latter stages of the competition.

Here are the top 5 performers who won’t be playing in the semi-finals:

#5 Nuwan Pradeep

Sri Lanka missed out on an opportunity to make it through to the semi-final in heart-breaking fashion as they lost to Pakistan in the final group game of the tournament. That also means that their leading wicket-taker, Nuwan Pradeep, will play no further part in the tournament.

While the inclusion of Lasith Malinga might have made all the headlines before the start of the tournament, it was Pradeep who made the most impact in the UK. He picked up a wicket in every match that he played, including three in the crucial clash against Pakistan but poor fielding in that game cost him dear as Sri Lanka were knocked out.

Only three bowlers picked up more wickets than the 30-year-old and he is unlucky not to be playing in the semi-final of the eighth edition of the tournament.

#4 Imran Tahir

India v South Africa - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
Tahir will play no further part in the competition

The value of a quality leg spinner in an ODI cannot be taken for granted. The ability to pick up wickets in the middle overs and also keep a check on the scoreboard was the role Imran Tahir played to perfection in the Champions Trophy.

His tally of five wickets in three matches might not seem like much but he performed his role brilliantly. In the opening game against Pakistan, he was responsible for the turnaround that resulted in the conclusion of a well-set pair and a collapse that eventually got South Africa the game. His economy rate of 4.32 is also staggering considering the fact that he is a leg spinner and that only further strengthens his credentials as the No. 2 ranked ODI bowler in the world.

Unfortunately, the 38-year-old will play no part in the semi-finals as the Proteas were knocked out by India.

#3 Hashim Amla

India v South Africa - ICC Champions Trophy : News Photo
Amla scored 154 runs in three matches

Even in the crucial do-or-die clash against India where their batsmen were falling like nine pins, Hashim Amla was one of the few that stood stall. Just as he did in the opening game when he scored a century against Sri Lanka to ensure that South Africa got off to a winning start to the tournament.

The 34-year-old, who came into the tournament having just broken Virat Kohli's record of being the fastest to 7,000 ODI runs, showed his class once again as he finished as the side’s leading run-getter. Still, his 154 runs at an average of 51.33 weren't enough as South Africa, the No. 1 ranked ODI team in the world, were knocked out of the tournament by India, and Pakistan, who beat them in a rain-curtailed match, went through in second place.

#2 Josh Hazlewood

England v Australia - ICC Champions Trophy - Group A - Edgbaston : News Photo
The leading wicket-taker in the competition, Hazlewood is unlucky to miss out on a semi-final spot

Australia can certainly claim that rain had a major impact on their qualification prospects but at the end of the day, their inability to post a big total against England cost them dear. Due to the stop-start nature of their games, their batsmen certainly didn't make much of an impact but Josh Hazlewood certainly did.

In the opening game against New Zealand, his six-wicket haul was not only the best figures by an Australian bowler in the Champions Trophy but also the second-best in the history of the competition. The fact that he is at the top of the wicket-taking charts despite Australia only playing one complete game just highlights how good Hazlewood was.

All the talk ahead of the tournament was of the pace quartet and Mitchell Starc and while neither delivered, Hazlewood sneaked in under the radar just as he always does.

#1 Kane Williamson

CRICKET-CT-2017-NZL-BAN : News Photo
Williamson broke records but unfortunately for him, his side couldn’t

If there was one player who deserved to go through to the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, it was Kane Williamson. The New Zealand captain certainly did everything he possibly could to ensure that his side went through. Two fifties and a century in the three group games, which included a world record run of four consecutive fifty-plus scores in the Champions Trophy are numbers that warrant a place in the semi-final.

The Kiwi skipper is the second-leading run-getter in the tournament and he almost single-handedly took them through. A century against arch-rivals Australia in their opening game which got washed out, 87 in a run chase against England in which he almost took his side over the line, only for them to collapse after his dismissal and a fifty against Bangladesh in the do-or-die clash just highlights his importance to the team.

Unfortunately, rain and an inspired partnership between Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah ensured that the Black Caps were knocked out of the competition and the unfortunate 26-year-old will have to watch from the sidelines instead of taking part in the latter stages of the tournament.

Edited by Staff Editor


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