Champions Trophy by the numbers

There have been sterling performances in the seven editions of the Champions Trophy. Sportstar focuses on the crème de la crème of the tournament.

The men who made it possible... Courtney Browne (left) and Ian Bradshaw celebrate with the trophy in the dressing room. Browne and Bradshaw came up with a match-winning stand of 71 against England in the final of the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval in London.   -  Getty Images

The Champions Trophy has been like the curate’s egg — good in parts. Though some editions of the tournament were very competitive, a few others were conducted badly while in some the teams were indifferent to the competition.

Some of the downsides of the tournament are outlined below:

* No fewer than three names (the Wills International Cup, the ICC Knock-Out and the ICC Champions Trophy).

* No fewer than six winners in seven tournaments, including a wholly unsatisfactory shared result in 2002: Two days, two completed innings, but no winner.

* A lack of clear identity.

* In the 2004 edition, for some obscure reason, the US, of all teams, participated. Not surprisingly, it lost by 210 runs and by nine wickets to the teams from down under.

* The second edition was a one-ground oddity, that too, the Nairobi Gymkhana Ground.

* The 2017 edition will be the third to be conducted in England. The tournament has never gone down under.

However, the Champions Trophy is now a well-contested quadrennial event. For South Africa and New Zealand, their only title-triumph in a major ICC tournament came in the Champions Trophy.

There have been sterling performances in the seven editions of the Champions Trophy, and in this article, I will focus on the crème de la crème of the tournament.

The stand-out matches

Normally, if the selection of matches had been from the entire database, or a huge subset of matches, I would have resorted to some form of analysis-based selection through the result pattern and performance points analysis. However, the data set is exactly 100 matches here. Hence, I did a selection by inspection: Close matches and the importance of a match being the contributing factors.

ODI No. 1357: New Zealand v Zimbabwe (October 24, 1998)

Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka.

New Zealand won by five wickets; MoM: S. P. Fleming.

Zimbabwe: 258 for 7 in 50.0 overs (A. D. R. Campbell 100 off 143 balls, A. Flower 77 off 80 balls; G. I. Allott 8.0-0-54-3).

New Zealand: 260 for 5 in 50.0 overs (S. P. Fleming 96 off 130 balls, A. C. Parore 52 off 72 balls).

The first ever Champions Trophy match was a cracker of a game that ended in a last-ball win for New Zealand. Three were needed and Harris finished the match off with a four. Over 40 runs were scored off the last three overs.

ODI No. 1639: India v New Zealand (October 15, 2000)

Nairobi Gymkhana Club Ground.

New Zealand won by four wickets; MoM: C. L. Cairns.

India: 264 for 6 in 50.0 overs (S. C. Ganguly 117 off 130 balls, S. R. Tendulkar 69 off 83 balls).

New Zealand: 265 for 6 in 49.4 overs (C. L. Cairns 102 not out off 113 balls; B. K. V. Prasad 7.0-0-27-3).

It was a terrific win for unfancied New Zealand in the final of the second Champions Trophy. Chasing an imposing 264, New Zealand was struggling at 132 for 5. Chris Cairns then produced, inarguably, the best innings by a New Zealand batsman in an important tournament. His unbeaten 102 took New Zealand to an unexpected and its only tournament win.

ODI No. 1876: India v Zimbabwe (September 14, 2002)

R. Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama, Colombo.

India won by 14 runs; MoM: Mohd. Kaif.

India: 288 for 6 in 50.0 overs (R. Dravid 71 off 81 balls, M. Kaif 111 not out off 112 balls; D. T. Hondo 9.0-1-62-4).

Zimbabwe: 274 for 8 in 50.0 overs (A. Flower 145 off 164 balls, Zaheer Khan 10.0-2-45-4).

The strong Indian team posted a huge total of 288. Zimbabwe lost its first two wickets in a trice. Then came Andy Flower’s masterclass, but Zimbabwe still fell short by 14 runs. Flower’s innings is compared to the Tendulkar classic of 175.

ODI No. 1886: India v South Africa (September 25, 2002)

R. Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama, Colombo.

India won by 10 runs; MoM: Virender Sehwag.

India: 261 for 9 in 50.0 overs (V. Sehwag 59 off 58 balls, Yuvraj Singh 62 off 72 balls; S. M. Pollock 9.0-0-43-3).

South Africa: 251 for 6 in 50.0 overs (H. H. Gibbs 116 off 119 balls, J. H. Kallis 97 off 133 balls; V. Sehwag 5.0-0-25-3).

We continue with the story of India posting imposing totals. Its 261 was a daunting one, especially on the slow Sri Lankan wicket. Gibbs and Kallis led the way with two excellent innings, and South Africa looked likely winner. Then an excellent period of five overs by Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, in which they conceded only 12 runs, pulled India back and South Africa fell short by 10 runs in the end.

ODI No. 2182: England v West Indies (September 25, 2004)

The Brit Oval, London.

West Indies won by two wickets; MoM: Bradshaw.

England: 217 in 49.4 overs (M. E. Trescothick 104 off 124 balls; W. W. Hinds 10.0-3-24-3).

West Indies: 218 for 8 in 48.5 overs (A. Flintoff 10.0-0-38-3).

This was a momentous match for West Indies. After its World Cup win in 1979, West Indies had won nothing. In 2004, this streak was broken by the Lara-led team. England’s 217 looked formidable when West Indies slumped to 147 for eight. At that juncture, Courtney Browne and Ian Bradshaw, got together and produced a memorable match-winning stand of 71. It is poignant to recall that this is the only silverware Lara won.

ODI No. 2432: Australia v West Indies (October 18, 2006)

Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.

West Indies won by 10 runs; MoM: R. S. Morton.

West Indies: 234 for 6 in 50.0 overs (R. S. Morton 90 not out off 103 balls, B. C. Lara 71 off 94 balls).

Australia: 224 for 9 in 50.0 overs (A. C. Gilchrist 92 off 120 balls; J. E. Taylor 10.0-0-49-4).

Australia won the 2006-07 Champions Trophy, but it had to taste defeat against West Indies in a group match. West Indies put up a target of 234, which seemed inadequate against a strong Australia. However, Jerome Taylor had the measure of the Aussies, as he restricted them to 224, 11 runs short of the target.

ODI No. 2903: Australia v Pakistan (September 30, 2009)

SuperSport Park, Centurion.

Australia won by two wickets; MoM: M. E. K. Hussey.

Pakistan: 205 for 6 in 50.0 overs.

Australia: 206 for 8 in 50.0 overs (M. E. K. Hussey 64 off 87 balls).

Chasing a target of just over 200, Australia was struggling at 187 for 8. Then Brett Lee and Nathan Hauritz played carefully to take their team home.

ODI No. 3366: New Zealand v Sri Lanka (June 9, 2013)

Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.

New Zealand won by one wicket; MoM: N. L. McCullum.

Sri Lanka: 138 in 37.5 overs (K. C. Sangakkara 68 off 87 balls; M. J. McClenaghan 8.5-0-43-4).

New Zealand: 139 for nine in 36.3 overs (S. L. Malinga 10.0-2-34-4).

Sri Lanka was blown away by McClenaghan for 138. However, Malinga bowled magnificently and reduced New Zealand to 122 for 8 before McClenaghan and Tim Southee took the team to victory by a narrow margin.

ODI No. 3377: England v India (June 23, 2013)

Edgbaston, Birmingham.

India won by five runs; MoM: R. A. Jadeja.

India: 129 for 7 in 20.0 overs (R. S. Bopara 4.0-1-20-3).

England: 124 for 8 in 20.0 overs.

Owing to rain, the final turned out to be a low-scoring 20-over match. Ravindra Jadeja’s cameo helped India reach a seemingly inadequate total of 129. Ashwin and Jadeja then bowled very well, as England never got going until Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara put together a good partnership. India skipper Dhoni, however, came up with a masterstroke by introducing Ishant Sharma, who had gone for plenty earlier. The fast bowler dismissed both Morgan and Bopara in his comeback spell. England agonisingly fell five runs short. However, it must be said that it was a well-deserved win for India.

Top performances

I have used my ratings methodology to select the top performances in the Champions Trophy. These have been perfected after years of use and reviews, and they form the basis on which the famed Wisden-100 lists were developed. Providing complete details will take up too much space. Hence, a summary of the methodology is provided.

ODI Batting performance ratings:

* Runs scored

* Balls faced and the scoring rate

* Innings status on batsman entry

* Innings status change after the batsman entry

* Overall bowling quality

* Runs added with late-order batsmen

* Support available

* Match status

* Pitch quality

* Match location

* Match result

* Match importance

ODI Bowling performance ratings:

* Wickets captured

* Bowling accuracy

* Overall batting quality

* Quality of batsmen dismissed and when they were dismissed

* Match status

* Pitch quality

* Match location

* Match result

* Match importance

Top Batting performances in Champions Trophy

ODI#YearCTBatsmanForVs

Runs (Balls)

RtgPts

1638

2000

ICC2SC GangulyINDSaf

141*(142)

563

1362

1998

ICC1JH KallisSAFSlk

113*(100)

549

1876

2002

ICC3A FlowerZIMInd

145 (164)

497

1639

2000

ICC2CL CairnsNZLInd

102*(113)

483

2442

2006

ICC5CH GayleWINSaf

133*(135)

480

1360

1998

ICC1SR TendulkarINDAus

141 (128)

456

2907

2009

ICC6SR WatsonAUSNzl

105*(129)

442

3370

2013

ICC7KC SangakkaraSLKEng

134*(135)

430

2905

2009

ICC6SR WatsonAUSEng

136*(132)

429

2898

2009

ICC6Shoaib MalikPAKInd

128 (126)

428

 

Sourav Ganguly’s beautifully paced match-winning knock in the 2000 Champions Trophy semifinal against South Africa is deservedly at the top. The importance of the match and the quality of the bowling attack — Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald, Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener — have also been factored in.

Sourav Ganguly on fire against South Africa in the second semifinal of the 2000 ICC Knock-Out tournament. Sourav’s beautifully paced match-winning knock is ranked No. 1.   -  V. V. KRISHNAN

 

This is followed by the middle-order classic of Kallis against Sri Lanka in the first semifinal of the inaugural tournament (Wills International Cup) in 1998. Coming in at 57 for 3, Kallis shepherded South Africa to a winning 240 for 7. I have already talked of Andy Flower’s beautiful knock, made in a losing cause against India (September 14, 2002).

Then comes one of my favourite ODI innings: Cairns’ once-in-a-lifetime innings in the final of the 2000 tournament. Chasing a huge total of 264, New Zealand slumped to 132 for 5 and an Indian win loomed on the horizon. But Cairns, in the company of Chris Harris, took the score to 254. He then stayed on to guide New Zealand to victory by four wickets with two balls to spare.

Chris Gayle’s 133 off 135 balls against South Africa in the second semifinal of the 2006 tournament comes in next to complete the Top 5. The bowling was again top class.

Tendulkar’s 141 in the inaugural tournament against a strong Australian attack; Sangakkara’s 134 while orchestrating a huge chase against England in 2013; Shoaib Malik’s match-winning knock against India in 2009 (Yes, Pakistan has beaten India in an ICC event!) and two Shane Watson innings, in the semifinals and final of the 2009 edition, won by Australia, complete the Top 10.

Vettori’s magnificent retrieval epic in ODI No. 2441 (2006, semifinal against Australia) is the best sub-100 innings in Champions Trophy. Chasing 241, New Zealand slumped to 35 for 6. Vettori then scored 79 to take New Zealand within sight of an improbable win. However, the Kiwis, finally, fell short by 34 runs. Vettori’s innings secured 345 rating points and was ahead of 15 centuries in the Champions Trophy. This also indicates how difficult it is for a low innings to come on top. It must be remembered that these are ODI matches and not T20 contests.

Top Bowling performances in Champions Trophy

ODI#YearCTBowlerForVs

Spell

RtgPts

2428

2006

ICC5MF MaharoofSLKWin

9.0-2-14-6

631

2438

2006

ICC5M NtiniSAFPak

6.0-2-21-5

500

1364

1998

ICC1JH KallisSAFWin

7.3-0-30-5

489

2441

2006

ICC5KD MillsNZLAus

10.0-1-38-4

477

2894

2009

ICC6GC TongeWINPak

10.0-3-25-4

475

3368

2013

ICC7RA JadejaINDWin

10.0-2-36-5

464

2182

2004

ICC4WW HindsWINEng

10.0-3-24-3

404

2907

2009

ICC6KD MillsNZLAus

10.0-2-27-3

403

2179

2004

ICC4Naved-ul-HasanPAKInd

9.0-1-25-4

398

1888

2002

ICC3Harbhajan SinghINDSlk

10.0-1-27-3

376

 

Farveez Maharoof, who captured six consecutive middle-order wickets against West Indies in the 2006 edition, is the runaway leader in the bowling performance table. It is in the Top-20 in the all-time bowling performance list.

Ntini’s performance against Pakistan in the same edition of the tournament — Hafeez for 1, Imran Farhat for 4, Younis Khan for 7, Shoaib Malik for 0 and Kamran Akmal for 1 — comes next. This is followed by Kallis’ five-wicket haul against West Indies in the final of the inaugural tournament.

Kyle Mills claimed four top-order Australian wickets in 2006 but unfortunately finished on the losing side. Gavin Tonge’s similar performance was again in a losing cause but is fifth since he had only 133 runs to play with. Besides, these were the four top Pakistani wickets.

Jadeja’s excellent spell in the 2013 tournament, Wavell Hinds’ middle-order destruction in the 2004 final, Kyle Mills’ second spell in a losing cause in the 2009 final, Naved-ul-Hasan’s dismissal of Sehwag, Laxman, Dravid and Agarkar in 2004, and finally, Harbhajan’s dismissal of the top three Sri Lankan batsmen in 2002 complete the Top 10 table.

Top All-round performances in Champions Trophy

ODI#YearCTPlayerForVs

Runs & Wkts

RtgPts

1360

1998

ICC1SR TendulkarINDAus

141 & 4/38

800

2905

2009

ICC6SR WatsonAUSEng

136 & 2/35

631

1364

1998

ICC1JH KallisSAFWin

37 & 5/30

612

2177

2004

ICC4A FlintoffENGSlk

104 & 2/21

485

2439

2006

ICC5CH GayleWINEng

101 & 3/31

481

2180

2004

ICC4MP VaughanENGAus

86 & 2/42

450

2173

2004

ICC4E ChigumburaZIMSlk

57 & 3/37

432

1886

2002

ICC3V SehwagINDSaf

59 & 3/25

419

1636

2000

ICC2JH KallisSAFEng

78 & 2/26

401

1364

1998

ICC1WJ CronjeSAFWin

61 & 2/44

395

 

Most of these performances have been discussed earlier. In 1998, Tendulkar followed up his 141 with four wickets and this constitutes one of the greatest all-round performances ever. Shane Watson’s 136 and 2-35 ranks next. Kallis’ effort (37 and 5-30) was in the 1998 final. The other three performances in the Top 5 were in the group matches.

Sachin Tendulkar drives Mark Waugh during his knock of 141 against Australia in the Wills International Cup in 1998. He then followed it up with four wickets in one of the greatest all-round performances ever.   -  THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

Vaughan’s unlikely bowling spell in the 2004 semifinals against Australia, Chigumbura’s double albeit in a losing cause, Sehwag’s two crucial wickets in the 2002 semifinals against South Africa, Kallis’ Nairobi success with the bat and ball and finally, Cronje’s supporting role to Kallis in the 1998 final are the other five all-round performances in the Top-10.

My personal choices are the 2004 final between England and West Indies (this match meant that West Indies broke its 25-year title drought), Chris Cairns’ innings (this performance secured for New Zealand its only silverware) and Maharoof’s 6 for 14 (all six middle-order wickets).

The stand-out players

Sourav Ganguly, with three hundreds and three fifties, is the leading batsman in the Champions Trophy. He is followed by Dravid, with six fifties, and Sangakkara and Ponting, with one hundred and four fifties each.

A dark horse leads the stakes in bowling. Kyle Mills of New Zealand is the runaway leader with 28 wickets. Muttiah Muralitharan has captured 24 wickets and is followed by Brett Lee and Lasith Malinga, with 22 wickets each.

A preview of the 2017 Champions Trophy

Group A has England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh. It is easy to say that England and Australia should go through. However, New Zealand has a very good team and Bangladesh has become a feared ODI team in their backyard. This tournament is being played in England and I expect the first two teams to go through.

The other group has South Africa, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. My feeling is that the first two teams carry too many guns for the two other Asian teams — with new skippers and players — to upset them. Hence, it is not rocket science to say that South Africa and India are the likely semifinalists.

Afterwards, it is tough to predict. Let me say that over the years, India and Australia have won a lot of silverware. Therefore, it will be nice for the game if South Africa and England contest the final on June 18. There will be a well-deserved and welcome winner. Cricket, in general, and the battered ODI format, in particular, will be a winner if either of these teams lifts the trophy.