Pakistan seek ODI series win to seal ICC Champions Trophy spot

Pakistan cricketer Azhar Ali plays a shot during the fourth day of the second Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the P. Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo on June 28, 2015. (AFP)

Pakistan and Bangladesh will have one eye on qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 when they begin a one-day international (ODI) series featuring Sri Lanka and South Africa.

The battle for the final two available places will hot up when Bangladesh squares off against South Africa in the opening match of the three-match series in Mirpur on Friday and Sri Lanka hosts Pakistan in the first of the five matches in Dambulla on Saturday.

With only seven teams, plus host England, eligible to qualify for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 to be staged in the United Kingdom from June 1-19, there is extra context to the matches between Bangladesh and South Africa and Sri Lanka and Pakistan, according to the ICC.

The cut-off date determining the participating teams is 30 September 2015.

Bangladesh are in pole position to secure a berth in the eight-team tournament lying in seventh position on 93 points in the ICC ODI Team Rankings and needs one win to retain its pre-series points.

However, a failure to win any matches will result in it dropping to 90 points.

The Proteas dented Bangladesh's morale with emphatic victories in the two-match Twenty20 series.

Ninth-ranked Pakistan is on 87 points and will move ahead of the West Indies (88 points) by a fraction of a point if it wins the series by 3-2 or better.

Pakistan will be buoyed by a historic 2-1 away Test series triumph against Sri Lanka and can rise to as high as 94 points if it wins all the matches, but will drop to as low as 84 points if it fails to register a win.

Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan are separated by just six points and with the West Indies not immediately involved in any series, if Bangladesh and Pakistan perform strongly in the forthcoming series, they can strengthen their claims for a place in the elite tournament.

The West Indies won the tournament in 2004 and together with Pakistan has featured in every event since 1998 when it was launched as ICC Knock-Out. Bangladesh’s last appearance in the ICC Champions Trophy was in India in 2006.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe takes on a new-look India in a three-match series from Friday.
Second-ranked India (115 points) leads 11th-ranked Zimbabwe (44 points) by 71 ratings and are expected to win the series convincingly.
As such, because the rankings are weighted to reflect this difference, failure to win the series convincingly will mean India will drop points.

However, India need to achieve a clean sweep in the series to occupy second position.

The following are the permutations of the forthcoming series as released by the ICC:

Bangladesh (93 pts) v South Africa (112 pts)

- If BD wins 3-0, then BD 99 pts, SA 107 pts

- If BD wins 2-1, then BD 96 pts, SA 110 pts

- If SA wins 2-1, then BD 93 pts, SA 111 pts

- If SA wins 3-0, then BD 90 pts, SA 113 pts

Zimbabwe (44 pts) v India (115 pts)

- If Zim wins 3-0, then Zim 52 pts, Ind 109 pts

- If Zim wins 2-1, then Zim 49 pts, Ind 111 pts

- If Ind wins 2-1, then Zim 46 pts, Ind 113 pts

- If Ind wins 3-0, then Zim 43 pts, Ind 115 pts

Sri Lanka (106 pts) v Pakistan (87 pts)

- If SL wins 5-0, then SL 108 pts, Pak 84 pts

- If SL wins 4-1, then SL 107 pts, Pak 86 pts

- If SL wins 3-2, then SL 105 pts, Pak 88 pts

- If Pak wins 3-2, then SL 103 pts, Pak 90 pts

- If Pak wins 4-1, then SL 102 pts, Pak 92 pts

- If Pak wins 5-0, then SL 100 pts, Pak 94 pts

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