In 2013, England and Wales were the hosts of the Champions Trophy for the second time in the tournament’s history. As it was when they last hosted in 2004, just three grounds were used with Birmingham’s Edgbaston and Sophia Gardens in Cardiff joining the Oval which had been a venue in 2004.
The nations that took place in the 2013 edition of the Champions Trophy were the same as those that competed in 2009. The teams were chosen based on their ICC ODI rankings as of six months before the tournament takes place.
|Group A||Group B|
|South Africa||New Zealand|
|West Indies||Sri Lanka|
Several months before the tournament took place, the ICC announced that the 2013 edition would be its last as it looked to move towards having one championship for each of the game’s formats. With the Cricket World Cup established as the premier ODI tournament, the plan was to drop the Champions Trophy to make room for the World Test Championship. Sponsor commitments meant the ICC were committed to the 2013 Champions Trophy but their intention was for the Test Championship playoffs to be held in June 2017. In 2014, the ICC again changed their stance and confirmed the 2017 Champions Trophy would be staged at that time instead.
The BLACKCAPS’ first game was against Sri Lanka at Sophia Gardens on June 9. Sri Lanka would gain an early victory, seeing the coin fall their way and electing to bat first. It wouldn’t take long before they would be regretting that choice.
Kyle Mills, the Champions Trophy’s all-time leading wicket-taker, took the wicket of Kusal Perera with his very first ball. After that, the Sri Lankan batsman would continue to struggle with Kumar Sangakkara the only exception, making 68. Sri Lanka were eventually bowled out for 138 in the 38th over. In his first Champions Trophy match, Mitchell McClenaghan took 4 for 43, while Nathan McCullum and Mills took two wickets each with some very economical bowling.
The BLACKCAPS, like the Sri Lankan team, would also struggle with the bat and, by the 11th over, things were not looking good at 49 for 4. Lasith Malinga was tearing through the BLACKCAPS – finishing with 4 for 34 including 3 LBWs. The only batsman to stand up was Nathan McCullum who made 32 batting at number 8. When he fell with the score at 122, the BLACKCAPS had just two wickets left and 17 runs required. When Mills was run out two overs later, the match was on a knife edge with New Zealand needing five more runs, Sri Lanka hunting for one wicket. Tim Southee and McClenaghan would get the BLACKCAPS home: 139 for 9 with 13.3 overs to spare. Nathan McCullum’s all-round performance would earn him Man of the Match honours.
The next game for the BLACKCAPS was against their Trans-Tasman rivals, Australia, at Edgabaston on June 12. Carrying on the BLACKCAPS’ trend at the Champions Trophy, the lost another toss and Australia chose to bat. Both George Bailey (55) and Adam Voges (71) hit half centuries as they would put up a respectable, but chaseable, total of 243 for 8. McClenaghan backed up his four-wicket haul against Sri Lanka with 4 for 65, while Nathan McCullum would take another 2.
The BLACKCAPS turn to bat would see them lose both their openers inside the first 10 overs as Clint McKay made the most of a pitch that was slowing up. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor started the fight back but, with New Zealand at 51 for 2 after 15 overs, rain took hold and the game was abandoned. Both sides received a single point for the match.
The BLACKCAPS’ final group match was a must-win encounter with the hosts at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens. Corey Anderson had come into the team for his ODI debut in place of Grant Elliott who had suffered a calf injury. The BLACKCAPS finally won a toss and put England into bat. But, before play could start, rain fell for five hours before a 24 overs-aside game could begin.
In an attempt to score quickly given the over restrictions, wickets fell at regular intervals but England kept the run rate up. Their captain Alastair Cook led the way, hitting 64, as his 75-run stand with Joe Root (38) for the 3rd wicket set the platform before England were all out for 169. Kyle Mills was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4 for 30, while McClenaghan carried on his form in taking 3 for 36.
In a tight game, Kane Williamson stood up with 67 from 54 balls to put the BLACKCAPS in a good spot to win the match. Unfortunately, the asking rate would be too much when he fell, as New Zealand, at 135 for 6, found themselves needing 35 runs off 16 balls. They would fall short of England’s 169 by 10 runs. The win for England saw them advance out of the group stage with Sri Lanka. While the BLACKCAPS were eliminated, they could claim the high ground over Australia whose point in the rained-out trans-Tasman encounter was as good as it got.
After a comprehensive 7-wicket semi-final win over South Africa, England would be chasing their first ever ODI trophy. Their opponents were India, who hadn’t put a foot wrong all tournament and were still unbeaten after an 8-wciket demolition of Sri Lanka in the other semi-final.
The weather, which had been a factor through much of the tournament, would again come to have an effect on the final. Without a reserve day, the ICC were under pressure to ensure the game took place – not wanting a repeat of India’s shared win with Sri Lanka in 2002. In order to ensure a 20 over match could be played, they extended the playing hours to ensure they had enough time to fit it in.
England won the toss and, understandably on a pitch that had been under covers all day, chose to bowl. Ravi Bopara, the fifth bowler used by England, was easily the pick of the English bowlers with 3 for 20 while Virat Kohli top-scored with 43 as India made 129 for 7.
England’s reply got off to a shaky start when Alistair Cook lost his wicket in the second over. By the end of the 9th over, England were four down and the game was in the balance. At that point Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara came together with a partnership of 64 that looked like it would seal the title for England. When Morgan fell for 33, the equation was 20 runs off 15 balls and victory still seemed on the cards. Unfortunately for England Bopara fell the very next ball and their tail were unable to get them across the line: England scoring 124 for 8, a 5-run win for India who took home the trophy for the second time.
India’s Shikhar Dhawan was the Player of the Tournament and the top run scorer with 363 runs. Wayne Parnell of South Africa repeated his 2009 effort as the top wicket-taker, with 12 wickets.
Featured image: Ian Bell batting for England during their victory over Australia in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy game at Edgbaston. From Nic Redhead via Flickr.