With the winner moving on to face England in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy semifinals, and the loser going home, the Sri Lanka and Pakistan cricket teams — who were both expected to bow out at the group stage — square off on Monday in a 50-overs match that has essentially become a quarterfinal in the tournament, a position that cricket fans never expected until each of the underdog subcontinental sides pulled off stunning upset victories to throw the Group B table into chaos.
In what was also an elimination match, India crushed South Africa on Sunday to eliminate the top-ranked ODI side in the world, easily chasing down 192 with eight wickets and 72 deliveries in hand. The loss ends a brutally disappointing Champions Trophy tournament for South Africa, but sends India on to face the surprise team outfit Group A, Bangladesh, in the second semifinal match, to be played on Thursday.
Sri Lanka, a side thought to be in the throes of a sluggish rebuilding process after the retirement of several longtime stars, arrived in the position to reach the knockout stage thanks to a shock upset of India — a victory all the more stunning for the fact that Sri Lanka is one of only two teams in the world with a sub-.500 record in ODI matches since the 2015 World Cup.
Of course, the other is Pakistan. But things had reached such a low for Sri Lanka that they lost a match to lowly Scotland just days prior to the Champions Trophy opener. Now, they stand poised to earn themselves a date with host England, the team still favored to carry home the Champions Trophy, if they can turn in another top performance against Pakistan.
To find out how to watch the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan 2017 ICC Champions Trophy elimination match, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. Start time is set for 10:30 a.m. British Standard Time at Sophia Gardens cricket ground in Cardiff, Wales, on Monday, June 12. In Sri Lanka, as well as in India, the line stream gets underway at 3 p.m. India Standard Time, while in Pakistan the match starts at 2:30 p.m. Pakistan Standard Time.
Cricket fans in the United States can catch the live stream early in the morning on Monday, starting at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:30 a.m. Pacific.
Watch a preview of the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan Champions Trophy do-or-die match courtesy of CricBuzz in the video below.
Finally, here are the expected teams for the last of the 12 group stage matches in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy competition.
Sri Lanka: 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Angelo Mathews (captain), 6 Asela Gunaratne, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Nuwan Pradeep.
Pakistan: 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (captain and wicketkeeper), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Mohammad Amir, 9 Shadab Khan, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Junaid Khan.
Can Sri Lanka repeat their stunning and aggressive performance against India when they face that country's arch-rival, Pakistan, with elimination from the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on the line? Or will an equally surprising Pakistan side manage the same sort of consistency they found in their rain-shortened match against South Africa and secure the final semifinal spot for themselves?
To find out, watch a live stream of the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final group stage match from the 15,600-seat Sophia Gardens cricket ground in Cardiff, Wales, on Monday, using one of the following live stream options.
Cricket fans in Sri Lanka can watch a live stream of the match via Channel Eye Live, which may be accessed by clicking on this link. The Pakistan Television Corporation, that country's state-owned TV network, will carry the dramatic elimination Champions Trophy showdown live on PTV Sports — and will make a free live stream of the crucial match available as well — for viewers inside of Pakistan only. The PTV stream can be accessed by fans with internet IP addresses in that country with no login information required by clicking on this link.
In India, Hotstar Sports will live stream the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan Champions Trophy showdown at this link, offering both a simultaneous live stream for subscribers as well as a free live stream option available with a five-minute time delay.
In the United States, the best way to watch a live stream as the Pakistan Men In Green face their neighbors from Sri Lanka is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link with a monthly subscription fee, as well as on Willow TV's own site, accessible by clicking here.
There are legal ways to watch cricket on Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan 2017 Champions Trophy Group B cricket finale, for a limited period.
But the most reliable method to live stream the match in the United States is to use the week-long free trial of Sling TV's International Sports Package, which includes Willow TV and the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan 2017 ICC Champions Trophy cricket match on Monday. Information on how to sign up for the free and legal Sling TV offer can be found by clicking on this link.
In the United Kingdom, a live stream of the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan cricket match will be available to Sky Sports subscribers using the Sky Go streaming service, which can be accessed at this link.
[Featured Image by Francois Nel/Getty Images]