The fight for the remaining slot for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, which is scheduled to take place in England is actually gaining more momentum as Pakistan and West Indies are in the race to book their berth ahead of the deadline which lies on September 30. According to ICC, the top 8 teams on the deadline day will qualify for the Champions Trophy which means Australia, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England and Bangladesh have booked their places on the virtue of being in the top 7. Pakistan and West Indies are vying for the remaining spot for the mini cricketing extravaganza.
As per the original schedule, West Indies, with 88 points were not supposed to play an ODI series till the deadline date. But later it was announced that a bilateral series between Zimbabwe and Pakistan will be played as a triangular series with West Indies as the third team. Currently Pakistan (9th in the ICC rankings with 88 points) and Sri Lanka are playing a 5 match ODI series and the series is tied 1-1.
If Pakistan had whitewashed Sri Lanka, they could booked a place in the Champions trophy as they would have leapfrogged West Indies to the eighth spot with 94 points. Now that Pakistan have lost the second ODI, the outcome of the series will be crucial for Pakistan in their quest to qualify for the Champions trophy.
If Pakistan wins the series 1-4, then they will move to the eighth spot with 92 points, 4 ahead of West Indies. If this is the case, a place in the finals of the tri-series irrespective of the result is enough for Pakistan to give themselves a chance of qualifying for the Champions Trophy.
If Pakistan wins the series 2-3, they will still move to the eighth spot with 90 points, 2 ahead of West Indies. If this is the case, Pakistan are assured of a place in the Champions Trophy if they manage to reach the finals of the tri-series in Zimbabwe and make sure West Indies does not win the tournament.
If Pakistan loses the series 3-2, they will stay on the ninth spot with 88 points, same as West Indies and a win in the tri-series would help Pakistan assuring their place in the Champions Trophy.
If Pakistan loses the series 4-1, their chances of qualifying for the Champions trophy are all but over because they will still stay at the ninth spot with 2 points lesser than West Indies.
With the deadline day just a couple of months away and Pakistan currently playing a series against Sri Lanka, the outcome of the series remains crucial for both Pakistan and West Indies ahead of the tri-series.