India and Pakistan will face off for the third straight year in the final of the MoneyGram Thunder Nation Cup final at Spotless Stadium on Sunday 7 January 2018.
The semi final event of the tournament was held at Blacktown International Sports Park and featured the winning team from each of the eight community rounds – Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan, Fiji, India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka progressed through their group stage undefeated, with three straight wins. Afghanistan also moved on with a narrow victory over Fiji in the final game of the round.
In the other group, dominant batting displays from Vikasdeep Pal (India) and Faisal Nasim (Pakistan) ensured their teams advanced to the playoff stage of the event.
The first semi final saw Sri Lanka take on India. Batting first, India posted a modest 72, with Pal scoring an unbeaten 39. In reply, Sri Lanka were under pressure early at 3 for 5 off one over. Despite some late innings hitting, they fell 13 runs short.
The second semi final pitched Afghanistan against Pakistan. Winning the toss, Pakistan opted to bowl first and restricted Afghanistan to 64. Basit Ali was the anchor of the Afghan innings, batting through to finish 26 not out, however, Pakistan proved too strong in the end, chasing the total without loss of wicket.