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Bangladesh and India will fight today for ticket to Champions Trophy final

BIRMINGHAM: Defending Champion India will play against Bangladesh in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy here at Edgbaston today.

The match will begin at 2:30 pm Pakistan Standard Time (PST). The winning team will play against Pakistan in final of the tournament on Sunday.

Pakistan defeating favorites England in the first semi-final at Cardiff booked its seat for final.

India topped the table after winning two matches in Group B of the Champions Trophy, while Bangladesh was runner up in Group A of the tournament.

India captain Virat Kohli is adamant the title-holders will not be taking Bangladesh for granted in semi-final at Edgbaston.

Kohli, speaking before a revitalised Pakistan clinched their place in the final with a shock eight-wicket win over England in Cardiff on Wednesday, warned: “There are no guarantees in this sport.

“As we’ve seen, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition and we’re certainly not taking anything for granted.”

Kohli said the days gone when Bangladesh were ‘easy beats’. “They are a very dangerous side on their day and everyone realises that,” he said. “Bangladesh have taken huge strides.

Bangladesh have suffered their fair share of heartache against India.

They lost to them in a World Cup quarter-final two years ago and India were also the opponents when Bangladesh, needing two runs to win off three balls, somehow lost three wickets instead as they were beaten in Bangalore to be eliminated from last year’s World Twenty20.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was the skipper for both these defeats but he insisted his side carried no scars ahead of their first appearance in a major semi-final.

“People count only winning, that’s for sure, but I think if you look at both matches, I think we played at our best,” said the veteran paceman.

“Yes, India played also at their best, that’s why they won. But still, I believe we have a lot more to do in that level.

“We are playing overseas, and we are (having) success. That’s more important for us, that our cricket is going to improve.”

Mortaza added: “Obviously we have been disappointed, especially in India T20 World Cup we couldn’t go through. It happens sometimes in cricket, but we forget it.”

Bangladesh may have a fanatical following, but Mortaza insisted all the pressure was on their opponents given how supporters in cricket-crazy India would expect Kohli’s men to tame the Tigers.

“We’re playing the first time in our life in a semi-final, so that is a fact, but also if it’s pressure, I think India have got more pressure than us because the huge population is there, and people love cricket in India a lot,” he said.

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