Inspired Pakistan crush India in Champions Trophy final at London

Doug Mendoza
June 19, 2017

Amir breathed fire at the top, and by the time he removed Rohit Sharma, Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan in his opening spell of six overs, the match was done. Then one ball after Kohli, the world's leading ODI batsman, was dropped at slip off Amir, the bowler had him caught at point by Shadab Khan.

Amir and Hasan Ali's three wickets each guided Pakistan to bowl out India for just 158 runs in 30.3 overs.

He celebrated with an extravagant twirl of his bat and kissed the turf as the Pakistan supporters sensed an unlikely win.

Sarfraz paid tribute to the influence of a coaching staff led by Mickey Arthur, who took charge shortly before Pakistan s tour of England a year ago, where a Test series was shared but the ODI campaign lost 4-1.

After Yuvraj Singh was given lbw on review to leg-spinner Shadab and MS Dhoni holed out off the pace of Hasan, the contest was as good as done.

India were eventually dismissed for 158, with 19.3 overs to spare, losing by a massive 180 runs. Then Fakhar - bowling instead of the injured Imad Wasim - was deposited into the OCS Stand for two sixes.

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Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali made the ideal start for Pakistan even with Zaman "losing" his wicket only for it to be a no-ball and India missing out on a run-out all before the opener reached 10. We dusted ourselves off after the defeat to India at Edgbaston and came back superbly. He has some history with England and he added another chapter in that story; a chapter Pakistan and the entire cricketing fraternity will remember for a long time. "No matter what they bring, we are believing in our abilities", Kohli said. Zaman, in the fourth over, nicked Jasprit Bumrah to the keeper, only to be let off by no ball.

If Zaman announced his arrival in worldwide cricket with a match-defining knock, Pakistan cricket's "enfant terrible" Amir finally managed to sing a redemption song that he has been longing for.

Babar Azam's 46 and a cameo from Mohammad Hafeez (57no off 37 balls) swelled Pakistan's tally to 338-4 off 50 overs - the highest total in the entire tournament.

But the two openers became more convincing and in the 20th over, bowled by Jadeja, reached their 50s from consecutive balls - Fakhar second to the milestone from one delivery fewer when he cut his seventh four straight through the hands of Yuvraj at point. One moment Fakhar resembled a club cricketer caught up in a dreamlike sequence, which found him playing in a final watched by an enormous worldwide audience; the next he whipped the ball through the gaps like Brian Lara. Credit to the team management for boosting us well.

India, whose skipper Virat Kohli heads the tournament batting averages with a stratospheric 253, are a formidable outfit. The finals of the ongoing Champions Trophy 2017 will kick off at 3:00 PM IST, and the match is being played at The Oval.

Other reports by GizPress

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