Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Pakistan crush India by 180 runs to lift Champions Trophy

Noah Ferguson | 19 June, 2017, 08:27

He ran out his fellow opener Azhar Ali while he was ball-watching after they'd made a record 128 but he shrugged that off too to earn his maiden century for Pakistan, in only his fourth one-day global, 11 days after his debut. In reply, India were all out for 158.

"If there's been a more improbable Pakistan triumph than this, it's yet to be written", said Osman Samiuddin, author of a definitive book on Pakistan cricket, The Unquiet Ones.

Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day worldwide (ODI) hundred was the cornerstone of Pakistan's 338 for four as they set title-holders and arch-rivals India a stiff chase to win the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

With the bat in hand, India found themselves under early pressure after losing both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma for just 6 runs. Mohammad Amir is back fully fit and is expected to be back to lead the bowling attack at the expense of Debutant Ramman Raees who had a brilliant debut.

Pakistan celebrate after winning ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

Pakistan veteran Mohammad Hafeez's quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, then took Pakistan well beyond 300. Having lost the three cheaply, the Indians quickly slipped to 54-5 and even though the big-hitting Hardik Pandya tried to lift them with a 43-ball 76, it was only a matter of time before the innings caved in.

This was Pakistan s largest margin of victory, by runs, in 129 ODIs against India, surpassing their 159-run success at Delhi in 2005.

Although it was a chastening defeat for Kohli, it was something to savour for his Pakistan counterpart Sarfraz. At the half-way point of their innings, Pakistan were 134 for one with Zaman and Babar Azam in the middle.

With India taking on Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday, fans have been vociferous in supporting their respective teams on social media.

Kohli accepted his side had been second best as he acknowledged Pakistan s "amazing tournament".

Fakhar rode his luck when he was caught behind off a no-ball on three.

It was Azhar's run out in the 23rd over which gave India their first break in the match.

Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed said after the match, "We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions".

Pakistan, who started the tournament as the eighth-ranked team, should thank the 27-year-old Fakhar for laying the platform for the memorable win.

Actors Sidharth Malhotra, Dia Mirza, Soha Ali Khan, music composer Vishal Dadlani and many other celebrities have also tweeted their support for Team India. This helped Amir get the outside edge of Kohli - twice. But the Pakistanis consoled culprit Azhar and reset.

Leg spinner Shadab Khan trapped Yuvraj Singh right in front but the umpire denied Pakistan's appeal. This was a reversal they couldn't bear to watch any longer.

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