Fakhar Zaman rode his luck for a spellbinding maiden one-day worldwide hundred as Pakistan set title-holders India a tournament record run chase to retain the Champions Trophy at The Oval.
The final margin of 180 runs was the largest run victory by either Pakistan or India in head-to-head One day global matches, and the largest margin of defeat for a full ICC member in a Champions Trophy competition.
By the time Sarfraz took the final catch, off the bowling of the tournament’s leading wicket-taker Hasan Ali, who finished yesterday with 3-19 and the Champions Trophy with 13 wickets, there was barely an Indian fan to witness it.
Left-arm fast bowler Amir, whose career was nearly ended on the other side of London s River Thames by a ban and jail term he received for his part in a spot-fixing scam during a 2010 Test against England at Lord s, was superb.
Mohammad Hafeez – with a 34-ball 50 – and Babar Azam then chipped in too to ensure a challenging if far from impossible target on a very good pitch, after India captain Virat Kohli had put Pakistan in on a gloriously hot and sunny morning.
Fakhar Zaman couldn’t resist the length ball outside off stump, so he poked at it and only nicked it.
“On their day they can beat any side in the world”, the India captain said of Pakistan.
Captain Kohli said: “I want to congratulate Pakistan and their supporters”.
Also, during the course of the opening partnership between Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman, it was clearly evident that both batsmen had a problem with the short pitched delivery.
Fakhar Zaman’s maiden ODI century and Mohammad Amir’s brilliant opening spell laid the foundation for Pakistan’s historic win against arch-rivals India.
“That’s the kind of players they have, we’re quite aware of that”.
The margin of victory – by a massive 180 runs with just under 20 overs to spare – was as emphatic as it was surprising for a team who tested the skin on their teeth and the seats of their trousers to the limits to get over the line.
Earlier also, several times chaos has been witnessed in this area after India-Pakistan match, but this is the first time when the government has imposed restriction in the area.
Fast bowler Junaid Khan was ecstatic as he removed his shirt, danced around and threw water at his teammates after the match.
Indian captain Virat Kohli is as articulate and polished with words as he is with the bat.
It was Pakistan’s major title win after 2009 World Twenty20 victory. “Amir bowled brilliantly but all my bowlers bowled really well”.
Leg-spinner Shadab took a wicket with his sixth ball when Yuvraj Singh (22) was lbw, although it needed a Pakistan review of an original not out decision. Ali scored 59 before Mohammed Hafeez provided a late burst with 37-ball 57.