Sublime Fakhar leads Pakistan to 338-4 in final

Sublime Fakhar leads Pakistan to 338-4 in final

Fast bowler Amir ripped out India’s top three batsmen before the defending champions subsided to 158 all out with 19.3 overs to spare.

The world’s 8th best ODI team, the unpredictable Pakistan won the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy beating defenders India by 180 runs in the final at the Oval in London on Sunday. People of South Kanpur who burnt the posters and effigies of the players said that they could have digested the defeat of team India if it was any other country but losing to arch rival Pakistan has brought huge disappointment to them.

Title-holders India, who thrashed Pakistan by 124 runs in their opening group match, were unchanged from the side that hammered Bangladesh by nine wickets in Thursday┬┤s semi-final at Birmingham┬┤s Edgbaston.

Amir, whose career was almost ended across London by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord’s, was in superb form after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final win over England. This time also the chances are bringht for Team India for its 14th victory against Pakistan in ICC tournaments across all formats.

India turned to spin early in an attempt to stem the run-rate, with Ravi Ashwin (0-70) introduced in the seventh over, however he and Ravindra Jadeja (0-67 from eight) were dealt with savagely as an inspired Pakistan refused to take a backward step.

“It was about the team doing well and we have done well to be in the final”, Kohli said.

India then lost two wickets for no runs in four balls to be 54 for five inside 14 overs. “I said it before the England game, if we put our “A” game together and do the basics well, we can beat anybody”.

“Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman today”. Fakhar, out to a nice catch on the run by Jadeja behind square, scored 114 off 106 balls.

Put into bat, the Men in Green had a ideal start as both Azhar Ali and Zaman shared a 128-run opening stand to put their team on road of a massive first innings-score.

It is fantasy cricket time after all, India vs. Pakistan in the final of a Champions Trophy.

But a brilliant century by Fakhar Zaman laid the foundations for an imposing total of 338 for four and Mohammad Amir came up with a devastating opening spell to rip out the cream of India’s batting, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan.

It appeared India, chasing 339 to win, had had a lucky break when Kohli, the world’s leading one-day worldwide batsman, was dropped on five by first slip Azhar Ali off Amir. “Now we are the champions, so hopefully this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all playing nations is coming to Pakistan“.

“Our team has presented us with a best gift in the holy fasting month of Ramadan”, said Shabbir Ali Asghar, a 14-year-old student, as he watched the final with friends on television in Rawalpindi.

The harum-scarum left-hander had already survived with just a single to his name when he pushed Bhuvneshwar Kumar to cover and would have been run out had Kedar Jadhav managed a direct hit.