Pakistan stun holders India to lift Champions Trophy

Lynette Rowe
June 19, 2017

Amir today. Hasan Ali throughout the tournament.

Pakistani batsmen kept scoring runs at rapid pace and did not give Indian bowlers much chance to exert pressure on them.

Pakistan had come into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team, but they beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to make the semi-finals where they knocked out hosts England easily'.

Defending champion India had already beaten lowly Pakistan, the world's eighth-ranked team, in the earlier stages of the competition.

Fakhar Zaman rode his luck for a spellbinding maiden one-day global hundred as Pakistan set title-holders India a tournament record run chase to retain the Champions Trophy at The Oval.

Pakistan's thrilling victory over their biggest rivals was set up by Fakhar Zaman's century and a three-wicket burst from opening bowler Mohammad Amir.

Unperturbed by the fall of Azhar's wicket, Zaman, who was given a lifeline at three runs by pacer Jasprit Bumrah, continued his attack and displayed some quality strokes around the ground to enthrall the crowd.

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The form of Hassan Ali and Junaid Khan has been wonderful and will hope that continues. The fact remained that a fully turned-on Pakistan team, the sentimental favourites here for all that they are going through for inability to play at home - were the better team and deserved winners.

"We want to be a little more consistent as a team but we've got a group of players here who are fantastic".

Then, Mohammed Hafeez tightened the screws with a brilliant unbeaten 57, from just 37 balls, with four boundaries and three sixes.

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.

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. Fakhar, who scored his maiden ODI century in style with a four off the 31st over, was awarded Player of the Match. India will be confident off the back of very impressive performances all round from the Top Order but also by the intense nature of their fielding lead by Captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed, saying: "I want to congratulate Pakistan and their supporters".

Pakistan have been starved of worldwide cricket in their own country since an attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009, forcing them to play their "home" series at neutral venues. Along the way they beat hosts England in another one-sided match - ultimately well deserving of lifting the trophy. "The way they turned things around speaks volumes for the talent they have in their side", Kohli said. "We have no hesitation or shame to admit we didn't play our best game today", the Indian skipper added.

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