Pakistan's path to Champions Trophy glory

Lynette Rowe
June 19, 2017

Fakhar, the man-of-the-match, shared an opening stand of 128 with Azhar Ali (59).

He was finally out in the 34th over, scoring 114 off 106 balls, including 12 boundaries and three sixes.

Considering it was only the 27-year-old's fourth ODI, having been plucked from Pakistan league cricket by coach Mickey Arthur after impresssing at a talent spotting camp in Lahore earlier this year, it has been a rise as stunning as it seemed unlikely.

Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan had the ideal platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final.

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 and Mohammad Hafeez, who made an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls, said the win was for the Pakistan public.

Once Amir had devoured the three in a superb opening spell of six overs, it virtually ended the match as a contest.

Mohammad Amir scalped the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan for figures of 6-2-16-3.

"As a bowler and as a captain when that is happening. sometimes you have to sit and say "the guy is good enough on the day to tackle anything".

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But the run-out the pair had threatened arrived when Fakhar's failure to respond to Azhar's call saw the former ODI captain fall by a distance despite an ungainly throw by Bumrah to wicket-keeper MS Dhoni. Shadab picked up his second wicket when Kedar Jadhav, on nine, gave Sarfraz a simple catch and India appeared to be crumbling meekly at 72 for six.

By the time Jadeja took a well-judged catch off Hardik Pandya to remove Zaman, the team's total had reached 200. Jadeja nicked Junaid Khan to slip for 15 shortly afterwards. "We played very well and now we have won the final", Sarfraz said.

Pakistan gained four points to move to 95 points as their wins over higher-ranked opponents in the tournament included the one in the final against India and an eight-wicket semi- final victory over England.

The last time Pakistan won a major 50-over ICC tournament was also during Ramadan, when Khan led his team over England in the 1992 final at Melbourne, Australia. "The whole group kept believing".

"A lot of people had vibes that we might not be able to defeat India, that their batting is too strong for us to handle". Speaking further, Latif said that at the league stage, India handed a massive defeat to Pakistan, but later was vice-versa is seen in the final.

Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed, saying: "I want to congratulate Pakistan and their supporters". "Things weren't happening for them and then they win a tournament".

"They made us make those mistakes with the way they were bowling, creating that pressure", Kohli told reporters. We thought one big partnership would have set it up nicely.

"A guy like Zaman, when players like that get going on their day, it becomes real hard to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk and they were all coming off", Kohli said.

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