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Pakistan Dethrone India to Win Maiden Champions Trophy Title

Arnab Sen |Cricketnext | Updated: June 19, 2017, 1:14 AM IST
Pakistan Dethrone India to Win Maiden Champions Trophy Title

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London: Pakistan saved their best for the last as they humbled arch-rivals India by a huge margin of 180 runs to win their maiden ICC Champions Trophy title. This also completed Sarfraz Ahmed's team's remarkable comeback, since losing their tournament opener to the same opposition.

The foundation of the win was laid by the batsmen who scored a mammoth 338/4 after being put into bat on a flat Oval track by Indian captain Virat Kohli. India on the other hand capitulated in the face of some great seam bowling by Mohammad Amir and were bowled out for 158 in the 30th over itself.

Any chances of a thrilling chase were nipped in the bud as a charged up Mohammad Amir produced one of his finest spells against India. The left-arm paceman trapped Rohit Sharma in front of the wicket on the third delivery of the Indian innings itself as the Indian opener walked back without scoring.

Also Read: India vs Pakistan, As It Happened

The Indian fans expected a miracle from captain Virat Kohli but he was all at sea against Amir's phenomenal seam bowling. Kohli got a reprieve on the third delivery of the third over as a thick edge was dropped at first slip by Azhar Ali. But another leading edge off the very next ball was caught at point by Shadab Khan. The Indian captain departed for just 5 and India were two wickets down for just 6 runs on the board.

Shikhar Dhawan tried to take the attack back to Pakistan by hitting a few crisp boundaries, but another Amir scorcher induced an outside edge and Dhawan walked back for 21 as India crumbled to 33/3.

Yuvraj Singh tried to restore some confidence in the camp by attacking the spinners and managed to get a few boundaries under his belt after a slow start. But an attempted forward defense off young leg-spinner Shadab Khan led to his downfall. The appeal for a leg-before was turned down by the umpire but a confident Shadab asked his captain to review the decision.

The decision was reviewed and Yuvraj was adjudged out. India were now in dire straits at 54/4. MS Dhoni was the next to go, looking to pull a Hasan Ali short delivery but failed to get any decent connection between bat and ball and was caught at backward square leg by Imad Wasim. India were down to 54/5.

Kedar Jadhav then played a shot that he will find difficult to explain. Trying to hit a long hop from Shadab Khan over mid-wicket, he managed to hit it high in the air and was eventually caught by Sarfraz Ahmed.

With India at 72/6, the match was all but over. But Hardik Pandya decided to give Pakistan a few nervous moments as he went on a rampage hitting the Pakistan spin duo of Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman for five massive sixes. Pandya was batting brilliantly but a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja meant the all-rounder was run-out for 76 off just 43 deliveries.

Ravindra Jadeja was the next to go, caught in the slips for 15 off the bowling of Junaid Khan. Tournament's leading wicket-taker Hasan Ali added another one to his kitty by sending back Ashwin for just 1.

Pakistan completed a resounding victory by 180 runs in the 30th over as Jasprit Bumrah was dismissed by Hasan Ali. This was also Pakistan's biggest victory over India by margin of runs in a one-day international.

Earlier, Pakistan's opening pair of Azhar Ali (59) and Fakhar Zaman (114) laid the foundation of a big score in the final with an opening partnership of 128 runs.

India had a chance to get an early wicket as Jasprit Bumrah managed to find a faint edge off the southpaw Zaman's bat, which was caught by Dhoni. But Bumrah's old problem of bowling no balls at crucial moments resurfaced and Zaman got a reprieve.

After that it was all one-way traffic as Azhar Ali attacked the Indian pacers even as Zaman decided to drop anchor. Azhar started showing his full repertoire of shots as he took the Indian bowling to task, also playing a few high risk shots.

Azhar brought up his half-century on the fifth delivery of the 20th over. Fakhar Zaman followed suit, hitting a boundary off the next delivery to reach his third straight half-century of the tournament.

Azhar Ali was run out for 59 in the 23rd over after a great piece of work in the field by Bumrah led to some confusion between the two openers. But Fakhar Zaman took it upon himself thereafter to help Pakistan maintain their momentum.

He played some unorthodox shots and attacked the spin duo of Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to ensure Pakistan's run-rate crossed the six runs per over mark.

The left-hander hit a six and two boundaries off the 26th over bowled by Jadeja and then hit a six and a boundary off the 27th bowled by Ashwin.

Fakhar Zaman reached his century with a boundary off the first delivery of the 31st over bowled by Ashwin and thus reached his maiden ODI century.

He finally departed for 114 off 106 deliveries, but by then he had provided the foundation, needed to score a big total.

Babar Azam (46) and Mohammad Hafeez (57*) provided the finishing touches as Pakistan scored 159 runs off the last 20 overs to pile on a humongous 338/4 in their 50 overs, Pakistan's second highest total against India in ODIs.
First Published: June 18, 2017, 9:35 PM IST

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