Pakistan completed their CT17 campaign with maiden ICC Champions Trophy title after thrashing defending champions, India in the final by massive 180 runs at The Oval on Sunday. This win also marks Pakistan’s first victory, since 2009, over India in an ICC event.
After winning the toss India Captain Virat Kohli invited Pakistan to bat first. New star of Pakistan batting line Fakhar Zaman continued his successful run as he struck his maiden ODI century. Fakhar survived a caught behind on a no ball when he was playing at three. Former Captain Azhar Ali complimented his fellow opener’s innings with his 59 runs. The openers gave a notable 128 runs stand.
Fakhar was the headline of Pakistan innings as the hard-hitting left hand opener tested the ability of Indian bowlers by playing in almost all corners of the ground, which included smashing three fours and two sixes to R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in two consecutive overs. Fakhar’s heroic 114 came off 106 balls.
Middle order batsmen Babar Azam (46) and Mohammad Hafeez (57 not out) banked on the good start provided by the openers. In the last ten overs of the innings, Pakistan added 91 runs using the unbeaten 71-run stand between Hafeez and Imad Wasim. At the end of 50 overs Pakistan succeeded in posting a formidable 338 for 4.
Ashwin and Jadeja gave away 137 runs from 18 overs combined. India bowled 13 wides and three no-balls.
Chasing the total, Indian batsmen looked clueless. Mohammad Amir unleashed one of the best spells of his career as he removed three of the top order batsmen off just 16 runs. Rohit Sharma, Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan were back in the pavilion leaving India at 33 runs in nine overs.
Yuvraj Singh took reigns of the innings and punched three boundaries off Hafeez before being removed by Shadab Khan. Young leggie hit Yuvraj’s pad in his first over and then forced a successful review.
MS Dhoni did not last long either as he was caught in the deep off Hasan Ali, leaving India 54 for 5.
While wickets were tumbling on the other end, Hardik Pandya kept the attacking gear on, his 76 came off just 43 balls including three back to back sixes against Shadab. India was seven down when danger man Pandya got run out due to an awful mix-up.
The remaining three wickets only added eight more runs to the total and India was all out on 158 when Pakistan Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed took the catch.
Fakhar was named the player of the final. Hasan Ali bagged the award of best bowler of the tournament as well as player of the tournament. The all thrilled pacer said, “I wasn't nervous at all, there was no pressure on me (before the final against India). It was very special to take the last wicket; it was indeed a special moment for me.”