Pakistan thrash India, claim CT title

19 June 2017

Amir and Fakhar the heroes as Sarfraz's side puts in perfect performance in decider

ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Final


Pakistan have hammered fierce rivals India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy at The Oval to claim their first major ODI tournament in a quarter of a century and complete an astonishing comeback in a tournament not even their most ardent supporters had expected them to win.

A fortnight after they were thrashed by the same opponent at Edgbaston to leave their campaign on a knife's edge and a cricket-mad nation demanding answers, Pakistan romped to a 180-run victory on a beautiful Sunday in south London to win their first major title since the 1992 World Cup.

It was Pakistan's biggest margin of victory ever against India in ODI cricket and their first win against them at a major tournament since 2009.

Fakhar, Azhar blast century opening stand

Their triumph was built on a maiden century from rookie opener Fakhar Zaman, playing just his fourth ODI, and a stunning three-wicket opening spell from paceman Mohammad Amir, who had missed their semi-final win over England due to a back injury.

After Fakhar's 114 and half-centuries from Azhar Ali (59) and Mohammad Hafeez (57no from 37 balls) guided Pakistan to 4-338, their highest ODI total away from home in seven years, Amir removed Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan in his first five overs to effectively end India's hopes of achieving what would have been a record chase in the tournament.

The turning point of the day came at the start of the fourth over when Jasprit Bumrah had Fakhar caught behind for just three, only for replays to show the right-armer had overstepped.

Fabulous Fakhar smashes maiden ODI ton

The reprieve came less than an over after Kedhar Jadhav missed a throw at the stumps that would have caught Fakhar well short, while Azhar was also given a life on 29 when Rohit Sharma's throw at the non-striker's end was off target.

And Pakistan's new opening pair made a rattled Indian side pay as they added 128 for the first wicket, the nation's highest opening stand against their great rivals outside Asia, before their partnership was fittingly ended when Azhar was run out in the 23rd over.

Ponting's incredible prediction of Jadeja wicket

But Fakhar made up for the horrible mix-up, striking 12 fours and three sixes to produce his maiden international century in his first-ever game against India.

Quick Single: Fakhar's big reveal after final hundred

Eleven days after he made his debut against South Africa, Fakhar became the first Pakistan batsman to score three 50-plus scores in his first four ODIs and the first man from his country to score a century in the final of a major event.

After some late fireworks from Hafeez helped set an imposing total, Amir single-handedly exposed an Indian middle-order that had been desperately short of time in the middle due to the prolific form of Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli earlier in the tournament.

Amir has last laugh after Kohli's second chance

The trio had scored 874 runs between them in their opening four matches, but Amir produced something rarely seen in this tournament – swing with the new ball – to send the star trio on their way for a combined total of just 26.

Having trapped Rohit in front for 0 with a delightful inswinger in the first over, Amir found Kohli's edge to first slip in his next over only for Azhar to fumble the chance. But pundits barely had time to speculate how costly the miss would be before Amir found a leading edge from the very next ball that skewered to Shadab Khan at point, who held a sharp catch.

And when Dhawan was undone by the extra bounce in Amir's fifth over and edged behind, the match was effectively over.

Pakistan power to 4-338 in Champions Trophy final

Having exposed India's "underbelly", as coach Mickey Arthur had spoken about pre-game, Pakistan stormed through the middle order to have their supporters dancing in the aisles and the Indian fans running for the exits.

Only allrounder Hardik Pandya provided any joy for the Indians who stayed in their seats, hammering a half-century from just 32 balls, the fastest fifty in a major tournament final.

Pandya's stunning six show ends in despair

Having bludgeoned six towering sixes, including three consecutively off the bowling of Shadab, Pandya was undone for 76 from just 43 balls by a mix-up with his batting partner Ravindra Jadeja. Confusion between wickets left both batsmen heading towards the striker's end, with Jadeja opting to return to his ground instead of sacrificing his own wicket, leaving the rampant Pandya fuming as he stormed off the ground.

Luck bails out Hafeez during entertaining cameo

Pakistan's win was secured a short time later, the defending champions ripped out for just 158 in the 31st over to complete a memorable fightback and spark celebrations from London to Lahore.

Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation


1 JuneEngland beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

2 JuneNew Zealand v Australia, No Result

3 JuneSri Lanka lost to South Africa by 96 runs

4 June – India beat Pakistan by 124 runs

5 JuneAustralia v Bangladesh, No Result

6 JuneEngland beat New Zealand by 87 runs

7 JunePakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs (DLS method)

8 JuneSri Lanka beat India by seven wickets

9 JuneBangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets

10 JuneEngland beat Australia by 40 runs (DLS method)

11 JuneIndia beat South Africa by eight wickets

12 JunePakistan beat Sri Lanka by three wickets

14 JuneFirst semi-final: England lost to Pakistan by eight wkts

15 JuneSecond semi-final: Bangladesh lost to India by nine wickets

18 JuneFinal: Pakistan beat India by 180 runs

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