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ICC Champions Trophy: Inspired Pakistan thrash India by 180 runs in the finals

Posted on 19 June 2017 by admin

Champions Trophy final, The Oval
Pakistan 338-4 (50 overs): Fakhar 114, Azhar 59, Hafeez 57*
India 158 all out (30.3 overs): Pandya 76, Amir 3-16, Hasan 3-19
Pakistan won by 180 runs

 

Pakistan humiliate Kohli and Co by 180 runs to clinch Champions Trophy!

By: Upali Obeyesekere – Editor, The Times of Sri Lanka  – With files from Times of India.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 18: Pakistan lift the ICC Champions Trophy after being India during ICC Champions Trophy Final between India and Pakistan at The Kia Oval on June 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

LONDON: By 3:40 pm local time, as Imad Wasim ran in and held on to MS Dhoni's top edge, the Oval had started emptying. India were 54/5 chasing 339 against Pakistan, and hordes of blue-wearing, Tricolour-carrying fans were slinking out silently, nimbly. A little girl stopped to wipe a tear. An elderly gentleman, maybe her grandfather, stopped to put a protective arm around her. A young guy, draped in India colours, hurled invectives at inanimate objects on his way out.

A security guard, caught off-guard by the crowd, yelled at him, "Is the match over, then?" It wasn't yet. Hardik Pandya (76; 43b, 4×4, 6×6) was still out there, still clobbering those sixes, but at this stage they seemed mere exercises in vanity. And then Pandya paid the price of a horrible mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja, in a shambolic dismissal completely in keeping with the day India had just had on the field and with the bat. It was truly over now, and there would be no miracles on this day. Their first two wickets had fallen for 6 runs, as did their last four.

Some Indian fans had bought tickets for as much as £400, and had no reason to be amused as Team India put up its worst show yet in the Virat Kohli era, lose to an imperious, domineering Pakistan by 180 runs. By the time the last Indian wicket fell, the Oval had been handed over to the Pakistanis. Amid the flowing, bounding sea of green, only a sense of outrage and hurt lingered as memory of India's prefinal billing.

Pakistan, bottom-ranked in this tournament among the top eight sides, crafted one of the most special moments of their ODI history, beating England and then India back-to-back in one of the biggest upsets of recent times. In Sarfraz, they finally seem to have stumbled on a leader. In Fakhar Zaman, who scored a century on Sunday, they found a maverick opener who could shrug off the early case of nerves and pass it on to India instead. In Mohammad Amir, they found a survivor with supreme skill.

It wasn't just the loss, since everyone knew if Pakistan brought their ' A ' game it would be tough for India. It was the magnitude of it, and the manner of it, that is likely to raise questions for India.

India put too much faith in their top three to deliver, which was another misconception. With Mohammad Amir ripping through what is both the head and heart of the Indian batting – Rohit SharmaShikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli – with only 33 on the board, the ageing middle was exposed.

On the field, only Bhuvneshwar Kumar stood out with the ball as luck and momentum both went Pakistan's way. India batted, bowled and fielded their worst in recent times, because they must have realized, moments into the game when Zaman and Azhar Ali put up a century stand, that they had a fight on their hands. Instead, they crumbled under pressure.

FAKHAR ZAMAN

Fakhar Zaman hit a spectacular century to propel Pakistan to 338-4 in the scorching south London sunshine. Mohammad Amir then tore through the India top order to help reduce the defending champions to 54-5. India eventually limped to 158, Pakistan winning by 180 runs to take their first global 50-over title since 1992. Tellingly, what Zaman offered Pakistan in the tournament was a rarity in the modern ODI game: a player whose job is to hit freely without too much worry about the situation, the closest example being England's Jason Roy who, in stark contrast, had a terrible tournament and was dropped for the semi-final versus Pakistan. And to think, Zaman almost didn't play the final. Strung up by a bug which left him in pain, the 27-year-old spent the night with the team physiotherapist by his side.

While Pakistan proved that rankings mean nothing in this game, and seem to have turned a corner, India will have to face harsh inquisition. There could be some casualties.

That Pakistan lifted the trophy was surprising enough – at eighth in the world they began as the lowest-ranked team in the tournament – but it is the way they demolished the strong favourites will live long in the memory. Firstly Fakhar flayed the ball all around the The Oval, a maiden century coming in his fourth ODI after Pakistan were invited to bat. And then Amir, in the same city in which he committed the spot-fixing offences that led to a five-year ban, found precious movement to destroy the vaunted India batting line-up.

The rest of the Pakistan attack were irresistible, backed up by excellent fielding, all in front of a vibrant, raucous and enthusiastic capacity crowd.

Editor's Note: Pakistan was blessed in this edition of ICC Champions Trophy. Having lost to India in their first game, a humiliating defeat at that Pakistan started re-building their team slowly but surely. Pakistan won a game they should have lost against Sri Lanka. No idea how this happened. Then they hammered the mighty England – odds on favourites to win the trophy this year. In the finals they took on India head-on and concluded a smashing victory.

One of the worst performance by team India. Skipper Virat Kohli's arrogance as captain was yet another contributing factor to India's loss. He was too cocky right from the start and thought he had an invincible team. Humiliated by Pakistan ?

Nothing new. Indians are used to frequent humiliations. Just look at the all-time Ind v Pak ODI record . Pak is ahead of India by 21 ODI's. That gap will not be closed in this generation . Sachin, Dravid , Ganguly , Dhoni , Kohli….nobody has been able to catch up . Even in the last 17 years where India claim to have dominated Pakistan in ODI's , India won 25 and Pakistan won 26.

 

 

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