Pakistan demolished arch-rivals India by 180 runs in the final game of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy tournament at the Oval in London on Sunday.
Pakistan clinched the Champions Trophy title for the first time, throwing Indians into frustration. India also sealed the title.
Pakistan made a quantum jump in the final fight though it had suffered a humiliating defeat by India in the Group B match of the tournament.
But India couldn’t repeat that yesterday. Pakistan took a sweet revenge in the most important match of the tournament.
India’s Hardik Pandya’s counter-attacking half-century gave Pakistan a scare before they recovered to post a dominating win in front of a huge crowd.
There were many heroes in the final. Fakhar Zaman struck his maiden ODI hundred, Azhar Ali posted half century and Mohammad Hafiz blitzed a brilliant unbeaten 57 off 37 balls to help Pakistan to an imposing 338 for four.
Mohammad Amir made three early incisions including bug gun Rohit Sharma and skipper Kohli. New recruit Hasan Ali held his nerve to cut India’s tail. He picked up three wickets as India were dismissed for 158 in 30.3 overs.
Pakistan’s new batting sensation Fakhar Zaman was adjudged the player of the final for his brilliant century while pacer Hasan Ali was awarded the player of the tournament and bowler of the series for his consistent bowling throughout the tournament (13 wickets). India’s opener Shikhar Dhawan was awarded batsman of the series.
Chasing an imposing 339 to win the title for the third time, defending champions India lost three wickets within the first nine overs before Hardik Pandya counterattacked with a blazing 76 off 43 deliveries to bring them back in the hunt. As it turned out, Pakistan managed to recover the threat.
India’s worst fears were realised when Rohit, Kohli, Dhoni failed miserably. Except Pandey, their batsmen could not resist the exhibition of Pakistan pacers and the final was an anticlimax.
Pandey looked a million dollars as he freely struck the ball and found the gaps in a continuation of the form.
Pandey and Jadeja shared 80 runs for the seventh wicket stand but it seemed all over when Pandey was run out in the 27th over.
Earlier, an impressive maiden century by Pakistan’s opener Fakhar Zaman led them to a commanding total of 338 for 4 in the stipulated 50 overs.
Pakistan’s youngster Fakhar Zaman, who got his ODI debut in the ongoing series, made no mistake to put his name on the record book by smashing his maiden ton (114 off 106) in the big event.
Defending champions India bowlers tried their best to restrict their arch rivals in any way possible. But Pakistan top orders displayed brilliant performance and capitalised the wicket.
Fakhar got a serious fortune yesterday when he was caught from a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball when on three – but rode his luck to pummel the Indian attack to all parts. It was the third time he scored fifty plus in this series.
Pakistan’s other opener Azhar Ali supported Fakhar from the other end of the crease and scored 59 runs from 71 deliveries. He was out of his luck when he was run out in the 23rd over.
Pakistan’s scorecard showed 128/1 when India got their first break through after almost half of their bowling innings.
On form Fakhar guided his team with one down batsman Babar Azam and scored his sensational century eventually in the 31st over. He was caught by Ravindra Jadeja from a delivery by India seamer Hardik Pandya in the 34th over.
Azam missed his half century by 4 runs as he was sent back to the pavilion for 46 runs by Indian right-arm off-break bowler Kedar Jadhav.
Mohammad Hafeez (57) and Imad Wasim (25) were the two batsmen, who put on a 71-run partnership in the fifth wicket stand for Pakistan.
India seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya were the only two bowlers having economy rates below six.
Jasprit Bumrah was the most expensive bowler for India conceding 68 runs from his 9 overs.
Jadhav and Bhuvneshwar bagged one wicket each for India for 27 and 44 runs respectively.