Amir and Fakhar guide Pakistan to Historic win
By Krunal Gandhi, MyCricketHighlights Cricket Writer
Final: Pakistan vs India at Kennington Oval, London, June 18 - 2017, Cricket Highlights.
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Click Here To Watch: Final Highlights
The fans of both India and Pakistan came out in large numbers and were expecting a thrilling contest in the final of the Champions Trophy. Well, it was not a thriller by any means, but an utterly dominating performance from Pakistan, who humbled India and handed them an 180-run defeat. The victory for Pakistan meant that they also won their first-ever ICC Champions Trophy and became only the fourth team to win all the three ICC events (World Cup, World T20, and Champions Trophy).
The Pakistani openers, especially Fakhar Zaman, was a bit lucky earlier on in his innings as he was caught behind on the bowling of Bumrah, but as the bowler had overstepped, the batsman got a life. The small, little mistake from Bumrah proved to be very costly for India, as Fakhar Zaman played a brilliant innings and along with Azhar Ali, gave his team a solid start.
As Bumrah was expensive today, Virat Kohli had to bring in R. Ashwin very early into the attack. But even the off-spinner was ineffective against the Pakistani openers, as both Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman went after Ashwin and didn’t allow him to settle down. The left-hand right-hand combination made it even more difficult for the Indian bowlers, who looked hapless on an excellent batting surface.
Soon the partnership crossed the 100-run mark and both the batsmen even completed their respective half-centuries. The partnership was now looking ominous from India’s point of view and they needed to break it as soon as possible. Fortunately for them, it was a mix-up between the two batsmen, which brought an end to the 128-run opening stand, as Azhar Ali was run out by Bumrah for 59.
After the dismissal of his partner, Fakhar became even more aggressive as he teared apart the Indian spinners. The left-hander played equally well on the back foot as well as on the front foot and always looked for boundary scoring options. His first fifty came in 61 deliveries, after which he accelerated his scoring rate and brought up his next fifty in a mere 31 balls. It was Fakhar’s maiden ODI hundred and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
At the end of 35 overs, Pakistan had already managed to score 209 runs for the loss of only 2 wickets. Babar Azam, who looked pretty subdued up till now, decided to open up his shoulders and scored at a much better strike-rate, thereafter.
The partnership between Babar and Shoaib Malik was already 47 runs and this was the time when Virat Kohli brought his spearhead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, back into the attack. Bhuvi wasted very little time in picking up a wicket as he got Shoaib Malik out in the deep with the help of a short delivery outside off stump. One brings two and this time around, it was the part-timer, Kedar Jadhav, who got rid of Babar Azam for 46.
In the end, it was the innings from Mohammad Hafeez that helped Pakistan cross the 300-run mark. ‘The Professor’ scored a 34-ball fifty and gave his team the impetus that they required in the death overs.
The Indian pacers, in Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, then made a decent comeback in the last 4 overs as they conceded just 33 runs and restricted Pakistan from getting to 350. Still, 338 was a huge, huge score and the Indian batsmen needed to bat out of their skin, if they had to chase it down.
India’s hopes were pinned on their top three, who have been in sizzling form in the tournament. However, when it matter the most, none of them could rise up to the occasion as they were all dismissed cheaply by none other than Mohammad Amir.
The left-arm pacer gave a perfect start to his team by getting Rohit plumb in front in the very first over. In his second over, he could have got Virat caught in the slips, but Azhar Ali dropped down a dolly and gave the Indian skipper a life. The dropped chance, however, didn’t cost a single run as Amir got rid of Virat on the very next ball. Shikhar Dhawan looked good for a brief while and played some crisp shots through the off-side. But he too fell to Amir and became his third victim. It was a scintillating spell of left-arm fast bowling from Amir, who broke the backbone of the Indian batting lineup by picking up those three vital wickets.
The fall of the top three brought Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni together. India were in desperate need of a partnership at this stage and they needed two of their most experienced batsmen to deliver for them. However, today was not their day as they too fell in quick succession and from 33/3, they slipped further down to 54/5.
India were going nowhere with this run-chase and at one point, it seemed like they would get bowled out for 100 or so. Fortunately for them, there was one batsman, who still had some fight left in him. It was Hardik Pandya, who played a fabulous knock of 76 off just 43 balls and provided some entertainment to the crowd. During his innings, he targeted the leg-spinner, Shadab Khan – who had already picked up a couple of wickets – and took him to cleaners. In his one over, he bludgeoned 3 massive sixes and a four to bring up his fifty.
Till the time Hardik was out there, India had an outside chance of pulling off a miraculous run chase. But sadly for Hardik and Team India, he got run out just at the wrong time, and his dismissal marked the downfall of India’s innings. The lower-order batsmen could hardly offer any resistance to the Pakistani quicks and were eventually bowled out for 158.
While Fakhar Zaman was awarded the Man of the Match, it was Hasan Ali, who walked away with the Man of the Series award. Hasan also won the Golden Ball award for picking up the most number of wickets (13) in the tournament.
PakistanSupport your team!
- Azhar Ali
- Fakhar Zaman
- Babar Azam
- Mohammad Hafeez
- Shoaib Malik
- Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk)
- Imad Wasim
- Mohammad Amir
- Shadab Khan
- Hasan Ali
- Junaid Khan
IndiaSupport your team!
- Rohit Sharma
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Virat Kohli (c)
- Yuvraj Singh
- MS Dhoni (wk)
- Kedar Jadhav
- Hardik Pandya
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Jasprit Bumrah