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Amir, Fakhar lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy triumph
19 Junio 2017, 02:55 | Crisanna Felipe
Amir, Fakhar lead Pakistan to Champions Trophy triumph
It was then over to Amir, who quickly dispelled the predictions of many that India could pull off a tournament and ground-record run chase - in the process silencing the majority support in a sell-out crowd for this high-profile showdown as their team folded to 158 all out in 30.3 overs. Put together, the trio have scored 900 runs in the tournament. But they were likely regretting their decision as Pakistan racked up a stunning 338 runs in their 50 overs. This was a great tournament for me, dismissed some top players.
Hardik Pandya smashed 76 off 43 balls, hit half a dozen of sixes to provide some entertainment, before being run-out due to a awful mix-up with Jadeja.
The left-arm pacer extracted movement both in the air and off the pitch and quite a few of his deliveries were nearly unplayable. Amir's was, make no mistake, the ODI spell that Pakistan cricket fans would have yearned for from him since he was welcomed back into the global fold previous year: 26 dot balls, appreciable movement, accuracy and the bloodied heart of India's batting in his grip.
Next ball, Kohli hit it straight to Shadab at point and Amir, bowling at 140-plus kph, had his second wicket.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed himself had used a similar tactic in the first innings, sending in Imad Wasin ahead of himself, at a time when he knew that Pakistan needed quick runs.
Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav followed each other back to the pavilion in quick succession as Pakistan tightened their grip on the proceedings.
By the time Pandya was run out in the 27th over following a terrible mix-up, the match was as good as done and dusted.
Before the Champions Trophy final, some people were saying that the best hope for Pakistan was to make a game of it before India's inevitable triumph. "Nothing beats "Team Work", Pakistan is a team against every threat", the COAS was quoted saying by the Inter-Services Public Relations.
Pakistan's outstanding performance also earned them high praise from worldwide cricket players.
India may be ahead against Pakistan in ICC tournaments by an 8-2 margin, but in all ODI tournament finals Pakistan holds a 6-2 edge in the head-to-head battle against India.
He also appreciated Pakistani opener "Fakhar's raw talent in action".
Fakhar and Azhar produced a stand of 128, the first consecutive opening century partnership by Pakistan in 14 years. But the more consistent you get in learning from games like this, it s better for the team in the future.
R Ashwin to Lendl Simmons, Hardik Pandya to Tamim Iqbal and Jasprit Bumrah to Fakhar Zaman. Soon, Zaman completed his century in 92 balls through a sweep at the square leg.
After man of the match Fakhar finished on 114, Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Amir ripped the heart out of the India batting line-up with the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. Azhar Ali had progressed just as quickly as Fakhar, though with greater orthodoxy, when the two batsmen found themselves at the same end. That's more than half the Pakistan population watching a game. Bumrah's no-ball gave him a life, he then hit two plucky bottom-handed boundaries and that, as the old saying goes, was the horse bolting out of the proverbial stables.
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He celebrated with an extravagant twirl of his bat and kissed the turf as the Pakistan supporters sensed an unlikely win. His transformation into a hero was complete as his final tally was six overs, two maidens, 16 runs and three wickets.
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