prensaestatal.com
prensaestatal.com Junio 22, 2017


Game plan ready to overcome India in Champions Trophy final: Arthur

19 Junio 2017, 01:16 | Gerardo Tarin

The opening partnership between Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali will be vital for Pakistan Geoff Caddick AFP Getty Images

Fakhar Zaman Azhar Ali Pakistan India ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Earlier in first innings, Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day global hundred was the cornerstone of Pakistan's 338 for four as they set title-holders and arch-rivals India a stiff chase to win the Champions Trophy final at The Oval on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma was pinned lbw by the third ball of the innings, only for Azhar Ali to spill a straightforward first-slip chance off India captain and master run-chaser Virat Kohli. Kohli looked to execute his trademark flick off the next ball only to get an edge; it flew to Shadab Khan at point.

Pakistan had come into the tournament as the lowest-ranked team and lost heavily to India in their opening group match but they beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to make the semi-finals where they knocked out hosts England.

They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan's 338 for four, which featured Fakhar Zaman's 114, the left-handed opener's maiden one-day worldwide hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level. Pakistani batsmen played intelligently and showed their character for the big match.

Sarfraz, who had captained Pakistan to Under-19 World Cup 2006 triumph, especially credited the bowlers for dismissing India for 158.

There was no way back for India, who collapsed to 158 all out with almost 20 overs of the match as they suffered their heaviest defeat by runs in 129 ODIs against Pakistan.

At the other end, Azhar Ali, usually staid and unremarkable, unfurled some shots of his own as Pakistan's openers put together a partnership of 128 runs.

And the question millions of cricket fans around the world, possibly even a billion, are all asking is 'which Pakistan will turn up?'.

India had defeated Pakistan in the group stage match of the tournament. They won by 180 runs against an India side widely tipped to prevail before the start. It did not help that they delivered 13 wides (out of 25 extras) and three no-balls, with Ashwin and Bumrah particularly guilty.

In the morning, after Pakistan had been invited to bat first, Zaman rode his luck.

But the two openers became more convincing and in the 20th over, bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, reached their 50s from consecutive balls - Fakhar second to the milestone from one delivery fewer when he cut his seventh four straight through the hands of Yuvraj Singh at point.

Any thought of the unlikeliest of victories was snuffed out when Pandya was run out by the length of the pitch after a mix-up with Jadeja. When we arrived here, we played like we had nothing to lose. India will be confident off the back of very impressive performances all round from the Top Order but also by the intense nature of their fielding lead by Captain Virat Kohli. "So, hopefully, this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all [cricket] playing nations will come to Pakistan", the Dawn quoted Sarfraz, as saying.

Babar Azam (46), Mohammad Hafeez (57*) and Imad Wasim (25*) contributed with their willows.



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