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19 Junio 2017, 01:36 | Gerardo Tarin
India vs Pakistan final: How Hardik Pandya saved Team India from total embarrassment
It was one of the hottest days in England and the heat was well and truly felt at the Oval but the Indian team would have experienced it more from the opposition than from the soaring mercury.
It is for the first time that the two arch-rivals are facing each other in a Champions Trophy final, with Pakistan marking their maiden appearance in the coveted tournament. "They outplayed us, they were more intense and passionate on the day".
At that point it really was embarrassing for Pakistan and seemed to give them little to no chance of qualifying for the semi-finals with India and South Africa expected to dominate the group. Mohammad Amir is back fully fit and is expected to be back to lead the bowling attack at the expense of Debutant Ramman Raees who had a brilliant debut.
Hasan Ali, un-Pakistani-esque in his line-and-length bowling style but someone who ran in with characteristic aggression, took three to make sure India could not rebuild.
India were 54-5 and soon 72-6 as Shadab dismissed Kedar Jadhav cheaply.
An over later, Ravindra Jadeja was picked up at slips by Junaid Khan. He hammered 12 boundaries and three sixes in his mighty and memorable knock at the big platform.
For once, the Pakistan middle order didn't waste the great start.
On Zaman, he said: "He's a great impact player, in his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan".
Kohli accepted his side had been second best as he acknowledged Pakistan's "amazing tournament". The team did not look back.
Once Amir had devoured the three in a superb opening spell of six overs, it virtually ended the match as a contest. One no-ball from Jasprit Bumrah turned the game in Pakistan's favour.
"It's a final against India, so I just tried to enjoy the innings". He hit big powerful strokes off the likes of Bumrah and then used his feet well to neutralize R Ashwin. Babar was next to go for his 46 when Pakistan were 267.
Pakistan did their best to build on the start. "Even with the ball, they were very aggressive", he added. A bolt so ridiculously good that this Pakistan performance reminded everyone of their glory days, when Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar and Inzaman-ul-Haq ran the show. Playing in only his 3rd ODI, 27 year old Fakhar Zaman was the pick of the Pakistani batsmen, knocking his way to 114 off 106.
Pandya, however, briefly raised their spirits with a quickfire 76, reaching his fifty with three successive sixes off Shadab and hitting six maximums in all before he was run out. Ashwin was brought in to hunt for wickets but he was played out and struck for a six in his first over.
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