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19 Junio 2017, 08:53 | Gerardo Tarin
Pakistan put together an incredible performance at the crease and in the field as they upset the odd to destroy rivals India and win the ICC Champions Trophy for the first time.
Amir struck just three balls into India s reply when, after bowling two outswingers to Sharma, he had him lbw with an inswinger.
180 The margin of victory for Pakistan, the biggest in the final of any ICC ODI event. Arthur, had few doubts the left-armer would deliver on his abundant talent, even if he had missed the semi-final win against England with a back injury.
It was a remarkable turnaround of form for Pakistan, ranked No. 8 in the eight-team tournament. He also spoke about his passion for another sport besides cricket, revealing to this scribe that he had a knack for kabaddi and that he rather enjoyed playing it.
"With the ball, we could have had more wicket-taking opportunities". But many thought that India's vaunted batting line-up was up to the task. If Zaman announced his arrival in global cricket with a match-defining knock, Pakistan cricket s enfant awful Amir finally managed to sing a redemption song that he has been longing for.
The left-arm pacer extracted movement both in the air and off the pitch and quite a few of his deliveries were nearly unplayable.
Fakhar Zaman, who was yet to play for his country when the tournament began, showed early on just how clearly the day would always be Pakistan's.
Even Golden Bat victor Shikhar Dhawan couldn't resist Amir's persistent accuracy, edging through outside off-stump, and when teenage spinner Shadab Khan successfully convinced Sarfraz Ahmed to review a "not out" lbw decision against Yuvraj SinghIndia's hopes were fading fast at 54-4.
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 Ravindra Jadeja took a well-judged catch off Hardik Pandya to remove Zaman, the team's total had reached 200. He got there largely unchallenged in the 31st over with Bumrah, Ashwin and Jadeja all hemorrhaging runs.
In the 23rd over, Babar Azam replaced Azhar (59) who returned to the pavilion after a mix up with Fakhar resulted in a run out on Ashwin's delivery. That ill-disciplined no-ball handed Zaman a second chance, and he prospered as India faded. I got to one final with Pakistan and eventually got a medal.
The omens weren't good at the toss as India made Pakistan bat first.
Zaman couldn't resist the length ball outside off stump, so he poked at it and only nicked it. Praising the 27-year-old, Sarfraz added: "He [Zaman] is a great impact".
Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan had the ideal platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final.
"Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman today". Azam, who was previously supporting Zaman, now took the charge and played freely. Bhuvneshwar does well to just concede singles.
The opening pair broke two records, one for the best score posted by Pakistani openers against India in an ICC tournament (86 runs) and the best partnership against India in an ICC tournament when 100 came up for Pakistan in the 18th over. In the process, Pakistan crossed the 300 run mark with Hafeez slamming a huge six over deep square leg in the 46th over off pacer Kumar. Junaid Khan also chipped in with a wicket.
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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Complimented by contrasting styles, the conservative Azhar Ali and offensive Fakhar provide the flawless foil for each other. Pakistan Captain Sarfraz Ahmed said after the match, "We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions.
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