Monday , 25 June 2018
Pak beat India to lift Champions Trophy
Dream win: Sarfraz Ahmed (second right) lifts the trophy as Pakistan players celebrate their win at the presentation after the ICC Champions Trophy final cricket match against India at The Oval in London on Sunday

Pak beat India to lift Champions Trophy


LONDON: Pakistan dominated with both bat and ball to thrash a rather off-colour India by 180 runs and win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 cricket tournament here on Sunday.

This was the first ever Champions Trophy title for Pakistan. The south Asian nation claimed their third ICC tournament, having earlier won the 50-over World Cup in 1992 and the World Twenty20 in 2009.

Put in to bat, Pakistan rode on a century by opener Fakhar Zaman to post a massive total of 338/4 in the allotted 50 overs. In reply, India were all out for 158 runs in 30.3 overs.

For Pakistan, pacers Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali bagged three wickets each. All-rounder Hardik Pandya was the highest scorer among the Indians with 76 runs from 43 balls. He scripted the fastest half-century in a world One-Day International (ODI) final, reaching the landmark in  32 deliveries with three consecutive sixes off leg-spinner Shadab Khan.

But the rest of the much-acclaimed Indian batting line-up staged a spectacular collapse and were reduced to 72/6 in the 17th over. The Indian innings was off to a disastrous start with Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir producing a fiery opening spell. The left-arm pacer extracted movement both in the air and off the pitch and quite a few of his deliveries were almost unplayable.

Amir trapped Rohit Sharma leg before off the third ball in the opening over without even a single run on the board. He struck a crucial blow in his very next over when he dismissed India captain Virat Kohli. Kohli, who was dropped at first slip by Azhar Ali in the previous ball, tried a flick to the on-side but could only manage a leading edge straight to Shadab Khan at point.

The in-form Shikhar Dhawan, who went into the final as the tournament’s highest scorer, seemed set for another fine knock as he hit four boundaries during his 22-ball 21. The left-hander fell to another superb delivery by Amir which kissed the outside edge on its way to Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps.

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. Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja tried to stage a comeback with an 80-run stand, but it was never going to be enough. By the time Pandya was run out in the 27th over following a horrible mix-up, the match was as good as done and dusted.

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