Champions Trophy: Sarfraz Ahmed wants cricket to return to Pakistan

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

"Now we are the champions, so hopefully this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all playing nations is coming to Pakistan". But they turned it around in style as they topped South Africa (19 runs via D/L method), and Sri Lanka (three wickets) to enter the semi-finals where they got the better of hosts England by eight wickets.

"Once we put up a strong total, I was more than million per cent sure India can't beat us today", said Zahra Mehmood, a housewife.

"Great team effort! After losing the first game, we were nowhere", all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez told the official broadcasters after the team's 180-run win over India.

After India had won the toss, Fakhar, on three, was caught by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni off a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball and the 27-year-old left-hander took full advantage to make his first worldwide century.

Specifically pointing out the performance of Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali, Sarfraz said he was quite glad with the way they performed in the tournament and guided Pakistan to victory. Azhar also continued his fine form, reaching fifty off 61 balls before he was run out following a mix-up with his partner. You talk about our players not playing at home but also the fans not identifying with heroes because they just don't see worldwide cricket.

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.

Once Amir had devoured the three in a superb opening spell of six overs, it virtually ended the match as a contest.

Amir, who served a five-year ban for spot-fixing, trapped Rohit Sharma lbw, had India skipper Virat Kohli caught at point and forced Shikhar Dhawan to edge behind.

"It's always a bad feeling when you get out or the batting doesn't work collectively and everyone feels bad about not having contributed to the team in any way", said the top-ranked one-day batsman.

Yuvraj Singh was lbw to leg-spinner Shadab and former captain MS Dhoni, the hero of many an India rescue mission, holed out in the deep.

Kumar was the pick of a sloppy attack, taking 1-44 in 10 overs, while Hardik Pandya was full value for his useful 1-53 and used the short delivery excellently. Jadeja nicked Junaid Khan to slip for 15 shortly afterwards.

Instead, those who gathered at the religious centre in Rawalpindi delayed the food in order to watch Pakistan's historic win over India at the Champions Trophy on a giant TV screen.

"I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an wonderful tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have".

This is the second time Pakistan have won a global title in the 50-over format after their triumph at the 1992 World Cup. "The whole group kept believing".

Meanwhile, Arthur paid tribute to Sarfraz's role as both a tactician and a leader following what was by, the coach's own admission, a "shambolic" first-up loss to India.

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