Pakistan, India face off in historic cricket final

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

"We thought that if we could get among the Indian top order early, we could probably expose the middle order that hadn't batted a fair amount".

Zaman couldn't resist the length ball outside off stump, so he poked at it and only nicked it. "We've been through [his past] before but what I do know is that Amir is a big-match player".

It is India's fourth Champions Trophy final and Pakistan's first.

Zaman was on 3 when he knicked Jasprit Bumrah to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "A guy hitting a good shot is something that after a stage it s not in your control as you have already bowled the ball but conceding extras is something that we can control as a team", he said.

Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali made the flawless start for Pakistan even with Zaman "losing" his wicket only for it to be a no-ball and India missing out on a run-out all before the opener reached 10. In his 106-ball innings, Zaman hit 12 boundaries and three sixes.

The now fit-again Amir removes all of India's top three as the champions slump to 33 for three in nine overs before being dismissed for just 158.

Bowling: Amir 6-2-16-3; Junaid 6-1-20-1 (1w); Hafeez 1-0-13-0; Hasan 6.3-1-19-3; Shadab 7-0-60-2; Imad 0.3-0-3-0; Fakhar 3.3-0-25-0. It was a match where everything went awry for the "Men in Blue" from the time Kohli went out for the toss.

He trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for nought with a swinging delivery and removed India talisman Virat Kohli with another fine ball which the captain could only edge to point for five. "But for a guy like Zaman, it becomes really hard to stop players like him, because I think 80 per cent of his shots were high-risk and they were all coming off".

Successive Indian governments have refused to play bilateral cricket with Pakistan and it is unlikely that the result of the 2017 Champions Trophy will change the views of the Narendra Modi government.

Pakistan, who lost their campaign opener against India, seemed a different side this time.

Special arrangements were made to broadcast the final live in community halls, cinemas and parks. "They outplayed us. They were more intense and passionate on the day".

It was a remarkable turnaround of form for Pakistan, ranked No. 8 in the eight-team tournament.

Defending champions India proved no match for Pakistan on Sunday, losing the much-awaited final game of the Champions Trophy by 180 runs at The Oval in London.

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.

338 Pakistan's total, their highest in any tournament final, and their second-highest in an ODI against India. He doesn't shy away from pressure situations.

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