Champions Trophy victory lifts Pakistan to number six in ODI ranking

Pakistan's Azhar Ali in action
Pakistan's Azhar Ali in action
Author

20 June, 2017

MOHAMMAD Hafeez dedicated a stunning ICC Champions Trophy success to the public of Pakistan after thrashing India at The Oval.

Team Pakistan entered in the Champions Trophy being the lowest ranking team of the eight competing sides - however, its fascinating victories against South Africa, Sri Lanka, England and India alleviated its position to number six. The Times of India, for instance, chose to highlight India's 7-1 victory over Pakistan in a Hockey Word League game that was also being played in London on Sunday.

It proved to be a costly no ball as Fakhar goes on to score his first global century before falling for 114. He celebrated with an extravagant twirl of his bat and kissed the turf as the Pakistan supporters sensed an unlikely win. Pakistan, the overwhelming underdogs at the start of the tournament, had beaten all the odds to make it to the final. Pakistan made sure it did not turn out to be a costly mistake, though, as Amir dismissed him next ball.

In fact, he got only a single wicket in three matches that he played, giving away 167 runs from 29 overs.

He removed India's top three batsmen - Rohit Sharma (0), Shikhar Dhawan (21) and Kohli (5).

Both the batsmen didn't spare any of the Indian bowlers, except Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and scored on all parts of the ground. Shadab picked up his second wicket when Kedar Jadhav, on nine, gave Sarfraz a simple catch and India appeared to be crumbling meekly at 72 for six.

He raised hopes of pulling off a one-man Indian Houdini act as he hit three successive sixes to reach his half century. Jadeja nicked Junaid Khan to slip for 15 shortly afterwards. "But I am more happy and delighted for players like Fakhar Zaman and Hassan Ali, who impressed their peers through their talent and performances, and found their way in the side. We played like we had nothing to lose, now we are champions", said Sarfraz. We dusted ourselves off after the India defeat in Edgbaston and came back superbly.

"The whole group kept believing, we knew we were better than what we showed in the first game against India".

Chasing a challenging total of 339 runs, India bowed down before the Pakistani bowlers and got all out for mere 158 runs in 33.3 overs. "All the credit goes to the entire team, they all worked really hard", the Pakistan captain said.

"They had an wonderful tournament". "We can't take anyone lightly but they were more intense and passionate on the day".

Earlier, Fakhar made the most of an early reprieve after Kohli won the toss and sent Pakistan in on a typically good Oval pitch, with the sunny conditions seemingly ideal for batting. We thought one big partnership would have set it up nicely.


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