Sarfaraz Ahmed led Pakistan side delivered masterclass performance to decimated India by 180 runs in the finals of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 played at The Oval on Sunday. The side entered the competition as no.8 ranked side in the world as no one could have ever imagined such a remarkable story of Pakistan’s amazing turnaround after their 124-run defeat to India in the first game at Edgbaston.
The side amassed 338 runs on the board courtesy of a splendid maiden ton by opener Fakhar Zaman and half centuries from Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez. India could not produce anything with the bat as Mohammad Amir bowled a probing spell upfront to dismiss Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in space of few overs to see them slump to 33 for 3 in the chase. Pakistan bowlers produced excellent performance as they was no let-off at any moment to see India get bundled out for 158 runs in 30.3 overs.
Shadab Khan took crucial wicket of Yuvraj Singh as he trapped the left-hander leg before to see India reeling inside 15 overs. Hardik Pandya provided some resistance as all-rounder scored quick-fire 76 runs off 43 balls and smashed six sixes in his innings. Pandya was run-out as Ravendra Jadeja failed to answer his call for a quick single. That mix-up between Pandya and Jadeja summed up India’s day in the finals against Pakistan. Hasan Ali again ended with three wickets to this name to end Champions Trophy as the leading wicket taker in the competition with 13 scalps and taking home two prestigious awards on the night.
Earlier, Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to field first. Indian bowlers employed negative tactics to contain Fakhar Zaman but inevitably in cost defending champions big time as the left-hander started to unleash his wide range of strokes. He went on to score 114 runs as he raced away to his maiden century to put Pakistan in a commanding position to post a big score on the board. Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman got Pakistan off to a perfect start as duo added 128 runs for the opening wicket. Babar Azam and Mohammad Hafeez played crucial knocks to see Pakistan pile on the runs to end up with 338 runs from 50 overs. Ravendra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin were expensive in the game as they conceded close 140 runs in 18 overs sent down by the pair.
In the end, Pakistan deserved to lift ICC Champions Trophy 2017 title as the Sarfaraz Ahmed and co. produced brilliant performance with bat and ball to outclass an experienced Indian side in the finals. This was Pakistan’s first Champions Trophy title and is another feather cap for green shirts who have earlier won 1992 Cricket World Cup and 2009 T20 World Cup