Champions Trophy 2017: A series of upsets

Champions Trophy 2017: A series of upsets

There were as many as 5 upsets in the whole tournament

Mohammad Amir of Pakistan
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 18 : Mohammad Amir of Pakistan shouts as he dismisses Rohit Sharma of India during the ICC Champions Trophy final match between India and Pakistan. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

ICC Champions Trophy 2017, after all the ups and downs in the last 3 weeks, has won by the most unpredictable team Pakistan. They did it in style by thrashing the Men in Blue, their arch rivals by 180 runs. This was the biggest win for any team in an ICC ODI final. Pakistan entered the tournament as number 8 team and surprised everyone by their delightful performances as the tournament progressed.

Before the commencement of the mega event, teams like India, England, Australia and South Africa were considered as favourites. But only India and England managed to make it to the knockouts as Australia and South Africa capitulated under pressure. This edition of Champions Trophy witnessed so many upsets on its way to the final and the victory of the men in green over the most fancied Indian team was considered as the biggest upset.

Here at CricTracker, we look at the series of upsets of Champions Trophy 2017

Pakistan shocked South Africa in a must-win encounter

After a listless performance against India in their first group game, Pakistan faced Proteas. Much to everyone’s surprise, South Africa were restricted to 219 after they won the toss and chose to bat first. Pakistan though looked under pressure during their chase but were ahead when rain interrupted and were eventually ahead as per Duckworth-Lewis method.

The architect of this win were their bowlers as the spinners stifled the opposition and seamers came back in the middle overs and hurt South Africa’s progress.

Sri Lanka gunned down one of their biggest chases against India

Men in Blue scored a huge total of 321 after being inserted to bat by the opposition. Very few gave the island nation a chance as India had one of the best bowling attacks of the tournament. But Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka had different ideas.

They scripted one of the famous wins for their country with a partnership of 159 in quick time. Though both of them were dismissed in quick succession, Sri Lanka managed to romp home by seven wickets with their skipper at the crease calm and composed as ever.

Shakib and Mahmudullah outclassed Kiwis

New Zealand seamers Southee and Boult wreaked havoc with superb swing bowling defending a modest 265. Bangladesh were reeling at 33/4 and their own fans expected a miracle to save them. This is where their superstar Shakib and their man of ICC tournaments Mahmudullah came to their rescue.

They stitched together a marathon stand of 224 and knocked out the ‘underdogs’ of the tournament. Both scored centuries in the process and the victory was one of the best in Bangladesh’s ODI history that eventually helped them qualify for semifinals for the first time ever.

Pakistan thumped hosts in a one-sided encounter

Pakistan faced hosts England in the knockout clash and everyone believed that Pakistan’s luck should run out as England would blow them away. But what happened was exactly opposite.

Pakistan, as they did to South Africa, restricted England to a total well below par, thanks to some inspired bowling performances from Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan. In reply, Pakistan chased down the total comfortably with more than 12 overs to spare and romped into the finals.

Pakistan trounced defending champions to become champions

It is amazing how every victory of the men in green is considered as upset and that is because of their consistency in being inconsistent. India and Pakistan set up a dream final after beating their respective semi-final opponents. This was the first final between the two sides in an ICC event after 2007.

Pakistan came into the game with confidence right from the first ball and outplayed India in every department. First, they posted a monumental score of 338 runs on the back of Fakhar Zaman’s maiden century and then completely bamboozled India’s star-studded batting line-up with some fierce bowling. Amir destroyed their top order and the middle order, which hardly batted during the tournament, crumbled under pressure.

This Champions Trophy will go down as one of the best editions ever contested. There is no reason to scrap the tournament which is scheduled to be held in India in 2021. Such tournaments would keep the fans interested in ODI cricket forever.