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CT 2017 Final: India v Pakistan – Who Said What

"No one recognised Pakistan in world cricket, and here we are, the champions," Sarfraz said.

Sarfraz Ahmed of Pakistan
Sarfraz Ahmed of Pakistan celebrates taking the final catch as Pakistan win the ICC Champions trophy. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

India v Pakistan final of the Champions Trophy and you couldn’t have asked for the bigger occasion. The Pakistani team was too good on the day, with the bat they were brilliant to take on the Indian bowlers and not let any of them except Bhuvneshwar Kumar settle into their rhythms. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja who have been economical right through were hit mercilessly.

Fakhar Zaman given a life scored a magnificent hundred to set his team up for a big total. Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez got valuable half centuries and it was the late onslaught by Imad Wasim and Hafeez that took them way beyond 300 as they closed the innings on 338/4.

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In their reply, India would have discussed it is a stiff target but the conditions were pretty good for batting and Virat Kohli would have believed they could chase it down. But the way Mohammad Amir initiated the proceedings it stumped India and they had no reply to his bowling. He scalped Rohit Sharma, Virat and Shikhar Dhawan in quick succession to break the backbone of the Indian batting.

Save the lone contributor with the bat Hardik Pandya and there was nothing to talk about the Indian response. He scored a half century but Ravindra Jadeja prized his wicket a bit too much and ran him out on 76. The inning crumbled soon and they were all out for a humiliating 158 and lost the game by a humongous 180-run margin their worst defeat against Pakistan in ODI cricket.

Sarfraz Ahmed in his first ICC event as skipper lifted the trophy and he was the one who inspired this team of youngsters to believe in themselves and after the thumping in the opening game script a fairytale comeback to win the title.

Sarfraz Ahmed said:

“After the India (group) match, I said to the boys that the tournament doesn’t finish here. Thanks to the team management. And look we are here today. Fakhar Zaman played like a champion batsman. I think all credit goes to my bowlers. Amir today. Hasan Ali throughout the tournament. This is a young team. When we arrived, we played like we had nothing to lose. No one recognised Pakistan in world cricket, and here we are, the champions. Keep praying for us, Pakistan.”

He just took the opportunity to congratulate the opposition and there was hardly anything to add. Virat though said he is proud of the way his team played in the tournament to come all the way to the final.

Virat Kohli said:

“Indeed (disappointing). Congratulations to Pakistan. The way they turned things around, it was amazing. They can upset anyone on their day. I have a smile on my face because I am very proud of the boys. Credit to Pakistan; they outplayed us. They were more intense and more passionate. With the ball, we could have had more wicket-taking opportunities. Sometimes, the opposition does play very well. Even with the ball, they were very aggressive. Hardik played well. Small margins can be massive in cricket (on the no ball that Fakhar got out to). We need to move on and learn from our mistakes. Not at all (if he should have opted to bat at the toss)”

One bowler who changed the look of the Pakistani bowling attack with not just his bowling but his positive body language and the approach was Hasan Ali. He ended the tournament with 13 wickets and was awarded the Golden Ball as well as the Player of the Tournament.

Hasan Ali said:

“I wasn’t in the side last year but I relied on hard work and self belief. I have learnt from the beginning that fitness is important. The tournament was good for me. I hope I continue like this. The final wicket vwas a very special moment; I don’t have words.”

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