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CT 2017, Final, Pakistan v India Review: Pakistan humiliate Kohli’s men to be crowned Champions

Pakistan beat India by 180 runs to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

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 at the Kia Oval cricket ground on June 18, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

The stage was set for the all-important ultimate game of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. After 14 closely contested games, it all boiled down to a perfect finale at The Oval. The arch rivals – India and Pakistan – locked horns for the final glory which seemed to be a befitting end to an exciting contest. Coming in to the match, the defending champions were the firm favorites to lift the tournament yet again.

However, the unpredictability of Pakistan could never be taken out of the equation. The way they had stunned the tournament favorites England in the semis only made the men in green more confident for the big match. On the other hand, the manner in which India had thumped their oppositions in their last two games made them the red hot favorites to defend the title.

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In the match, it was Indian skipper Virat Kohli who had won the toss and opted to field first. They went in with an unchanged eleven for the match. Pakistan roped back in the services of Mohammad Amir who had missed the previous game due to back spasms. Rumman Raees made way for Amir in the lineup. In walked Azhar Ali to open the innings with Fakhar Zaman as Bhuvneshwar Kumar shared the new ball with Jasprit Bumrah.

The seamers started off well with Bhuvneshwar bowling a maiden first up. Bumrah managed to get an edge off the bat of Fakhar on 3 but that ended up being a no ball. That moment certainly hurt India dearly. Ali and Zaman soon started to cream the Indian bowlers as run came by easily. With 56 runs in the powerplay, the platform was very well set for Pakistan. Soon, a hundred run stand beckoned for the openers.

En route the stand, both batsmen notched up their respective fifties. Just when the two had decided to cut loose, a mix up in the field saw Azhar Ali being run out by Jasprit Bumrah in the 23rd over. Ali scored 59 off 71 balls with 6 fours and a six before getting dismissed. In walked Babar Azam at number 3. Zaman, on the other hand, did not let the dismissal of Ali affect him and stepped on the accelerator.

He mustered his way past his maiden ODI ton to put Pakistan over the 200-run mark. However, he could not add much to his total since then as a brilliant catch by Ravindra Jadeja off the bowling of Hardik Pandya brought an end to his sensational knock. Zaman scored 114 off 106 balls with 12 fours and 3 sixes to his name. Shoaib Malik hit a big six but ended up becoming Bhuvneshwar’s first wicket of the match.

Meanwhile, Azam took the role of the aggressor as Mohammad Hafeez arrived at the crease. Azam perished to the wily old move of Indian skipper of using Kedar Jadhav. He holed out in the deep on 46 (52) in the 43rd over with scorecard reading 267/4. Imad Wasim was promoted ahead of Sarfraz in the batting order. Imad and Hafeez plundered runs at will in the death overs to steer the scorecard past 300-run mark.

Hafeez reached his fifty in quicktime and eventually ended with an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls with 4 fours and 3 sixes as Pakistan finished with 338/4 in their 50 overs. Imad remained unbeaten on 25 off 21 balls. The run chase of 339 was never going to be easy and needed a record run chase to overhaul it. However, with the chase master Virat Kohli, and in-form Indian top order at disposal, nothing could have been said about it.

And the run chase

However, what followed in the run chase was an absolute horror for the Indian fans. Three of the top five run getters of the tournament were the top three Indian batsmen. However, all the three succumbed to the wily swing of Mohammad Amir on the day. Amir started off on a high by dismissing Rohit Sharma on a duck in the very first over. In his next over, he managed to get an edge of Kohli’s bat but Azhar Ali dropped a sitter in the slips.

The drop did not cost Pakistan much though. On the very delivery, Kohli edged one to the point to get dismissed on 5. Meanwhile, Shikhar Dhawan looked good with four boundaries to his name from the other end. Dhawan became Amir’s third victim of the match in the 9th over as the southpaw walked back after scoring 21. Yuvraj Singh (22) and MS Dhoni (4) could not do much but only ended up consuming deliveries during their stay at the crease.

The same was the case with Kedar Jadhav (9) as India reeled on 72/6 in 17th over after his dismissal. Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya got together at the crease then. Pandya played a gem of a knock for the Indian fans. The highlight was his three consecutive sixes off the bowling of Shadab Khan. While Jadeja gave him the strike, Pandya ended up scoring the fastest fifty in the Champions Trophy history.

It was a very unfortunate end to his innings as a reckless ignorance from Jadeja saw him getting run out on 76 that had come off only 43 balls with 4 fours and 6 sixes. Jadeja soon departed as well. It was all formality since then. India bundled out for 158 as Pakistan won the Champions Trophy by 180 runs.

Brief Scores:

Pakistan 338/4 in 50 overs (Fakhar 114, Azhar 59, Jadhav 1/27, Bhuvneshwar 1/44)

India 158/10 in 30.3 overs (Pandya 76, Yuvraj 22, Amir 3/16, Hasan 3/19)

Check full scorecard here.

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