Champions Trophy final: India opt to field against Pak

So after coming into the tournament as rank underdogs - they entered just edging past West Indies as the lowest seed - Pakistan end up as the victor of the Champions Trophy 2017.

Mohammad Amir then tore through the India top order to help reduce the defending champions to 54-5. They were eventually dismissed for 158, with 19.3 overs to spare.

Following a tournament beset by rain, one-sided matches and the anticlimactic exit of the host nation, the eighth Champions Trophy needed a finale to justify its existence within the chaotic global cricket calendar.

Firstly Fakhar flayed the ball all around the The Oval, a maiden century coming in his fourth ODI after Pakistan were invited to bat. Credit to Pakistan. They outplayed us.

If Fakhar was the hero that the full house at The Oval and 50-odd on the rooftop of Archbishop Tenison's School saluted as the unlikely hero of the game, young right-arm pace bowler Bumrah would be remembered as the villain, especially for the India fans.

Mohammad Hafeez hailed Pakistan's team spirit as the key to their stunning Champions Trophy final triumph against India. It is even considered bigger than the Ashes series between Australia and England.

Like many people, Pathan also believes the Virat Kohli-led India's strength lies in its batting while Pakistan would bank on its superb bowling attack in the summit clash. That was until Amir got to work. Amir's removal of Shikhar Dhawan in an opening spell of 6-2-16-3 left India searching for triage, which was never applied.

First, an edge of his bat flew to Azhar who dropped an easy catch while of the very next ball, Kohli gave away a catch straight to point to put India in trouble. Opener Fakhar Zaman fell after scoring 114 off 106 balls.


India posted an impressive 319/3, before rain shortened the match and Pakistan were set a revised target of 289 to win in 41 overs.

India should have had a wicket when Fakhar was caught behind off Jasprit Bumrah on three.

The 27-year-old first put on 128 runs for the opening stand with Azhar Ali. At one point, he took 32 runs in the space of eight legal deliveries.

Babar Azam chipped in with a solid 46 and Mohammad Hafeez struck three sixes in a punchy unbeaten 57 that left India needing to produce the highest successful run chase in the tournament's history to lift the trophy for the third time.

"Congratulations to Pakistan. The way they turned things around, it was wonderful", Kohli said.

"Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are two of the all-time greats but Amir is showing he has the same potential".

The final margin of 180 runs was the largest run victory by either Pakistan or India in head-to-head One day global matches, and the largest margin of defeat for a full ICC member in a Champions Trophy competition. Fakhar is a great impact player, he played like a champion batsman.

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