Fakhar, Amir sparkle as Pakistan stun India

An inspired Pakistan hammered a blundering India by 180 runs to lift the ICC Champions Trophy, riding on a scintillating hundred from rookie opener Fakhar Zaman and a sensational bowling spell from Mohammad Amir. They were all out for 158 in 30.3 overs.

"I think great things went for me and my team and my country", Sarfraz told reporters after a win made all the more astounding by the fact Pakistan had suffered a 124-run defeat by India in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4. They beat South Africa, Sri Lanka and host England to reach their first Trophy final, where only they believed they could end a seven-match, six-year losing streak to India in global tournaments.

Amir, whose career was almost ended on the other side of London's River Thames by a ban and jail sentence for his involvement in a spot-fixing scan during a 2010 Test at Lord's, made a brilliant comeback after a back spasm forced him out of the semi-final victory over England.

Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day worldwide hundred laid the foundations for Pakistan's formidable total of 338-4.

For Pakistan, Mohammed Amir and Hassan Ali were the main wicket-takers claiming three wickets each. Captain Virat Kohli also left early leaving Indian fans disappointed. "After the India (group) match I said to my boys, the tournament is not finished yet".

Once last hope Hardik Pandya (76) was run out, the writing was on the wall as India were bundled out for just 158 with nearly 20 overs remaining. "They had an awesome tournament".

Specifically pointing out the performance of Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali, Sarfraz said he was quite glad with the way they performed in the tournament and guided Pakistan to victory. The resultant free-hit did not result in too many runs but the Pakistan openers launched an assault on the Indian bowlers after that.

They came into the final against India at the Oval as the outsiders and when India won the toss and made a decision to chase it was felt like Pakistan would need to post close to 350 to just have a chance.

Kohli said: "They can upset anyone on their day".

The left-hander failed to let the horror mix-up deter him - striking Ravindra Jadeja for six over long on and following up with a brace of boundaries as Pakistan raced up to 150 in the 26th over. But just when it seemed good for the Pakistan team, Malik played a loose short off pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and gifted his wicket.

Earlier, India opted to bowl first on a wicket that seemed full of runs.

He was caught behind off Bumrah on three but replays showed the paceman had bowled a no-ball.

He shared a fluent century opening partnership with Azhar Ali (59), the pair unleashing a barrage of crisp attacking strokes all around a sun-kissed ground.

Altre Notizie