Potent Pakistan claim fairytale Champions Trophy title

Pakistan put in a near perfect display as they scored a huge 180 run victory over India in the Champions Trophy final at the Oval in London.

India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and put Pakistan in to bat, hoping perhaps to disrupt Pakistan’s blueprint for success.

However Pakistan youngster Fakhar Zaman had other ideas, surviving an early scare where he was dismissed of a no-ball the young man put on 128 run opening stand with Azhar Ali.

Azhar was more fluent than usual scoring 59 off 71 balls and complimenting the aggressive Fakhar wonderfully well.

That was until Azhar was run out after a dreadful mix up but Fakhar put that behind him kicking on to score his maiden ODI hundred.

Fakhar would hit 114 until a loose stroke saw him gift his wicket to Hardik Pandya.

Babar Azam (46) was then joined by Shoaib Malik (12) but the veteran couldn’t help himself when Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave him some wide filth outside off and he holed out to deep extra cover to leave Pakistan 247/3 and threatened to derail their effort.

Mohammad Hafeez came in though and would play an equally out of character innings and kept going after losing Babar to the part-timer Kedar Jadhav.

Hafeez hit 57 off 37 balls including three sixes and together with Imad Wasim (25*) powered Pakistan to the biggest total seen at this year’s Champions Trophy, 338/4.

Pakistan’s success in this tournament has been built on their ability to take wickets and Mohammad Amir who has bowled well in this tournament for little reward came to the fore in that regard.

First Amir trapped Rohit Sharma leg before for a duck before he had Kohli dropped by Azhar at slip. Kohli couldn’t make the most of the life though as he fell off the very next ball for five and India were 6/2.

Amir struck again removing the tournament’s top scorer Shikhar Dhawan (21) to reduce India to 33/3 in the ninth over.

Shadab Khan became the youngest ever man to play in a Champions Trophy Final and he would have a massive impact removing Yuvraj Singh (22) as India’s hopes began to fade.

MS Dhoni couldn’t save India as leading wicket-taker Hasan Ali took care of him with a short ball that he skied to Imad at deep square leg.

Shadab struck soon after to leave India in all sorts of trouble, losing Jadhav (9) and slipping to 72 for six.

Hardik Pandya wasn’t giving up though and he raced to 76 off 43 balls taking a liking to young Shadab before a shocking run out dashed India’s hopes of a miracle.

Junaid Khan and Hasan (3 for 19) wrapped up the tail in no time at all to secure the win.

Hasan ends the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets but the plaudits for the final win have to go to Amir (3 for 16) and Fakhar (114).

Noboby gave Pakistan a prayer of winning this tournament as they came in the lowest ranked team and lost their opening game to India by a country mile but they have found a winning formula and played as a formidable unit.