Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Potent Pakistan claim fairytale Champions Trophy title

Potent Pakistan claim fairytale Champions Trophy title

Sent in to bat by India captain Virat Kohli, Pakistan's opening pair Fakhar (114) and Azhar Ali (59) put together their second consecutive century stand, motoring to 128 in 23 overs before Azhar was disastrously run-out.

After being asked to bat first, Pakistan looked steady during the initial proceedings as both the openers were playing rather sensibly.

After leaving India reeling on six for two following the dismissals of Sharma and Kohli, Amir's figures read 1.4 overs, four runs, two wickets. In-form Shikhar Dhawan, who was the top scorer in the tournament with 317 runs, also fell to Amir at 21 when he was caught behind in the 9th over. Pakistan lost to India by 124 runs in their tournament starter at Birmingham before gathering momentum with wins against South Africa and Sri Lanka before completely outplaying tournament favourites England and India in the semis and the final.

The best successful run-chase in an ODI at the Oval is now the 322-3 scored on this ground earlier in the tournament by Sri Lanka over India. While the Indian team struggled to restrict the Pakistani batsmen, the latter were skillfully tackling the deliveries only to ceaselessly send the ball beyond the boundaries.

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Babar Azam's 46 and a cameo from Mohammad Hafeez (57no off 37 balls) swelled Pakistan's tally to 338-4 off 50 overs - the highest total in the entire tournament.

"With the ball, we could have had more wicket-taking opportunities".

It was, all too briefly for India, eight for one when Fakhar went after a wide delivery from Jasprit Bumrah and edged behind - only to be reprieved by the no-ball call.

The sixth century in a Trophy final ended in the 34th over with Pakistan at 200-2.

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This is the first time India and Pakistan are clashing in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Team India will now have to chase down the second highest score in the history of Champions Trophy in order to defend their title.

The Indian innings was off to a disastrous start with Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Amir producing a fiery opening spell. We wanted to be a lot more consistent.

India got their man finally thanks to a fine catch by Jadeja running back from point after a skewed big hit at Hardik Pandya.

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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.

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