Pakistan win ICC Champions Trophy title
Chasing a target of 339 runs, India would have banked on one of the best chasers in the world. Virat Kohli has done it before for India. But, such a big score hasn’t been chased before in an ICC event and not even outside home. Add to it the pressure of playing a Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals Pakistan. Kohli’s did not get going.
Mohammad Amir produced a brilliant spell of pace bowling to reduce India to six for two in the first three overs. India could never recover from the horrific start and Pakistan won their first ever Champions Trophy title after beating India by 180 runs in the final at The Oval.
A brilliant innings of 76 off 43 balls from Hardik Pandya which raised hopes of the Indian team after they were reduced 72 for the loss of six wickets went in vain. He was involved in a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja and was run-out. It was formalities for Pakistan after that and they clinched the win by bowling out India for 158 in the 31st over.
Pakistan, who were beaten by India in the opening game, ended their campaign as champions. The unpredictable nature of Pakistan was on show in the tournament. But, in the final, it was kind of role-reversal between the two teams. The game which was expected to be determined by the middle overs, was done and dusted in the first powerplay as Amir ran through the top order.
India openers could not even open the account as Amir removed Rohit Sharma on the third ball of the match. Amir got the first two balls to move away from Rohit and brought the third one back into him by a huge margin as Rohit was struck on the pads. He was adjudged leg-before.
Kohli had his bit of luck as well. He was dropped at slips by Azhar Ali at slips off Amir but was dismissed next ball. Kohli closed the face of his bat early and got a leading edge and caught at point after scored five runs.
Apart from Pandya, no other Indian batsmen could play freely and were struggling to middle the ball against a steaming Pakistan bowling attack. Amir picked up 3 wickets for 16 runs from his six overs. Apart from him, Hasan Ali picked up three wickets for 16 runs and Shadab Khan had two wickets for 60. Junaid Khan picked only one wicket.
In contrast, a fearless century from opener Fakhar Zaman and a late hitting from middle order led Pakistan to 338 for the loss of four wickets after they were asked to bat first. Kohli’s decision to bowl first proved ineffective as Pakistan openers shared a 128-run stand.