Lunedi, 26 Giugno, 2017

Pakistan destroy arch-rivals India to claim Champions Trophy

Pammachio Corsino | 19 Giugno, 2017, 06:55

India handed Pakistan a 124-run defeat in the first group match before Pakistan defeated South Africa, Sri Lanka and then thrashed England in the semifinals to qualify for its first ever Champions Trophy final.

Left-arm fast bowler Amir, whose career was nearly ended on the other side of London s River Thames by a ban and jail term he received for his part in a spot-fixing scam during a 2010 Test against England at Lord s, was superb.

According to Arthur, India's top-order has done marvelously well and the middle-order has not been tested throughout the competition, so if Pakistan want to create a chance for themselves, they'll have to focus their attack on Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli who have been scoring the bulk of the runs for the Men in Blue.

Leading the batting for the young Pakistan side - which had fallen easily to India by 124 runs in a group stage match on June 6 - was 27-year-old Fakhar Zaman who recorded his maiden century in only his fourth worldwide innings.

Pakistan then prove it's possible to bat on a used pitch, with Fakhar making his second fifty in as many matches, as they cruise to victory with 77 balls to spare.

Meanwhile, Pakistan have made one change in the squad.

The green shirts' total was bolstered by a solid 128-run opening stand between Fakhar Zaman and Azhar Ali which set the mood for the first inning.

When asked about the 27-year-old's blitzkrieg, Kohli said that it becomes hard to contain an unorthodox batter like Zaman. Pakistan played really well: "credit to them for winning the title today".

"I mean, 25 extras is a bit too much in a game like that, and that s something that we certainly need to take care of in the future".


Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed added: "After the India match in the group stage, I told the players the tournament hadn't finished yet".

Pakistan's first global 50-over title since the 1992 World Cup reflected well on their Australian coach Mickey Arthur, who kept his squad from losing focus after their dismal display against the Indians earlier in the tournament.

Amir, once vilified for his role in the 2010 Pakistan spot-fixing scandal which led to him serving a prison term in London, was at his brilliant best when he produced a devastating opening spell.

Indian captain Virat Kohli is as articulate and polished with words as he is with the bat.

Spinner Shadab Khan snared Yuvraj Singh lbw for 22 and Dhoni, India's former captain who has saved the team on many occasions, pulled Hasan Ali to Imad Wasim at deep square leg to depart for four.

Hardik Pandya gave the stunned India fans in a capacity crowd something to cheer as he hit three sixes off succesive balls to bring up a dashing fifty.

On Zaman, he said: "He's a great impact player, in his first ICC event, he played like a champion, he can be a great player for Pakistan".

Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali also chipped in with half-centuries on the way to setting India a target of 339 - the highest ever ODI total scored by Pakistan in a final.

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