Pakistan thrash holders India to win Champions Trophy

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Pakistan crushed defending champions India by 180 runs at The Oval to win the Champions Trophy for the first time on Sunday.

A century by Fakhar Zaman and a devastating bowling display by Pakistan ended India's hopes of becoming the first team to capture the title three times.

Fakhar capitalized on a lucky escape to strike a superb 114 and lift Pakistan to a commanding total of 338 for four in the Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals India at The Oval on Sunday.

Fakhar shared a fluent century opening partnership with Azhar Ali (59) and unleashed a barrage of attacking strokes all around a sun-kissed ground to give Pakistan real hope of upsetting the defending champions.

India will feel aggrieved as Fakhar, on three, was caught by wicketkeeper Mahehdra Singh Dhoni off a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball and the 27-year-old left-hander took full advantage to reach his first international century.

Azhar also continued his fine form in the tournament, reaching his 50 off 61 balls before he was run out following a mix-up with his partner.

Babar Azam joined Fakhar, who lofted Ravindra Jadeja over long-on for six and got to three figures by sweeping Ravichandran Ashwin to the boundary.

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He celebrated with an extravagant twirl of his bat and kissed the turf as the Pakistan supporters sensed an unlikely win for the lowest-ranked team going into the tournament who lost heavily to India in the group stage.

Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan, who upset hosts England in the semi-finals, had the perfect platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final.

Babar chipped in with a solid 46 and Mohammad Hafeez struck three sixes in a punchy unbeaten 57 that left India needing to produce the highest successful run chase in the tournament’s history to lift the trophy for the third time.

Earlier, India won the toss and elected to bowl first.

India, the defending champion, named an unchanged team for a third straight match.

The same team lost to Sri Lanka then beat South Africa at The Oval in group play, and defeated Bangladesh in the semifinals at Edgbaston.

The only change India made after the opening 124-run win over Pakistan was to play offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin instead of medium-pacer Umesh Yadav.

India’s Hardik Pandya celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final on June 18, 2017. (Reuters)
India’s Hardik Pandya celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy Final on June 18, 2017. (Reuters)

Pakistan, playing its first Trophy final, made only one expected change, recalling fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who had to miss the semifinal win over England because of a back spasm. Rumman Raees dropped out.

It’s the same Pakistan team that stunned South Africa.


Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan.

India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah.

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