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Champions Trophy: Hardik Pandya Hits Fastest Half-Century In ICC Tournament Finals

19 Juin 2017

Zaman had powered Pakistan to 339, and Amir had just run through India's top three of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli - three of the top four run-getters in the tournament.

In came Amir again and this time Kohli spied runs on the leg side to rub salt into the wound but the ball took the leading edge and flew to backward point where Shadab Khan make no mistake.

They piled up 338 for four, with Fakhar Zaman making a dashing 114 - the left-handed opener s maiden hundred in just his fourth match at this level since a debut in Pakistan s group-stage win over South Africa. The victory was achieved by one of the most de-glamorous outfit under one of the most unassuming captains in the history of Pakistan cricket Sarfraz and he deserved it more than anyone else for showing the composure one expects from model captains. But he could not stop Sunday's slide as he holed out off Hasan, with Imad Wasim taking a low catch in the deep. They were eventually dismissed for 158, with 19.3 overs to spare.

Apart from Zaman (114), Azhar Ali (59), Mohammad Hafeez (57 not out) and Babar Azam (46) also contributed handsomely to Pakistan's cause. "It is a mercurial team and this tournament has thrown up so many upsets so far", Hussey wrote in a column for the official website of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

But few would dispute that India-Pakistan is now the world game's premier contest - certainly not the ICC who, by their own admission, now fix the draw at their events to ensure the Asian giants meet in the group phase. Rohit Sharma, who scored a ton against England in the semi-finals, was out for a duck. On three Fakhar edged a wide delivery from Jasprit Bumrah into the safe gloves of Dhoni and set off dolefully to the dressing room. Today's match is being rightly touted as the battle between India's batting and Pakistan's bowling.

Mohammad Hafeez - with a 34-ball 50 - and Babar Azam chipped in too to ensure Pakistan turned the promise into substance. In Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan they have two of the finest new-ball swing bowlers around.

Fakhar, perhaps annoyed at role in the run out, drove left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for six and cut him for four off successive balls. "So, hopefully, this win will boost Pakistan cricket and all [cricket] playing nations will come to Pakistan", the Dawn quoted Sarfraz, as saying.

India was desperate for a foothold in the game when Pandya broke through, getting rid of Zaman as Jadeja took an excellent catch running back from point.

At his post-match conference, the 30-year-old also hailed his young team's efforts through the tournament.

It will require some serious batting performance from Virat Kohli & Co to overcome the target.

"You can always look at things in hindsight, we've always tried to do our best in certain situations, sometimes the opposition does play very well".

Champions Trophy: Hardik Pandya Hits Fastest Half-Century In ICC Tournament Finals