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CT 2017: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed thrilled with epic turnaround

19 Juin 2017

Revelation and redemption helped Pakistan turn world cricket's order upside down as Fakhar Zaman's maiden one-day global century and Mohammad Amir's brilliant new-ball spell underpinned a landslide 180-run win over India in the Champions
Trophy final. He has gone past 72 by Imran Khan in 1992 World Cup final.

No worldwide team have been visiting Pakistan since 2009 and Pakistan are forced to play their games overseas.

India captain Virat Kohli was brutally honest in assessing his team's below-par performance in a chastening 180-run loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday.

Pakistan finished on 338 having lost four wickets, their second highest ODI score against India.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meanwhile issued a statement congratulating the team, saying they "deserve the nation's profound gratitude and appreciation".

While the rookie Hasan was rightfully adjudged Player of the Tournament, Amir's contribution to Pakistan's title triumph was significant.

Leg-spinner Shadab took a wicket with his sixth ball when Yuvraj Singh (22) was lbw, although it needed a Pakistan review of an original not out decision.

Pandya raced to his half-century in 32 balls, with the third of three successive sixes in one over from Shadab Khan - but after pressing on to a new career-best, with four fours and six maximums, he was run out in a hapless mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja which encapsulated India's miserable day.

Fakhar got another life, and the Pakistan opener embraced it.

But the rest of the much acclaimed Indian batting line-up staged a spectacular collapse and were reduced to 72/6 in the 17th over. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir has recovered fully from the back spasm and has been recalled in the playing XI in place of Ruman Raees.

The left-arm pacer extracted movement both in the air and off the pitch and quite a few of his deliveries were nearly unplayable.

Amid the general exultation, praise was reserved for India skipper Virat Kohli who showed grace in defeat during the post-match presser.

"When a guy like Azhar Ali, who is a conventional batsman, plays his shots, you can still have a plan", said Kohli to reporters after the match.

But veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez s quickfire 57 not out, including three sixes, then took Pakistan well beyond 300.

The left-hander fell to another superb delivery by Amir which kissed the outside edge on its way to Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps. But just when it seemed that he was blazing towards a first worldwide century, he was run out after a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja.

By the time Pandya was run out in the 27th over following a frightful mix-up, the match was as good as done and dusted. After developing a crucial century against England in the semi-finals, the duo efficiently reached the milestone again as they contributed 128 before Azhar was run out on 59.

Pakistan broke their dismal run in ICC events against India in a convincing manner on Sunday by winning the Champions Trophy at The Oval in London by a staggering 180 runs.

- KRK (@kamaalrkhan) June 18, 2017SRK said during commentary that Pandya will play good today. He demolished Pakistan, and India completed its highest successful ODI chase with 17 balls to spare.

The celebrations had started early as Pakistan began building a massive total. Sometimes on the day, the batsman is good enough to tackle anything.

"When the game is on the line, the more he performs, the more amped up he gets". Strung up by a bug which left him in pain, the 27-year-old spent the night with the team physiotherapist by his side.

He was eventually out when he sliced medium-pacer Hardik Pandya and Jadeja, running back from point, held a well-judged catch. With the ball, they appreciated the efforts of Mohammad Amir who picked up three wickets.

Remember how the cricket world thought the key period in the contest would be the middle overs in India's innings. Embraced aggression, freedom in play. The pair brought up their 50s within a few deliveries of each other and registered the first ODI 100 partnership against India by any side since January 2016. He slogged the next ball over the deep extra cover boundary, and the next ball over the long on boundary.

Fakhar left to a standing ovation and handed the baton to Babar, who saw Shoaib Malik hole out off the economical Bhuvneshwar Kumar before failing to clear the rope himself, caught off Kedar Jadhav at long off.

CT 2017: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed thrilled with epic turnaround