Pakistan skipper Sarfraz thrilled with emphatic turnaround

CT 2017: Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed thrilled with epic turnaround

Fakhar responded with two overs of circumspection and then two more brought him three fours and two sixes as he suddenly put his foot down against India's two specialist spinners on his way to a century which was brought up when he swept Ravi Ashwin ferociously to the fence again.

This was the biggest margin of victory in any ICC ODI tournament in terms of runs.

Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif led the wave of congratulatory messages for the Pakistan team and captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed soon after the final ended. "A lot of credit to the Pakistan Super League for producing some exciting talents like Hasan Ali and Fakhar Zaman", said KP.

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.

Kohli also praised young all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was the highest scorer among the Indians with 76 runs off 43 balls.

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. But Mohammad Amir produced a memorable spell of fast bowling to destroy India's famed top order and place his side in total control of the final.

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

The Indian captain had come into the match with an astonishing batting average of 253 runs in this year's tournament, having been dismissed only once in four matches.

Their hopes then rested largely on the shoulders of opener Shikhar Dhawan who had been in fine form in the tournament but he made only 21 before nicking the inspired Amir to Sarfraz.

The left-hander fell to another superb delivery by Amir which kissed the outside edge on its way to Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps.

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Former captain MS Dhoni had rescued India from many a dire position in his long career. We tried our best to hit good areas but they just batted really well today.

By the time Pandya was run out in the 27th over following a terrible mix-up, the match was as good as done and dusted.

Pakistani cricket fans cheer as they watch on screen the Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India, on June 18, 2017. Mohammad Hafeez - with a 34-ball 50 - and Babar Azam chipped in too to ensure Pakistan turned the promise into substance. While this has happened 30 times in India, the loss against Pakistan on Sunday was the 73rd time overseas.

"We showed great character". They played the ball according to its merit and made full use of the conditions despite losing the toss.

Apart from Pandya, no other Indian batsmen could play freely and were found struggling against a steaming Pakistan bowling attack.

Azhar had a run-out scrape too, on 29, when Rohit missed the stumps from midwicket this time as Pakistan's frenetic start continued. We were in the knockouts stage but no one gave us a chance.

"It is not humanly possible to not concede boundaries and sixes".

Incoming batsman Babar Azam kept on supporting the 27-year-old in-form batsman by giving him the strike. A destructive six-hitting spree by Hardik Pandya threatened a final twist, but when he was left stranded following a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja, Pakistan scented victory and lifted their game.

Fakhar hit 12 fours and three sixes before skying a catch off Hardik Pandya but Pakistan had the ideal platform to make the highest total in a Champions Trophy final.

However, India will remain under pressure as the Pakistan team has a fresh batch of players who are exuberating confidence. Next, Mohammad Hafeez answered his critics with a rapid fifty, lifting Pakistan above the magic score of three hundred.

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