Champions Trophy final: India opt to field against Pak

After being asked to bat in the summit clash, Zaman along with his opening partner Azhar Ali gave Pakistan a strong start with a century-run opening stand.India captain Virat Kohli and Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed.This was the first Champions Trophy title for Pakistan. With the ball we could have had a few more wicket-taking opportunities.”I hope this win will boost Pakistan cricket and hopefully all the (major) playing nations will come to Pakistan”, said Sarfraz.Kohli also said Fakhar Zaman’s highrisk strokeplay and his partnership at the top of the order with Azhar Ali upset India’s plans.Kohli, who was dropped at first slip by Azhar Ali in the previous ball, tried a flick to the on-side but could only manage a leading edge straight to Shadab Khan at point.Pakistan, who lost their campaign opener against India, seemed a different side this time.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”.The run should have been made even easier given the fact the only fieldsman within range was arguably India’s worst, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who could charitably be described as looking like a giraffe who’s just learning to walk.With that no-ball, Bumrah’s confidence went for a vacation down the coast to Bournemouth and Zaman’s found its way back home, with the Pakistan batsman cracking a smile at his slice of luck, nearly as if he understood, this was going to be his day. “When the game is on the line, the more he performs, the more amped up he gets”.Fakhar rode his luck for a spellbinding 114, caught-behind from a no-ball on three and escaping a run-out chance with just a single to his name in Pakistan’s total of 338 for four at The Oval. We didn’t want to be too predictable from there on in the tournament. The Men in Green have once again risen to their tag of being completely unpredictable and come into the final on the back of three incredible victories – the most impressive of which has to be the eight-wicket trouncing of tournament favourites and hosts England in the semi-finals.India continued to lose wickets at the regular intervals.Babar Azam kept the run-rate ticking along with 46 from 52, before Mohammad Hafeez (57no) took control in the final overs, smashing a crucial half-century from just 34 balls and finding great support in Imad Wasim (25no).The reproduction of the story/photograph in any form will be liable for legal action.